God is good in that He allowed her to let go while holding the hands of those who loved her so much.
She is at peace.
Throughout my vigils while she was in the hospital or in hospice care, I would pray with her. I'd say, "Nanny, offer up everything as Purgatory on earth. This way, when you see Jesus come for you, you can fly right to Him. You fly RIGHT TO HIM."
She opened her eyes at one point and I knew that she understood. As the priest said today at her funeral, Nanny's path to Heaven was well-worn with prayer. She knew Jesus and no doubt offered up her last moments in union with Him. I really believe she went straight to Heaven as a result.
The funeral was held at St. Edmond's again - just like Uncle Billy's. Nanny, too, was lucky to have her final Mass said in such a beautiful church.
I was asked to do the 2nd Reading and General Intercessions. You folks know I don't like going into the sanctuary for any reason (so I gave up duties as a lector), but I didn't want to turn down my mother-in-law when she asked. I willingly offered myself for any and all roles they wanted me to handle. One less thing on their plate to worry about...
The reading was fine. The funeral intercessions always give me a tough time because they focus heavily on the grieving family. I had to read them at my own Grandmom's funeral, and I remember faltering over words because I was trying to contain my tears. Today, I fought the same battle, especially when I read the intercession to pray for those who passed before Nanny and who welcomed her into Heaven.
I thought of Myla, and I knew Nanny had gotten to meet her.
As I made my way back to my seat, I asked Nanny to hold her and kiss her for me. Nanny responded by sending me a tiny white carnation at Communion.
After I received the Eucharist, I turned to walk back to my seat when I saw this small white flower on the sanctuary floor. I knew it was mine. It was as if I recognized my wallet or saw my purse hanging off the back of a chair. Instantly I stooped down - without thinking - to pick up my flower.
As soon as I held it, I realized it was from Nanny. I believe it was her way of letting me know she'd heard my prayer. She sent me my favorite flower - a carnation - in pure white, a sign of innocence. And given how tiny it was, I knew it was for Myla.
I must've thanked God for this favor a million times. I was so appreciative of this gesture of love.
I was holding John's hand, so I slipped the tiny bud between our intertwined fingers. This is what it looked like:
God is so good to us, and for no other reason than love.
Rest in peace, Nanny. We love you.