Vituary/Obituary: Nana and Papa

I sent this letter to my best friend in grade school's and my adopted grandpa, Papa about my memories of he and his wife, Nana, when I was little. Then, as now, I did not have a Southern Accent...so many of you won't know I was actually born in Atlanta. Nana passed away a few months ago.

My earliest memories of you and Nana were of the pool, naturally. There were rules for Jodi and I to follow: hang your towel up on the railing. Don’t come into the house wet. Make sure Jodi has her earplugs in. It is funny how, after all these years, I can still remember these rules. I can still remember your phone number by heart too.

I remember being in awe that my best friend, Jodi’s grandfather was the Mayor of Sugar Hill. I knew the Mayor! I even slept at his house. I might have even gotten the idea from you that I, too, could someday hold a public office. Jodi always slept so late: I would get up early and spend time with you watching football, and waiting for Jodi to get up. In exchange I got to spend time with you and Nana.

I loved eating at your house. Nana made the best eggs I have ever had, even to this day. Jodi and I would sit there cutting our piece of cheese in to small little squares. And, we were allowed to eat Peanut Butter Captain Crunch until the roofs of our mouths were all scraped up. I remember all of the times you tried to get me to eat grits, or to get either Jodi or I to eat your squirrel stew.

It was at your house, I watched Anne Richards, the then governor of Texas, deliver her iconic line: "Poor George, he can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.” You know the Democratic Convention was not on at my house! It worked: I vote Democrat today.

I remember Nana sewing, smoking, and drinking a coke with ice in it many a night. I can still hear Nana’s voice: “Jooodie, what are you doin?” That voice meant trouble. Stop what you are doing before you have to get a switch.

I remember Sundays spent driving over to either your mother’s house or maybe even your grandmother’s house. I can’t remember going in, but I remember the sun shining, and her coming out to say hello to us. And I remember boilt peanuts bought from a guy selling them on the side of the road. He would just appear and you would ask us if we wanted some. I guess now you knew were he was and went there on purpose. Then I thought it was just magic.

My memory of how you and Nana got married goes like this: You were both in high school, sweethearts and dating. A whole group of you and your friends eloped, maybe even around prom, so that the high school could not kick you all out of high school. That might be the first instance of mass demonstration I ever heard of.

I remember following you around at Bulldog football games, watching the cheerleaders, wanting dearly to be one when I grew up.

I remember you letting Jodi drive the truck, and how envious I was! I so wanted to drive! Years later, when my brother Montana was about her age, I let him drive my car down our driveway. He holds that memory dear.

You and Nana worked together, loved each other, and remain in my memory as an example of how a good relationship built on friendship and love can be successful. I have always thought of and told people that you and Nana were my extra grandparents. Papa, you are the closest thing I have ever had to a grandfather.

Thank you for all of your love, your little Yankee.

1 comment:

Jodie said...

Nicole wow I havent been able to get on face b to much those memories are amazing I hold them dear they loved u so much I wish papa could have read before he passed you have always been amazing friend I'm so glad brought in into my life.my papa being gone has been very hard on me.i have to go about my day like I'm not hurting for the greatest man I will never know I love you thankyou