At the suggestion of one of my awesome followers, I decided to give everyone a little slice of my humble knowledge about Nana Graves. I doubt very much that this will be in any sort of rational order or that I'll do her any justice, but I like the idea of putting some of my memories to "paper" since I don't have any photos to help me out. A little background about Nana: she was raised in a small Georgia town. She was married for nearly 53 years to a lifetime Army man and traveled the world beside him, eventually bringing along three daughters for the ride. She instilled in those women a strong faith and an amazing ability to love. She adopted all of her sons-in-law easily into her family and loved them generously as well. God gave her eight grandchildren, one granddaughter-in-law, and a great-granddaughter. She loved us all more than I think we can ever appreciate. But to be honest, she just loved and loved and loved people, all people. It was what she did. She cared for them. She prayed for them. She fixed the problem if there was anyway that she could. And if she couldn't, she would pray that someone could. I have never met someone so generous with her resources. She taught classes for Weight Watchers. She and her husband were very active with the Gideons. She sponsored missionaries. She let missionaries stay in her home. She invited anyone and everyone over for something as simple as President's Day, if that meant she could feed them and let them swim in her pool and that she got an opportunity to show them love and kindness. She was just so generous! I've never known anyone before that the old saying "they'd give you the shirt off their own back," applied to, until I met her. She took the time and spent the money to bring all of our family (all 18+ of us) together for a family vacation to Hilton Head Island each summer. She was thoughtful. She remembered everyone's birthdays and anniversaries. I loved sharing my birthday with her and Sharon (one of my aunts-in-law) every year.
This afternoon at the funeral home, there was a disc of photos from throughout her life. I love pictures. Just to add in another cliche, they really do say a thousand words. Have you ever noticed how many simple memories erupt from a single photo? I witnessed so many of her important moments through her photos tonight... but also so many that were at one point probably so insignificant. There was a photo of Nana with one of her granddaughters and they were in the PJs, probably the morning after a sleepover at Nana's house and it just struck me that at the time that picture was taken, a memory for Kelsey was made. She will always have that simple picture to commemorate the many times she had a sleepover at Nana's house. It can be her reminder for the one night or it can conjure a memory of fifty different nights. That makes me happy. It makes me happy that Nana truly lived her life and that not one of us wonders where she is or how much she cared. It couldn't be more clear.