Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Tribute to 80 Years: Nana Going Strong

What’s the sexiest animal on the farm?


Nana was confused about what we were saying. We said it slowly. Then she repeated it, enunciating every word perfectly. “Brown. Chicken. Brown. Cow?”

“It’s like when you see a cute boy, you say ‘bow-chika-bow-wow’.” I tried explaining the sort of onomatopoeia that goes off in your head when you see something really stunning.


“You say bow-chika-bow-wow, only say it fast.”

She tried it.

“Now say brown-chicken-brown-cow the same way, really fast. GO!”

Again with the perfect enunciation. “Brown. Chicken. Brown. Cow.”

Corrie was rolling on the sofa and I was barely holding it in as I attempted to give my grandmother lessons in coolness. The best part was that at a few weeks short of being 80-years-old, Nana was actually putting in sufficient effort.


I come from a line of strong women. 

Grammie, who is waiting for me in everlasting life after fifteen years of on-and-off cancer.

My mom, who is everything I want to be when I grow up. She’s an amazing mother, an incredible wife, and the best-looking grandmother I’ve ever seen. Bow-chicka-bow-wow.

Then there is Nana, my mom’s mom. She was widowed at a young age and raised her two daughters alone. Those two daughters produced twelve grandchildren. Nana is the perfect testimony of the Lord giving, the Lord taking, and the Lord giving some more.

Come to think of it, if there is one word that could embody Nana (besides hilarious) it would be generous. Nana is a giver. She’s Santa Claus at Christmas, a free lunch when you haven’t seen each other in a while, and an unexpected gift when you’re paying for school. She shares what God has given her with not only her family but with everyone she knows.

When I think of Nana, it gives me courage. One woman can have two daughters, raise those daughters, and then those daughters follow Jesus. After that, those two daughters can have twelve children between them, and when those children grow up, they follow Jesus. When you witness this, any doubt that miracles still happen dissipates from you mind.

Every grandchild has a special, individual relationship with Nana. My relationship with her consisted of her introducing me to theater when I was younger. She took me to so many plays, amateur and Broadway. She even got me a scholarship to a summer acting camp.

She was always supportive of my dreams, my education, and anything else I wanted to do. But she wasn’t one to simply say she was supportive and do nothing. She always followed her support up with action and that made so much of a difference. Only God knows how she was able to love all of her grandchildren the same way without having favorites.

In life, you’ll always have tight spots and rough patches. During these events, God often provides a place for you to go with no questions asked. Nana has been that place for her grandchildren.

So, it’s no question that on her 80th birthday, that Nana is going to get a tribute.

Here’s to 80 years, Nana. I love you.


  1. Thank you Katherine. That's quite a tribute. You forgot the times I hollered at all of you.

  2. Katherine, I really loved reading this! Nana is such a treasure, and we are grateful to have had the opportunity to share in some of the wonder.

  3. We're so thankful for your Nana too, Katherine!! She's Nana to more of us than she even knows... And that's the beauty of it!