A beautiful life

Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go. ~ Jamie Anderson

A beautiful life was extinguished today.

And while I know she’s in heaven, lending her voice to the angels and singing the praises of God, it’s still a little hard for us on Earth to stomach.

Bluntly, it sucks. It really sucks.
Doing mom's hair at my wedding.

I don’t remember the first time I met Nannette. I was very young. I don’t remember her not being there, honestly. As my friend Krista said, she’s just “been a constant” figure in our lives. Like a member of our family.

Some people don’t really understand the relationship when I say that Nannette did my hair. She was my family’s beautician. But she was more than that.

For most of my life, she has been the woman who cut my hair. She’s walked alongside me through puberty, high school, college, and more. She helped me figure out who I was. And I think it was her comfortable presence — her knowing way, her always always greeting me with a smile no matter what crazy thing I suggested to her — that made that possible. Whether I wanted to chop my hair off or just let it grow. When I wanted to get highlights all those years, and when I kept up my blue hair for a while, Nannette helped me do it, judgement-free. And she even gave me a few necessary pushes, at times.

She would give me that knowing look, that maybe suggested she thought it was a little crazy, but she knew I needed a change. And she always taught me the healthy way to make that change for my hair.

But we didn’t just talk hair. She’s also been the woman I’ve shared my life’s details with. Nannette knew about my family, my friends, my life. She learned about my Jim, before we wed, and she made the trip to Tennessee, just to be a part of our special day.

She also "did" my dad's hair that day.
I’m slightly ashamed to say, I didn’t know as much about her life. She shared about her love interests from time-to-time. She shared, proudly, about her niece and nephew, who she loved as if they were her own children.

Nannette never had any kids of her own. But if she had, she would have been a wonderful mother, I’ve no doubts of that.

I guess she saw each of us youngsters as her kids. There’s a group of us that she called her “girls.” Some of us are married, and we were blessed to have her be a part of each of our days.

She was pretty funny, too.

And oh my word. She had a beautiful voice. She didn’t like the attention, but she loved to sing. I said she’s singing with the angels, but if you didn’t know any better when you heard her sing, you’d have sworn she was one already.
Nannette, doing my hair at my wedding. It was early, but she
was focused. 

Maybe she was, in a way. She certainly was a special soul. A beautiful soul. A beautiful person. An irreplaceable person.

And she loved God deeply. That I know without doubt — she knew God deeply.

If, by chance, you’re reading this ‘Nette, know that we love you. We miss you, but we’re happy you’re now pain-free. I know the last few years have been exceptionally tough on you and I’m sorry I didn’t stop by more. I love you, beautiful lady.

Share your beautiful voice with the heavenly choir. Save me a spot right next to you.


  1. Such a sweet story about my wonderful cousin Nanette....
    She will be truly missed...

    1. I'm so sorry I missed your comment before! I really loved Nanette and miss her terribly. I'm honored I got to be part of her life and to be able to have called her friend.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The night of uncooked rice

When a door closes

Facing my future