Requiem: Remembering With A Smile

To celebrate the life of those who have died honors them.

When we take the messages they have left behind, and apply them to our lives, they live on.

The first time I met "GGNell",

Anastasia O'Donnell,

was at a meet 'n greet to celebrate the engagement of my then, soon-to-be husband and I;

a way for me to be introduced to his side of the family all at once.  

"Nell" was his grandmother and an old, spunky firecracker.
She had fallen, some years before, hit her head and never been quite the same;
her short-term memory very short in its remembrance,
and her eye-sight very poor, to the point of being almost fully blind.
That being said, her long-term memory was present and upon our first meeting this is what she said:
"You know, I would have killed my husband if he wasn't so funny!"

I laughed and she said to those seated with her, "Oh, I like her."
And, thus, I was welcomed into the family with GGNell's stamp of approval.

The truth I learned from Nell is this: No marriage is perfect.
There are some marriages that are especially blessed with the "two peas in a pod" phenomenon:
A marriage of immense ease, due to being friends that have much more in common than differences;
however, I dare say, for the majority of people, marriage is work
and hence the reason it needs a commitment, made before, between and with God, to last.  

Many of us may have had thoughts of a life being made better without our "other half" present;
however, whether it be the fact that he/she never fails to make you laugh,
or another redeeming quality that's always present,
those thoughts of desiring the others demise are fleeting and typically don't last;
thanking God for that!

God is love and it's His love that is meant to radiate through each of us, out and onto others.
GGNell radiated with love.

Another lesson:
Though our bodies may age laughter remains the best medicine to cure all that ails us (Proverbs 17:22).
To be young of heart, to have fun and make jest of yourself and the life you've lived;
to smile rather than live with regrets and, to embrace your present moments;
a life of lines, created through a life-time of smiles,

are the best creases, upon your face, that one could hope to have.

I was last able to visit with Nell in 2013 and it was these words of practicality she left with me:
"You should always have two pairs of shoes, a white pair and a black pair.
And, if you can afford it, you should buy a pair in red;

red shoes are made for dancing!"

GGNell passed away, at the age of 95, on June 27th, 2015.
In honor of her, my kids and me will be wearing red tomorrow, the day of her funeral,
paying homage to her and a life well lived;
remembering with a smile. 

I was blessed to know Nell for 8 years while my husband had her in his life for 50; 

to my husband's mother, sisters, and extended family,
I am sure you have a multitude of life lessons GGNell gifted you with,
it would be a blessing if you would choose to share those here;
may we all treasure her words, and the meaning behind them, putting them into action,
honoring her by living our lives well, just as she did.

May we not be over-come by sadness but be over-whelmed by gladness;
in heaven there is no more sadness, no more tears and no more pain (Revelation 21:4);
rest assured, Nell is once again dancing with her red shoes on.



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