Born in 1928 in Nebraska, the dairy farm where her mother birthed her could not contain the spirited girl that dwelled within. At the tender age of 15, she migrated North, to Chicago to start a new life. She was a trail blazer; marrying a black man before it was right, proper, or acceptable. She birthed a tribe of fierce women and men of many different colors and ethnicities she was infinitely more complicated than her simple and humble beginnings. She weathered losing a son only seven years old and less than a decade after that, while still in her 30's she became a widow; her husband leaving six living children to her care. But she lived life and life abundant. As a girl she gave herself to Christ and remained steadfast in her faith her entire life. She remarried in her 60's and got her diver's license some time later. She did not wilt at challenges that came her way. She saw a multitude of grandchildren grow before her eyes and in her 80's tended to her great grandson, my oldest son, full time as I worked. One of my most beloved memories was seeing her run after Joshua down the block laughing and smiling. She had so many that loved her and she drew life from all the you people's lives she loved in turn.
She could be ornery and cantankerous, sharp tongued and witty as hell. She always had a zinger up her sleeve. But just as stubborn as she was , she loved just as deep and hard and you KNEW her if you knew her ok sign, thumb and pointer flattening out the 'o', wink and a mouth click. I'm so glad I got to know her; sit at her feet; listen to her stories. I'm so glad she knew my name, knew my boys names and maybe even loved my husband a little more than me. I was ok with that. That was enough.
You life epitomized Psalm 91:14-16
""If you'll hold on to me for dear life," says God, "I'll get you of of any trouble. I'll give you the best care if you'll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I'll answer, be at your side in bad times; I'll rescue you the throw you a party. I'll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation.""
And she did hold on to Him for dear life. And He did get her out of trouble. And she did get to know and trust Him. And he did give her the best care. And she called. And he answered right by her side in bad times. And he rescued her time and time again. And He threw her beautiful parties (some of which we didn't get to see) And oh how He satisfied her here on earth with long life and how her new eternal life continues in places unseen. And oh how sweet the taste of salvation must be to her lips.
Nonny Donna, you left a void today. We all understood you lived your 91 years and chose when enough was enough. But there's still a sting in my heart knowing I will never see you or hear your voice. So until next we meet. Thank you for the memories. I love you. We all loved you.