Here’s to you Nana!

Tuesday was a mixed day for us. We bounced between laughter and crying as we buried Amber’s Nana, Gladys Smith, who passed away last Friday after bravely battling cancer. A touch of Shakespearean pathetic fallacy was in the air as the skies seemed unable to decide between rainy or sunny.

For Amber, and the family, Gladys’ final two weeks on earth were rich in reminiscing and jokes. Nana was too funny of a person for them not to be. Nana’s clearest moments came when she prayed and we believe her anticipation and understanding of heaven was growing daily.

For Matthew there was great beauty in Nana’s passing. Matthew was the last person to see Gladys alive and the image of her was remarkable. She was lying in bed. The floor of her bedroom was covered in countless black and white photographs that had captured moments from her younger years. Downstairs the majority of her family was sharing a meal together and the sounds of their talking and laughing was drifting upstairs. Her past and present were all around her.

Death comes without pretense and compels people to confront their most basic convictions. We believe that Gladys’ greatest achievement is her family and the spiritual heritage she made for them and us. We believe that there is something quietly powerful found within the bond of family. We believe, especially in the wake of death, that home is heaven.

Gladys Smith – a daughter to strong Russian parents – a proud prairie girl – a cheerleader for the Pentecostal church – a connoisseur of all things halibut, “red drink” and coffee mugs – a devoted mother – a loving grandmother – a powerhouse of a great grandmother.

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