She was a wonderful woman, a pillar of the community, as they used to say. She was an old-fashioned Christian, meaning she believed God's directive was to love everyone unconditionally and not judge them, rather than the modern day bastardization. All though she was in her late 80s when I met her, she accepted me, her beloved granchild's godless lesbian partner, warmly and graciously into the family. Often when I visited, she and I were the only ones awake, and I would ask her about her past and opinions. She'd share her stories with a twinkle and a giggle, and always tell me I was sweet. She and her husband, Poppie, raised Mrs. Nator right when there was trouble in Mrs. Nator's mother's life, and later they treated me and Mrs, Nator's fiancée like grand their own grandchildren. She not only went out of her way to introduce me as her "other granddaughter," but she showed me love like I had never even had from my own grandparents.
Despite life-long health problems, Nannie outlived Poppie by around five years. She missed him terribly. I don't know if it was wishful thinking, but around the time she died, I kept feeling his presence. It was as though I could feel him nearby, with his teasing smile on, only younger than when I had known him.
We are all glad she is out of pain, and hope she is reunited with him. It's the end of an era. The community has lost a woman of class and tireless generosity who helped found and grow it. This family has lost a woman who brought us all together with love and helped us be better people.
Thank you, Nannie. I hope we all do honour to your memory.