There are some very special people in my life who I love with my whole soul. One such person is my beloved Nana, Lois Jordan. Today, she turns 77 years young, and I want to express my appreciation and love for her today.
When I was growing up, one of my very favorite places to go was “Nana’s House.” There was just something magical about that place. There was the front yard that we loved to run around in. There was the attic, where I would find old clothes and collect them for costumes. There was the music room where Granddad taught us piano lessons. We often enjoyed the treats from the massive cookie jar in the room. There was the great room, so beautifully decorated, especially at Christmastime – Nana would have angels all around, and the most beautifully-decorated Christmas tree you ever did see. There was the dining room, where Nana would lay out the best silverware, tablecloths, and glasses for special occasions. My favorite room, though, was probably the kitchen. Nana almost always had cookies in the cookie jar, or Peppermint Patties stashed in one of the cupboards. She would make the best toast in the world for us whenever we wanted. Nana is one of the best cooks and bakers I have ever met. We were always spoiled each Thanksgiving and Christmas with the enormous amount of food she would make. For Christmas, she would make so many cookies and other treats that we didn’t even really need dinner (but we still ate it happily). I loved that house with all of my heart. Just sitting on the porch or back deck, looking at the trees, would bring me peace. Why? Because two people I loved dearly lived there and brought a beautiful spirit to it.
Because of my Nana, I found a great love for singing. Have you ever heard her sing? She says that her voice isn’t what it used to be, but every time I hear her sing next to me in church, my mind goes back to my childhood and how much I loved to hear her sing. She was the chorister in our ward (congregation) all during my childhood and adolescence, with Granddad at the organ. What a pair they were.
You will never meet anyone more generous than Nana. She would give you the shirt off her back. I can’t tell you how many times I would admire something of hers, and she would immediately offer it to me. She loves beautiful jewelry, clothes, shoes, and decorations, but the love she has for her family is so much stronger. When I was a little girl, I remember more than once Nana taking me into her large closet, and pulling out a special gift just for me. I always felt so special whenever my Nana would give me something, even if it was something very old she thought I would enjoy.
I have always thought my Nana was one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. She doesn’t see that, but I truly have always thought that. From her fluffy hair to her lovely nails to her pink cheeks to her stylish shoes, she was and is beautiful. What makes her even more beautiful is her smile and her jolly laugh , complete with her tongue on her upper lip.
She is also so dainty. I love her sneeze. She usually sneezes three times in the row in a little high pitched tone, and then says “Excuse me” sweetly. She always has handkerchiefs with her. I have a couple hankies of hers, and I will always keep them.
Nana always has gum and red cream to keep hands soft. I remember growing up when would take my hand very gently in hers and rub the red cream onto my hands. It was so tender, and my hands were always so soft afterwards.
Nana is very smart and well-traveled. I love hearing her tell about her experiences, specifically to Egypt, Israel, and Jordan. I think that is why she has such a special connection with Jad. She liked him from the very beginning.
She also has a great knowledge of the scriptures. Speaking of her scriptures, she carries dried flowers in them as well as pictures of her loved ones, and even special papers, such as a poem I wrote for her when I was young. It means so much to me that she has kept it all these years.
My Nana and I share so many memories, and we also share a tradition. When we say goodbye to each other, we alternate saying the words to a song called “A Bushel and a Peck.” Ever since I was a little girl, Nana has smiled at me and playfully said, “I love you a bushel and a peck.” Then I will say, “And a hug around the neck.” Then she will say, “A Barrel in a heap.” Then it is my turn with, “Talkin’ in my sleep.” To end, we both say, “About you!” and hug each other.
This tradition means so much to me. Perhaps I didn’t realize how much until my baby shower in November 2016. I wasn’t expecting a gift from her because she had already given me one, but there it was. I opened it, and burst into tears. It was a large wall-hanging that said, ” I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.” At the bottom were pictures with her and me in them when I was little and then a picture of my baby girl with my mother. It was, by far, the most sentimental gift I received at my shower, or perhaps ever.
I have always considered my Nana one of my best friends. I feel safe with her, and happy. I love spending time with her. We get together most Wednesdays at her apartment to chat and maybe watch some TV. I love watching old movies, and when I was a teenager she turned me on to them. She loves movies, and there are so many amazing ones from long ago still worth watching.
She is a wonderful Nana to me and my siblings, and a wonderful Big Nana to her great grandchildren – my children. Casey, Rigel, Kamren and Eve are so blessed to have their Big Nana near them. She loves them so much. As she sits next to them, or reads them books, or gives them little treats, I am reminded of my childhood and how much I enjoyed my Nana.
She is a passionate and opinionated woman, and always speaks her mind. She will tell you exactly what she thinks. But, even in those rare instances where I don’t agree or relate to everything she is saying, I can still hold onto the image and memories of the woman who has filled my life with indescribable joy.
We spoiled her yesterday by making her a lovely meal and ice cream cake, and giving her gifts. She was so excited about the cute things from the boys, and her camel pin. She loves camels, maybe even more than Jad does.
Nana, I love you. You are one of the most extraordinary people I know. You have been through so much in your life, and are stronger than you realize. You are more loved and respected then you will probably ever know. We are so blessed to have you in our lives. There is so much more I could say about you if I had more time to ponder and write. Granddad called you his queen. That is one of my favorite memories of him, for it showed his true love and devotion to you. Never forget how much you are loved.
Happy birthday, Nana!