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Unexpected

My family had been planning the event for months, and this weekend, we kicked it off!  My dad's birthday is tomorrow, and we threw him a surprise party this past Saturday.  Better yet, we had out-of-town family come in (my awesome aunt and uncle came up from Alabama) and both of my sisters came up from North Carolina.  It went so well, and best of all:  Daddy was surprised! 

Dad and girls!
Me, Dad, Sarah, and Mimi

My aunt and uncle arrived Friday afternoon, and gave my dad the biggest surprise of all.  Sarah and her best friend from college, Jami, came up on Friday night before the party, and Mimi and her husband Daniel arrived early Saturday morning.  The party itself was the last of the surprises… we got a big cake, invited many friends, and had a great time. 

While the surprise birthday party went off spectacularly, we could not ignore that my dear sweet grandmother, Eileen, was declining rapidly in her nursing home just down the road.  My sisters and I visited our Nana before and after the party, and it became evident that her time on this earth is coming to a quick close.  She continued her decline today, and we just hope and pray that her remaining time is peaceful and pain-free.  She is just a month shy of 90 years old, and although she is much smaller and more frail, she is so beautiful inside and out.  Her mind left us years ago, unfortunately, but her sweet spirit remains, and she always greeted with a smile and perhaps a glint of recognition in her eye.

My beautiful Nana My beautiful Nana Eileen, seen here on Thanksgiving day 2004. She has that special smile and spark in her eye! She is a wonderful grandmother, and a kind and generous lady. I love you so much Nana, and I thank you for for everything that you have given to me.  I wish you peace.  xoxo

Knowing that my Nana's time is near, I am reminded of the importance of sharing your love and feelings with those around you… we just can't do it enough. 

Update 9.12.06: Nana passed away this morning just before 8am.  She is finally at peace.

117 Responses

  1. linda

    I am sending my sympathies to you. I lost my grandmother in April. She was my last grandparent. A whole generation lost to this family. Remember the good times and love.

  2. Kim

    My thoughts are with you and your family. May your Nana rest in peace.

    I lost my grandfather in March(just 4 months shy of his 100th birthday).

  3. Sarah

    So sorry about your Nana. I’m glad that you (and your sisters) got to spend some time with her, and that you have many fond memories to treasure.
    I’m glad the party went off well, though. Congrats on keeping the suprise!

  4. Debby

    I’m so sorry to read of the loss of your grandmother. She sounds like she was a very special lady to you and your family, and I know you will miss her a lot. There is a day that will come when you will smile more readily than you cry, when you think of her — I didn’t think so when I lost my grandfather, but it is true — the memories become all the sweeter.

    Happy belated birthday to your father. I know he enjoyed having all his girls together to celebrate with him.

  5. Miss Dottie

    Oh honey, I’m so sorry that your grandmother died, but I’m very thankful that you took the time to see her and I hope in a way make a bit of peace with the whole experience. What a blessing.

  6. margene

    What a sweet reflection of your Nana. She has found peace and may you find it also.

  7. Stephanie

    Oh Lolly. I’m so sorry about your grandmother. It sounds like you have a lot of really wonderful, happy memories of her. I’m glad you’re dad’s party was wonderful – those surprises are hard to pull off.

  8. Deb

    What a wonderful weekend. You all were there to celebrate for your dad and say your goodbyes. That is so important for all. I hope your week goes well.

  9. Miss Lissa

    Your grandma looks like such a sweet lady. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  10. Dave Daniels

    Lolly, my sincerest condolences to you and your family.
    {{hugs}}

  11. Amanda Cathleen

    Sounds like you girls threw a great party for you Dad!
    I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your Nana, She has quite the sparkle in her eye

  12. christine

    What a happy, yet sad post. Your thoughts on the death of your beloved Nana were well-expressed. (((((hugs))))))

  13. Suzanne

    Lolly, I’m so sorry for your loss, but it is so wonderful that you were able to spend so much time with her as she neared the end. You and your family will be in my prayers.

  14. mama-e

    so sorry lauren. I am here for you. My condolances to your family and much love to you.

  15. Irish Clover

    Lolly,

    I am sorry to hear about your loss. I’ll keep your family and your Nana in our thoughts and prayers. Beautiful post, and happy birthday to your dad.

  16. alice

    I’m sorry to hear about your post, I’m glad you’ve taken the time to think such lovely thoughts about your family. I’m glad she passed away peacefully and my love and thoughts are with you and your family.

  17. ashley

    Oh Lolly – I’m so sorry for your loss.

  18. Marisol

    Hi Lolly,

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss–the good thing is that she seems to have lived a full life surrounded by a wonderful family that loves her.

  19. Cathi

    Lolly, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your Nana, although I’m very glad that you and your sisters were able to be with her just before her passing. My thoughts are with you all.

  20. Sydney

    My condolences on your loss. Your Nana sounds like a wonderful woman. I love her smiling, sparkling eyes in that picture. Take care!

