Warmth

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I am loved.

This weekend my cousins-the first loves of my life-made sure I knew exactly how much I was loved.

In the midst of sadness I had a moment of pure joy. After all was said and done…after our last good-byes to Nanny were done…we gathered for one last time.

On the front porch my cousins voted to bequeath to me the fur-like coat of Nanny’s that I had written about the day before. They wanted me to have it. Me. There in the room where we said good-bye they called me in and told me they wanted me to have it. I cried. I wept. All I could say was,”thank you…thank you…thank you.”

What I couldn’t say, what I still have trouble saying is:

Thank you for reading what I write.
Thank you for letting what I write matter.
Thank you for letting me be me and for making me feel special.
Thank you for giving me something that means so much to me.
Thank you for giving a gift that lets me believe I can live up to my name.
Thank you for giving me a reminder that who I am is okay.
Thank you for giving me a gift that reminds me it’s okay to be funky.
Thank you for thinking to give me a gift that will always remind me who and I am and where I came from.
Thank you for loving me.
Thank you for loving me enough to think of me.

When I thanked them Stephen hugged me and said,”it was the right thing to so.” Jeff hugged me tight to his jacket clad chest and and said,”you even have pretty cry face Bibby.” Sandi winked at me and Aunt Debbie told me that the cousins had voted and really wanted me to have it.

It was a day say but I won’t remember the sad. I’ll remember the warmth of that day. I’ll remember Jeff in his suit looking handsome and spiffy. I’ll remember David looking dapper in his suit and I’ll remember the tender look on his strong face as my Aunt Debbie handed him a small velvet pouch that contained his mothers jewelry. Jewelry she left to my Nanny and that my nanny wore at the end. I’ll remember Sandi looking beautiful and strong and sitting with me on the steps like we were 15 and not 44ish. I’ll remember Colton curled up in front of the fireplace in a house that he always knew as Nanny’s house. I’ll remember Leah sitting in Nanny’s chair with Sadie letting her hold baby Eliza. I’ll remember my parents sitting in the parlor with Mr and Mrs Smith-friends that had been in their life longer than I had; my Ta-Ta and Don were there too and we all listened while my dad told stories of growing up in this house. I’ll remember younger cousins running up and down steps that I had run up and down years before.

And on that day-that sad day-I’ll always remember what it felt like to be warm. Warm wrapped up in my Nanny’s coat, warm with knowledge that I was loved and warm by the fires in rooms I had played in my entire life. I found warmth in Aunt Katie wearing a jacket of Nanny’s and puttering around the kitchen. Warm in that Sadie took a shine to her uncle Danny and that Alyce was surrounded in conversation on the back porch. Warm in hearing my Aunt Debbie say she loved me. Warm to hear my dad still introduce me as ‘his oldest baby girl’ and to hear him describe being a young Henry while sitting next to my Colton Henry. I was warm when my daughter schoohed over to hug me during the funeral. I was warm in the love of a large family, In room after room filled with cousins and families.

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