Christmas time, if ever, is the time I miss having my whole family together still. Mostly though, I miss my Nana. I miss her a lot but Christmas is the worst because Christmas was her thing. Every Christmas, her house magically turned into gingerbread wonderland and we went to her house on Christmas Eve which I looked forward to almost as much as I looked forward to Santa coming.
But now, she's celebrating Christmas in heaven with Jesus himself. I know she has better Christmases than I could ever imagine but it doesn't make me miss her any less.
Last night, as I was cutting out Christmas cookies with my mom, she mentioned something about missing Nana and it got me thinking about my favorite memories of her. If you've lost someone you love and it's been awhile since they've passed, you might know that no matter how much you don't want it to happen, you can start to forget the way they smelled or the sound of their voice or even the little details of the way they looked. And I hate that fact. So often times, I try as hard as I can to rack my brain for memories of Nana.
As I was thinking, I remembered one of my favorite memories of all & it went a little something like this ....
I had the biggest imagination a kid could ever have. I still have a pretty big imagination, actually. And I always wanted to play pretend house or pretend babies or pretend store ... pretend anything that a grown-up might do made me really happy. Since I was the only child living in my house for most of my childhood, my mom usually played with me or when I was at Nan's, she did. And my favorite thing to play at Nan's was pet store.
Nan had a big, white rod-iron bed in her spare bedroom when I was growing up. It always had a navy blue or burgundy blanket on top of it & was always perfectly made. The room had wood floors and antique furniture and always smelled like moth balls.
It seemed like every time I went to Nan's, I asked to play pet store. And because she was amazing, Nan would always happily oblige. She'd say, "you go in there and get ready, and I'll be there in a second". So I'd crawl under the bed on all fours and start barking (sometimes howling, depending on how long it took her to come play) Eventually, she'd come in saying, "where is that puppy?", "I need to find a puppy", and then eventually I would crawl out and we'd have the happiest of reunions before she grabbed the pretend leash and took me home to her pretend house which was actually just the kitchen.
Nana was never too busy to play with me. She never thought I was too dumb for wanting to play pretend pet store. She always made everything so much fun even if it was "selling" hotel sized shampoos in my store or being the puppy in the pet store.
I was so lucky to have Nana for such a long time but if I had one Christmas wish, I would bring her back for just awhile longer or maybe save her visit for her to play pet store with my future babies.