They say the best gifts come in small packages.
Such was my Nanny.
A picture of a gangly teenager, arm outstretched,
Shows Nanny standing under it, smiling up at me.
_Yet her soul was so much larger than mine.
_When we were kids, my brother and I would spend weekends in her tiny house._ _Nanny worked magic there._ _Bitter coffee was made sweet with liberal doses of her milk and sugar._ _Thread-less spools, dipped in dish soap, became backyard bubble blowers._ _Empty bread bags, wet paper towels knotted inside, turned into comets _ _As tails were twirled and thrown upward into the sky._ _Yet her magic could not keep a grandson_ _From feigning illness, to avoid going to the church she loved;_ _Revealing a true sickness of heart. _ ~~~~~~~~~~<!--more--> _For many years she a widow was._ _But Nanny, also once an orphan, never turned inward._ _Grandsons were dutifully sent to visit Dolly, her neighbor dwarf friend, _ _Whose chocolate bars could not overcome childish fears of her snipping, toothless Chihuahua._ _Betty, a widow also, always at the bountiful table during holidays, as were others;_ _Nanny making sure no one was lonely at festive times._ _Her eccentric sister, Libby, with funny wigs and long, fake fingernails,_ _Always welcomed from her wanderings, no matter the strain on her hostess._ _Though never expressed, inwardly I resented these intrusions,_ _Never seeing their reflection of my own little mind, lonely heart, and lying ways._ _ _~~~~~~~~~~ _Away from home and restraint, life became wild – too wild - for me at college._ _Yet Nanny never stopped loving me._ _Her handwritten letters bearing testimony to Jesus,_ _Ending with the puzzling phrase, “My grace is sufficient for thee,”_ _Next to the apology, “Excuse my chicken scratch.” _ _My mind had no problem reading the words._ _But it was too dark with worldly longings to comprehend them._ _~~~~~~~~~~ _ _Yet in the midst of it all, Jesus came to me!_ _Nanny’s prayers called Him to my rescue!_ _Those last visits before she went to be with Him,_ _Oh, more magical than ever,_ _Sweeter than her Christmas pies._ _For at her table sat not only lonely widow and strange sister,_ _But undeserving grandson,_ _With grace experienced,_ _ Sufficient and abounding._