One of us, my sweet cousin Maddie, also calls her Poppy.
This is my Nannie. My father's mother.
She is exactly what you'd imagine when someone says, "a sweet, Southern grandmother." She grows her own garden. She cans her own vegetables. She makes the best jams and jellies (not to mention homemade biscuits...my cousin, Brittany, and I once downed two full batches in about two hours). She cans everything in beautiful, little mason jars. And her friend-green tomatoes will make you want to slap your Mama.
She makes quilts. She decorates in my favorite style (i.e. cozy). She talks about her mom and dad (whom we call Mother and Papaw and whom I also had the privilege of knowing until their passing when I was about fourteen) and tells stories about her childhood and the generations of our family that came before her.
My Nannie is all these things and so much more.
She is tender-hearted and sensitive. She likes to talk and laugh. She calls me on her cell phone just to say hello and remembers the little details in my life. She loves my husband and one day I know she'll spoil my children rotten (I can't wait for that day!).
Nannie is the kind of woman who will serve until it hurts and then serve some more. She loves wholeheartedly and feels everything as deeply as I do. She would lay down her life for any one of us without a second thought, and she raised my Daddy to be the kind of man I wanted my husband to emulate growing up.
I've stared at this picture for many hours throughout the years. Nannie has had it displayed in her home for as long as I can remember, and I think she was about eleven or twelve when it was taken. I finally snapped a picture of it with my phone so I could take it with me.
I had a friend tell me last week that I look just like her. That was a good day.
I love you, Nannie. Thanks for always loving me first.