I lost my Aunt Nancy Proffer just over one year ago. I have been seeing all the loving posts from her friends and family on Facebook and I felt compelled to share what I wrote last year as I struggled with my own grief.
Written Friday, June 24, 2016
As I close my eyes to rest each day I find my mind filled with images of a dark haired lady with a smile that lights the room. I think my mind is trying to tell me I need to start moving from my sorrow and grief over the death of my sweet Aunt Nan and begin to celebrate the new life she now has in Heaven and the special book of memories I have in my heart.
I am sad because I won’t be able to stop by Proffers Paradise on my way up North or my way home to see her sweet face and have a visit over diet coke. I won’t get to hear her say “I need a hug, Recey” in that happy voice that rang out to us over the years.
But I know I can celebrate the fact that she is once again united with the love of her life, Big Larry or as I knew him, Uncle Larry. I can see his big hands wrapped gently around her petite frame, providing an unseen but felt protection against anything that might sway her. Their laughter is once again entwined together creating a music for their love to live on within.
I also know I can cherish 43 years of wonderful memories.
- The grace she shared with me in allowing me to not only try on her high heeled fancy shoes but to wear them to the bowling alley for family fun day…when she had all us kids for a week in the summer. I think I was maybe 7 years old but man did she let me feel like a grown up princess that day.
- The patience and endurance she showed in teaching me to water ski. Time after time she held me while I put those skis back on my feet, encouraged me as she held me in the water and shouted what to do next as I flailed up out of the water and crashed back in. She cheered like I was the best skier ever when I actually made it up for more than one minute. Creating a champion out of an awkward teenager was a special skill she had for many of us.
- Time with her at the makeup vanity was time of unparralled life lessons. How to tease your hair, why you use a lash curler and why teenage boys can be so stupid and of course the advice about girls can do anything.
- Spending time with her at Proffers Paradise was like going into a safe haven where the problems of the world could not get to you. She always gave me the space I needed to work through whatever had brought me to the her door and yet was always sitting at the table ready to talk it though when I had questions.
- I was so proud that I was there to wrap her in my suit coat to comfort her and keep her warm as her heart broke to pieces when she lost her love after only 47 years. She said to me it just wasn’t enough time. From that moment I knew when I found my love, I would cherish every year and pray I could have at least 47 years of that kind of love.
- If Aunt Nan was this special to me and my heart aches this much, I know the hearts of her children, grand children and great grand children must be utterly shattered. I hurt for each of them as they figure out a way to continue forward with their lives, finding a new normal in a world where a bright shining star is now missing from earth but shines from heaven.
- Thanks for showing me how to sparkle Aunt Nan, I love you always…C