My sweet Nana went to be with Jesus a week ago. We were so blessed to say goodbyes, to hold her hand and watch her leave this earth for an eternity with our King. A King she knew, loved, followed and served for her entire life. I think you tell yourself that at 92 it will be easier. That you know what is coming. You know that goodbye will always happen. It still is never easy. It still is very raw. Memories flood my mind and my heart spills out. I ran to her house yesterday to get her mail for my daddy. Strange not to run inside to yell "Hey, Nana!" and even stranger not to hear, "It's Marsha Lee." I was never just Marsha to her. She was never just Nana to me.
This past summer I decided I wanted to learn to can. I spent many a days in the kitchen helping my mother can jelly and I watched my Nana can more jellies, pickles, okras than I can count. I searched the internet and recipes until I thought I was educated. I then knew I needed to run my recipes and instructions by the one that knew best. I called my Nana. I explained all my instructions and asked if she thought I need a pressure cooker for my okra recipe. She laughed and said, "No, you don't need that. I mean I have one but you aren't old enough to use it. You could hurt yourself." She was 92 and I was just 35. She added, "Don't go to the store just yet. I have the recipes you need. Those you have will taste like salt in a jar." She then gave me two pickle recipes and an okra recipe that makes my husband love me the most. A couple of weeks before her long stay in rehab and the hospital, she called me to tell me she bought me something. I had to come over right then to pick it up. It was a canning cookbook. Last night I opened it for the first time. There was the receipt and the message. You see she had called to Columbiana, AL to the County Extension Office because she needed their 2006 canning book. Not a new one. The 2006. It was the best. And there laid out are my instructions: Read. Study. Prepare for next summer's crop.
Kent, my cousin, sister and I gave the eulogy at her funeral. Kent said it best when he said, "Farm life suited her." I am thankful that that life suites me just fine too. I am thankful this year as the memories flood my heart I will read God's word, study His word and prepare my heart for what is next.
I think the 2006 word is Preserving.
I think the 2013 word is Preserving.
Preserving a legacy.