Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wave Good-bye Aunt Nanny

 Yesterday was the funeral of my last aunt. It is the end of an era. She kept the torch lit on a tradition of all of our (5) aunts lavishing us with love. According to them we are the prettiest (or most handsome) well behaved, intelligent, children on earth.

That is good fuel for a kid -- or adult for that matter.
Aunt Nanny's funeral was as unconventional as she was.
After some church songs (Like His Eye is on the Sparrow) the pastor asked "If Aunt Nanny ever told you that you were her favorite niece or nephew please stand up". All of us (at least 30) started standing up and sitting down and it looked like "The Wave" at a football game.
Then he asked "If Bernice (Aunt Nanny) ever told you that you were her best friend in the whole world stand up" most of the rest of the congregation did The Wave then.
"If you ever had a meal with her at an obscure country restaurant out of town stand up" The Wave swept through Pleasant Grove Baptist one more time.
There is a book full of Aunt Nanny stories but one of my favorites is when the new preacher came, the congregation was a little skeptical because he had been divorced. I guess most of them had stuck it out in their marriages and felt slighted that he was happily remarried to a wonderful woman. The nerve!
Aunt Nanny made it her job to endorse and encourage them.
On the event of his first anniversary as pastor she called him and his wife and told them a limo would pick them up at 6:00p.m. and to be dressed to the nines for a celebratory dinner on her.
They were and it did.
After a thirty minute ride the limo pulled up to White Castle and the place was packed with all of the families from the church! She picked up the tab and everyone laughs about it to this day.
Every week Aunt Nanny would go to the Dollar Store and load up on toys. After church she would invite the kids who went to Sunday School to go out and pick a prize out of her trunk.
She was the "Queen of Cheap Thrills”.
After the Christian songs were out of the way the organist played the University of Kentucky fight song and then we all stood and sang "My Old Kentucky Home."
We laughed and cried and ate fried chicken.
Now THAT was a funeral of a person who knew who she was -- knew Jesus personally -- and knew where she was going.
She didn't have a fancy life or an easy life but she had a life that left a trail of better people for knowing her.
If you agree with me -- stand up.


  1. I just read your news about her daughter and am so sorry.
    I'm going to email you my cell number.

  2. beautiful.

    It sounds like Aunt Nanny lived a good life and touched the lives of all those around her. It makes me want to be like her. We need more Aunt Nannies in this world, but for now, Heaven just got a little sweeter! Thank you for sharing this story. I am sorry to hear of your loss, but delighted that your life was woven so tightly with rich threads with this obviously amazing woman. God Bless.

  3. PS - I stood up, alone in my house, on my bed, in my bathrobe, without even knowing her. My heart knew. :)