Taking Time to Laugh and Cry with the Angel on the Other Line

January is a tough month for so many people.  It’s full of post-Christmas let-down and winter blues, sometimes giving way to some form of seasonal depression … or, at the very least feeling a little stir-crazy if the cold weather keeps you couped up in the house for too long!  Our house is certainly no exception.  For the past 9 years, January takes the cake as the single hardest month for me to power through.

Remember, I promised to “keep it real” on here – plus writing it all down is my own form of therapy … Running posts return next week!

Nine years ago last week, my mom’s mom lost her battle with pancreatic cancer.  I still remember the day my mom called to let me know her diagnosis.  I was standing in front of the exact same desk that I am writing this post from right now.  Shuffling through papers for who-knows-what, only half listening at first because I was probably looking for something I had deemed {critically} important at the time.  In all honesty, even once I had processed the “c” word, I clearly did not understand the gravity of the situation.  My Nana had already beat breast cancer twice, once in each breast about 10 years apart.  The first time I was in middle school and I knew very little of what was happening other than that she was sick.  Then the cancer came back in her other breast when I was a senior in college.  Though I knew more of what was going on, I still had an embarrassingly naive understanding of her diagnosis and treatment.  I knew she had completed, or nearly completed, her chemo just before my wedding day.  I knew she looked amazing and happy and vibrant that day.  So everything must be fine.  This cancer business wasn’t going to keep my Nana down …

Fast-forward to September 2007.  Pancreatic cancer.  It’s not like other cancers – it’s generally much more aggressive, spreads quickly and for many cases, it’s not safe operate to remove the tumor because of where it’s located.  Her oncologist gave her 3-6 months, which we would learn the hard way was very generous.  We lost my dad’s mom just a year and half later to pancreatic cancer, and only 8 days after her diagnosis.

We knew that year was the last Thanksgiving we would celebrate with her on this Earth.  We knew it was her last Christmas.  Those memories don’t often haunt me in the busyness of that hectic season though.  But every year, like clockwork, they come rushing back once the calendar flips to January.

Six years ago, I wrote about how I hope my girls remember Nana.  As I was unpacking picture frames and setting them up in our room a few weeks ago I came across one of my Nana and I at my bridal shower and smiled at her smiling face and then last week, my words from six years ago popped up in one of my social media timelines.  It was my Angel on the other line and she was talking to my twin girls …        {Operator, I Need to Call Heaven Please},  January 2011

Three years ago today my Nana left this world to join our Good Lord (and my Papa Carl) in Heaven.  I miss her terribly but I like to tell A and C stories about her to keep her memory alive for them.  She died when they were only 18 months old, so they won’t have any memories of their own but I hope that stories and pictures will help them “remember” their Nana like I do.

A few days ago, A and C were talking on their phones and I asked who was on the phone.  “We called Nana in Heaven.  She’s having a great day!”  They proceeded to ask her what she was doing, then answer their own questions like 4 year olds do.  On this day, Nana was playing games, mostly Candyland, and some cards (probably quite accurate!)  Then she played outside and had some hot chocolate with marshmallows.  Sounds like a pretty good day to me too! 

At the time, I just smiled as the girls continued playing but as I write this I realize how much that moment meant to me.  To know that A and C, on their own and out of the blue, wanted to call Nana in Heaven means they have taken the stories and pictures to heart and will remember her in their own way! 

We love you and miss you Nana!

2 thoughts on “Taking Time to Laugh and Cry with the Angel on the Other Line

  1. Abby Butts says:

    Sending hugs to you and your family! It sounds like you have a pretty fantastic angel watching over you!

    1. Java & Sole says:

      thank you so much sweet friend! there’s no question, Nana’s are the best!! <3

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