The Nanny Talk series didn’t get very far before I let busy-ness distract me. The last few months, though, have reminded me of the important. People. Faith. God’s plans and purposes.
Nanny flew into the arms of Jesus a few weeks ago after a tough fight with congestive heart failure. She spent her last months in a nursing home, where we watched her laugh and love and play. And cry and fight and speak her mind. And pray, ever the prayer warrior.
Nanny fought for her family on her knees. She told me of a time when she was traveling by train with her children. She had a sudden sense that God was telling her to pray. She found a corner to get on her knees and pray for the safety of everyone on that train. Not long after, a boulder came crashing into the train- windows broken, but no one injured. Her prayers have also been answered in bringing many of our family to a relationship with Jesus.
As she lay in the bed at the nursing home, she would wonder why God kept her alive, but then she would flip her wrist and say, “I don’t know why, but there must be a reason. Someone needs to hear about Him.” At the same time God was using her, He was also using her roommates to watch over her after family had left for the night, tracking down the nurses when they didn’t respond to her calls for help quickly enough.
She had a way of making you feel like you were her favorite person in the world. When I would walk into the room, she would throw up her hands and say, “Sheila! Look, it’s Sheila! Darlin’, I didn’t think you would come, but I’m so glad you did.” She did the same for everyone that came, but somehow, it still felt special when she said it to me.
She was generous with her love. Many of the staff would come by just for a hug and an I-love-you.
Nanny’s health continued to deteriorate. The last couple of weeks were filled with her cries for help, begging God to take her home. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the anguish of her words, “Jesus, you know I have always loved you. I know you love me. Why won’t you take me home? Please, Jesus, take me home.” And begging my grandfather William to hold her tight. He died 30+ years ago.
I don’t know why God chose to let her suffer, but I know that she touched many lives in that nursing home. I am so grateful for the extra time I had with her, the sweet Nanny talks. I’m a little jealous of her now- face to face with the One she served so faithfully. I’ll see her again someday. Blessed assurance.
For more in the Nanny Talk series: