Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Guest Post: My Nana

A few weeks ago, D.J. gave me the best suggestion about the blog to date.

"Why don't you ask Nana to do a guest post on the blog?"

How perfect, I thought. My Nana is probably my most loyal blog follower.  I blog for fun but Nana thinks I missed my calling on being a journalist - HAHA! I appreciate the compliment, but I just type as I go and barely ever re-read what I type.  I just got back to the words with the little red lines under them to fix the spelling and call it a day.  When I asked Nana if she would do a blog post, I told her that this would mean so much to me and that all of you all would love to hear her words, she finally decided to write a little something up.

So ladies and gents, here goes my Nana - Edna!


When my granddaughter, Cayte, asked me to write something for her blog, I wasn’t sure I could write about a subject her readers would be interested in.  Cayte gave me some suggestions, but there was one thought that was foremost in my mind today – what a great daughter-in-law I have.

I never had a daughter, and my one and only daughter-in-law, Gretchen, is Cayte’s mother.  I fell in love with her from the first meeting when my son, Steve, introduced her to me. When Steve, announced that he was going to marry her, I felt that he had made a great choice.

My first meeting with Gretchen’s family was at her wedding shower in Pennsylvania.  I had never traveled there, and I was so impressed with how beautiful the state is.  At the shower I got to meet her family and friends, and I realized why she was so sweet, because all of her family and friends were so nice and made me feel welcome to the fold. 

Since Gretchen was in the Navy and lived in Fredericksburg VA, I didn’t see a lot of her until the wedding and afterwards.  I learned right away that she would always include me as a member of the family.  I felt so loved when on their wedding day Gretchen included me in the group who was there while she was getting dressed for her wedding. Gretchen’s wedding dress was beautiful, and had sleeves which could be worn on the shoulder or off the shoulder.  Gretchen’s mother, Kate, who had become a dear friend, suggested that Gretchen wear the sleeves up, but Gretchen wanted them off shoulder. During that time, strapless wedding gowns were not so acceptable. Gretchen turned to me and asked what I thought.  I was speechless, because I didn’t want to come between a mother and daughter on her wedding day.  My answer was “It’s your wedding day, do what makes you happy.”  She chose to wear the sleeves off shoulder.  She was a beautiful bride, and the ceremony was breathtaking.  One of the sweetest gestures Gretchen made during the ceremony was to present the mothers with a red rose as a sign of love. Gretchen also gave me the honor of doing the table decorations at the wedding reception.

After marriage, the newly-wed couple started looking for an apartment.  Steve’s dad and I suggested that they invest in a house rather than rent.  They took our advice and found a nice house in Fredericksburg VA.  They asked us to visit and give them our thoughts on purchasing the house.  We agreed that it was a good investment, and encouraged them to buy it. To this day they still own it, and the rent has helped with college tuitions for three children. The newly-weds celebrated their first Christmas in their new home, and they honored us by asking us to visit them. Gretchen asked me help decorate their first Christmas tree. To this day, Gretchen still uses some of the ornaments that I made for their first tree.  Each time I see them, I remember those happy days.

As the years went by, Steve’s father developed cancer and died.  By this time Gretchen had been selected by the Navy to attend the Navy Postgraduate School in Monterey CA to get her master’s degree.
This was just shortly after Steve’s father’s death.  Because of her thoughtfulness toward me, Gretchen was going to turn down the opportunity the Navy was giving her because she felt like they shouldn’t leave me here in VA.  I told her I appreciated her thoughtfulness, but I would not let her pass up this opportunity. 

Their tour in Monterey turned out to be very memorable because this was where my first grandchild, Cayte, was born.  I was so happy when they told me I was going to be a grandmother. Cayte was such a beautiful, happy baby, and I was able to visit them a couple of times while they were in CA. 

After graduation from the school, they were assigned to the Navy base in Norfolk VA.  Again, they asked my advice on the purchase of a home.  It was a great home which they still reside in and have added two more wonderful grandchildren to my life, Bobby and Julie.

I later remarried a wonderful man, Cliff, who fit right in with my family.  He loved my family almost as much as I do.  He being a retired Air Force officer and her a Navy officer, they had subjects in common to talk about. Cliff and I moved to FL, and unfortunately I missed out on a lot of my grandchildren’s younger years, but Gretchen was always thoughtful to send me pictures and spend their vacations with us in FL.

Some years later, Cliff passed away and I moved back to VA.  Steve and Gretchen and her wonderful sister, Patty, encouraged me to sell my home in Portsmouth VA and move closer to them.  Gretchen and Patty found the house for me, and the whole family moved me into my new home.  The move has been such a blessing for me because it has enabled me to attend the children’s functions and sports activities at their school.  Gretchen always made sure I was aware of each event, and she always saved a seat for me.

When I turned 70 years old, Gretchen gave me a surprise birthday party and invited my friends and neighbors.  I don’t know why it surprised me because she is always thoughtful regarding me.  Now that I am about to celebrate my 80th birthday, I rely more and more on Gretchen each day. Not only does she fix my computer when I do stupid things, she insists that I send her an email every day to let her know how I am doing, and if I go someplace at night, she wants me to call her and let her know that I am safely at home. 

Gretchen insists that she goes to my doctor’s appointments with me so that I understand what the doctor’s diagnosis is. My doctor commented that I was very fortunate to have such a thoughtful daughter-in-law.  When I had surgery a few months back, Gretchen was right there with me at the hospital making sure all my needs were met.  She brought me home and took care of me until I was healed.

These are just a few of the instances where Gretchen has shown her love for me. Each day, I thank God for her. God has blessed me in so many ways, but Gretchen in one of my greatest blessings.  I wish everyone reading this could be so fortunate.

Y'all, how awesome is that story.  My nana is so awesome. I hope everyone has the opportunity to have someone that inspires them to be a better woman like my nana does for me.


  1. This is so incredibly sweet... not the typical mom/daughter-in-law story that you hear, that's for sure! Love to hear the kindness and love through her words... so sweet!

  2. Wow this brought tears to my eyes, so sweet! I am praying for a relationship like this with my mother in law!


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