I knew her as my Nana. She was honest, practical, confident, and so sassy. She helped build some of my most vivid sensory memories from my childhood. From the smell of a rotisserie chicken cooking in the smoldering breezeway of her Georgia farmhouse as we came in from playing in the shade of her fig tree, to the feel of the tip of a Hershey's kiss on the head of her chocolate cherry Christmas mice nestled in a tin brimming with a rainbow of holiday cookies and bars. I remember cuddling with her on frigid Christmas mornings, waiting for the house to awaken. One winter, here in Wisconsin, we discussed making an ice rink in our yard. I remember she said, of course we could make one, then as we played, I watched as she walked around the big apple tree with a hose, and by the end of the week, we had ourselves a magical rink. Now, each winter for Rowan's last 8, we make a rink in our yard here in Madison and I always think of her, shuffling around the rink with a garden hose and laughing. When I make her black-eyed peas and collard greens at New Years, walk in the Arboretum under the magnolias in the spring, pick a fat warm tomato from my garden in the summer, decide to rip apart my couch to refinish it in the fall, or settle down for a game of cards in the winter, she will always be with me. She wrote in her senior year book that her ambition was to make one person happy. She has succeeded many fold with this wish, and I feel so lucky to have been one of them.
I will love you always,