Grandma’s Hands

Edith Belle Workman as a young woman. Long before she became my “Nana”.

August 1st was the fifteen year anniversary of the death of Edith Belle Workman Collins. She was my grandma. She was also my closest friend until she died at age 86, when I had just turned 13. We only saw each other a couple times a year, but we often wrote letters back and forth from the time I could write. I won’t go into detail in this post of the last few months of her life, when she battled dementia. I choose to treasure the good memories. I do treasure the last visit with her (a week before she died) though she was in a coma, after having had a serious stroke. Mother and I were singing one of her favorite hymns, “O how He loves you and me!” We got to the last verse and suddenly a tear streamed down her unconscious face. Doctors often say that the patient can’t hear while in a coma, but I will always believe that her heart heard our prayers and then the voices of her dear ones singing her favorite song. Today, in Nana’s memory I would like to share with you, a poem I wrote just a year or two after her death. I am leaving it untouched, as the 14 or 15-year-old child wrote it.

Nana’s Song

Needing to hear some good advice

Needing to see a gentle face

I miss my Nana tonight

The smile of a happy greeting

The voice and the look of a deepful thought

Yes I miss her as I miss as I hear my Nana’s song!

The song so full of love and beauty.

Together we hung the clothes across the line

Basking in the greatness of the simple moment

In the smells and love of summer sunshine

A ladybug landed upon the woven basket

“Look Nana” the child cried with glee

Oh yes, that is a little wingling.

In the excitement of the moment

The freshly cleaned linen dropped to the ground,

The child expected an angry word

But was held close in the loving arms of Nana

In that special way which makes a child feel like gold.

That night only one was willing to go

To go to her pretty church upon the hill

Arm in arm with Nana I proudly walked.

I hear her voice still as she said

This is my baby, my Libby’s child.

The “Old Rugged Cross” we sang that night

Her voice so strong and sweet

She tells me of her Father’s love

O how I miss her so!

Tonight, I miss the song of Nana

Wanting that heart to listen with care

Tonight I miss the different beauty

Strengthened by the wisdom’s touch

Tonight I hear her singing

Singing with the angels

In our final home up in the sky!

-written by Kathryn E. Jackson

“Nana” with her former husband, John Collins and my mother, Libby.

This is the Nana I remember and grew up with. Taken about 4 years before her death.

Bill Wither wrote this song about his own grandma. It was not received as well as some of his other songs like “Ain’t no Sunshine”, but it remained one of his favorites, because it was about his beloved grandma. Thanks Bill! I am playing it for my Nana tonight! I am not responsible for the contents of this video nor am I trying to make a profit from it. Thanks to those who uploaded the video. If you have any problem with sharing, let me know I will immediately take it down.

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About Armed with Truth

Hello! My name is Kat. I currently teach English as a foreign language in China. I decided to leave my job in law enforcement about six months a go to pursue a career in teaching. I just finished a bachelors degree in criminal justice. I have also finished four semesters at Liberty University in my Masters of Human Services. I am hoping to work with humanitarian work/missions in Asia as soon as I pay off my loans. I also have dreams of being a children's book author, someday.
This entry was posted in Growing Pains, Life, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Grandma’s Hands

  1. Roxanne says:

    That makes me miss my great grandma. My tears are sweet tears of dear memories. Thank you. 15 year olds can be wise beyond their years.

    • Thanks Roxanne. I am sure your great grandma is watching over you! You are very blessed to have had a great grandma in your life. Memories are bittersweet. We miss our loved ones, but we can be thankful they are no longer hurting. I know my Nana was ready to go when she did.

  2. Lovely. Quite touching and personal. Thank you for sharing!

  3. John R. says:

    Thank you for visiting my site and leaving a like. What a beautiful tribute to your grandma! Both of my grandmothers lived within a block of us when I was growing up, so I saw them almost daily. One lived to be 92 and the other lived to be 104.

  4. Sandy says:

    You brought a tear to my eye too. My mom was in a coma the last week of her life and she responded to the last thing I said to her that morning when we left. She passed later that night. Hospice told us hearing was the last thing to go, so know that your Nana heard your sweet song. You were truly blessed to have such a wonderful woman of God in your life.

    • Thanks Sandy. That is good to know. Its sad to see our loved ones go, but I know my grandma was in a lot of pain the last few months of her life. She is at peace and full of joy now, as is your mother! Blessings!

  5. Libby Jackson says:

    Beautiful, Kathryn! You did bring a tear to my eyes, but that is okay. I have read the poem before. You Nana died at 86 on August 1, 1996. She would have been 87 on September 23, 1986. I love you! I like the song, “Grandma’s Hands”. By the way did I ever tell you, you have Nana hands and mannerisms!

    • Thanks mama! I was afraid to post this because I knew it might make you sad, but memories can only be bittersweet when we know she is with the Lord! We may miss her ta times, but we rejoice knowing she is away from the pain and emptiness of this world! I know she is happy!

  6. sdazzle says:

    Thank you for sharing it. The poem was absolutely beautiful. It’s obvious how much you love your grandmother through your eloquent writing.

    • Thanks you so much. I was only 14 or 15 when I wrote it so I was very surprised to hear it called eloquent.

      • sdazzle says:

        I’m a middle school teacher who works with 13-14 year olds. Just because a person is young doesn’t mean they have the ability to write powerfully and eloquently. Young people are more often to take a risk in their writing because they don’t have all the hangups that come with adulthood.

        • Thanks for sharing that perspective! Maybe I need to become more like a child again in my thinking so I can write better. From the time I was ten til I was about 20 I use to write poetry for hours. Now, I rarely get the inspiration. I guess back then my mind was so clear and my faith was so pure, not fettered by the demands of this world.

    • Thank you so much! I was only 14 or 15 when I wrote it so I was surprised to hear it called eloquent.

  7. I did not mean to like my own post (although it is one of my favorites I have written)! It was an accident. Am not vain. Not sure how to fix it. I have only been using wordpress for a month. Am still pretty new to it. Thanks.

    • Since I’ve accidentally done the very same thing, I’d say you’re in very good company!

      • Thanks. I was trying to read “posts I like”. I skimmed over a few I liked before I went on vacation (to a monastery – was interesting experience for a sociologist. Will write about it soon.) and wanted to finish them. I figured it after I had already pressed like on my own work. 🙂

  8. Your post really touched my heart. Thanks for posting it. Also thanks for “liking” one of my posts. May God bless you and use you much in His service.

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