  21. Jami Howard

    my thoughts and prayers are with you and your whole family. i love you all so much. i’m glad you guys got to spend some time with her this weekend. the party was great…i’m thinking about you guys.

    love you, jami.

  22. Zardra

    My sympathies to you and your family.

  23. lisa Co.  Springs

    I’m sorry for your loss, Lolly. Hugs to you and your family.

  24. Jessica

    So sorry to hear about your grandmother. Many hugs and good thoughts for healing coming your way.

  25. Cheryl

    I’m so sorry to hear of your gramma’s passing. She will be part of your heart for always. I was lucky enough to have my gramma until I was 39 years old (She was 94). Blessings to you and your familyat this difficult time.

  26. Karen

    Lolly, I am so sorry for the loss of your Nana but glad that she is now at peace. My best to all of your family.

  27. Nonnahs

    Oh, Lolly. I’m so sorry to her about your Nana. I’m glad you were able to spend time with your family over the weekend. My thoughts are with you. Take care.

  28. Erin

    Lolly,
    I’m so sorry to hear about your Nana. I’m glad you got a chance to visit with her. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  29. Elinor

    Three cheers for family.

  30. Moni

    Lolly, I am so sorry to hear about your Nana. I am sending my thoughts and prayers your way for you and your family.

  31. Shelley

    Very sorry to hear of your loss.

  32. Theresa

    I am sorry about your grandmother, Lolly. But how nice that you and your sisters were able to spend some time with her this weekend. It is almost as if she was at peace and able to “let go” after your visits.

    You have such nice memories of her.

  33. HibiscuitsGirl

    Your post so perfectly shows us that life is good times and bad times, sometimes all at once. I wish your father many more happy birthdays, and offer my condolences on the loss of your grandmother. We all adore you, Lolly! Hang in there.

  34. Deborah

    Like my grandma, she’ll now be with you forever…

  35. carrie m

    Lolly, I’m so sorry about your nana, but I’m glad that you were able to be with her and say goodbye. And you are so, so right about the importance of telling people how important they are to you while they’re around to appreciate it. My grandfather is 97, and what I find so wonderful about our relationship is that, every time we say goodbye, we know it might be the last time. There’s nothing unsaid between us. I’m sending you hugs.

  36. Chrissy

    Oh, Lolly, I’m so sorry about your Nana. Even when it’s expected and time for it to happen, it’s still so hard. I still miss my grandma every day, but it made me realize I actually do believe in heaven (because I can’t imagine her anywhere else). Big hugs, sweetie! Glad your dad’s b-day surprise went so well!

  37. Nathania

    Oh, sweetheart, my heart aches for your loss. It’s been 8 years since my nana passed away and I still miss her everyday. Sending lots of love and wishing you and your family comfort.

  38. Sue

    I know how it feels to lose your nana, but you did get to have her for a long long time. I am sure she is at peace and in a nice place. I lost my nana about 10 yrs ago and still miss her. It so hard when it is the last one too, but I have happy memories of her and we still reminisce. Maybe you can make a memory album of her so when you have kids you can show them who she was. I keep meaning to make one of my nana, but I just wished I had taken more photos of her. One day I will do it. Glad that your dad’s party went so well too.

  39. Kate

    Lolly, I’m so sorry to hear about your Nana. Sending good thoughts to you and your family.

  40. Elemmaciltur

    Sorry to hear about your Nana…..but the best thing is that she left in peace and definitely knowing that her family loves her very much.

    All the best for you and your family. *hugz*

  41. maryse

    awww i’m sorry about your sweet nana. but you know you and your sisters are lucky to have gotten to spend as many years with her as you did. and how great that you all got to say goodbye.

    peace to your nana.

  42. Mom

    Thanks. Lol. for your sweet blog about our little Nana. She was a precious soul who loved us all with every fiber of her being. XXOO

  43. Susan

    Lauren, my condolences. Your nana must have been one very special lady — look at what a wonderful family she raised!

  44. Amber

    What a long life your Nana lived! May she rest in peace.

  45. elizabeth

    I’m very sorry about your grandmother. She must know that she was very loved and will be missed. ::hugs!::

  46. Peggy

    I’m sorry about your grandmother. At least she is now in peace.
    On another note, I haven’t commented much on your blog lately but you look really great!!

  47. Tammany

    I’m so sorry about your grandmother. I am glad you got to spend some time with her over the weekend.
    My thoughts are with you and your family.

  48. Wanda

    Oh, I’m so sorry about your grandmother. She sounds like a treasured family member. I’m glad that she has moved on to be at peace. Much love to you all.

  49. andrea

    what a sweet-looking grandma – and i’m sure she was just tickled pink over having such a great granddaughter. a big hug sent your way from los angeles, lolly ~ ~

  50. Julia

    Oh! Sorry to hear about your Gram, not a day goes by I don’t remember mine. You’re right, she is at peace.

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