She was who I want to be

On Friday, my Nana passed away.

She was

&- strong
&- stubborn
&- faithful 
&- prayerful
&- sharp. so smart. right to the end. 
&- independent
&- humble. a true servant.
&- practical

She was exactly who I want to be.

Many of you probably didn’t know my Nana. But I wish you all could have. I am a better person because of who she was.

She was a stubborn, strong-minded person all her own. This was my Nana:

&- She grew up on a farm outside of Kansas City. Her mother passed away when she was 8. Nana took care of her younger sister.

&- Her widowed father remarried when she was 13 – to a woman who was 18. Nana was none too happy (but eventually made peace with her stepmother; the two became friends).

&- She was the church pianist. She graduated from high school (a feat which truly required she walk 3 miles there and back – rain, sleet, snow).

&- At 25, she married her pastor’s 18-year-old son. Many in the church believed she was pregnant.

&- She waited three years before having a baby just to prove them wrong. She dearly loved my Papa.

&- She had two children (my aunt and my dad). She sent them both to college.

&- She worked over 20 years as a secretary – at a time when most women were simply homemakers.

She lived for 84 years, was a wife for 59 years, a mother for 57 and a grandmother for 23.

I only knew her for 23 years, but she taught me what it means to be ‘independent’ and ‘strong’ without abandoning what it means to be a humble, beautiful, faithful woman.

She’d brush aside my questions about herself and her health. “Shannon,” she’d say instead, grabbing my arm. “How is school? How is Bryan?”  

” We love you very much and pray for you daily.” – the signature of every email or card I’ve ever received from her.

She never wanted us to worry about her. She didn’t like to talk much about her life – but she didn’t need to, her actions spoke for her.

She was exactly who I want to be.



7 thoughts on “She was who I want to be

  1. Hi Sweetheart…it’s sad, but oh, how blest you have been, and will continue to be!! Ahh, to have had a grandmother (which I never did) but it’s my great privilege to BE a grandmother! I sincerely pray that my grandchildren may be
    able to speak that well of me. God bless you richly and I will continue to pray for you and Bryan. Much Love, Ms. Dot.

  2. Sweet Shannon yes what a wonderful woman. I always felt so loved and welcomed by your Grandma and she treated me and my family as one of her own. Jesus wanted her home and I can see why. What an inspiration to us all. Love and prayers,
    Mrs. Mandarich

  3. Shannon, the words and thoughts that you have used to describe Nana, my mother, are absolutely perfect. I could not describe her any better than you have. I’m glad that Nana was such a great role model for you, and that you will have many fond memories of her.. I was blessed to have her as my mom a few years longer than you had her as a grandmother. I think I totally took for granted what my mom not only did for me, but how she sacrificed unselfishly for me, as well as others. I too, so much want to try to live my life like my mom did. I can truly say that God gave me the best teacher and example to follow. She will be missed, and I know that heaven is truly rejoicing that a faithful servant has come to her true home with God. I cherish the day that I will have the opportunity to be with her again. Love you. Dad.

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