On Sunday, September 13th, I went to my Mom and Gary’s house to visit my Nana. She moved into my parents house over the 4th of July weekend. Her health was declining and she was living in a nursing home where she was unable to receive visitors because of Covid. It made her very lonely. Moving in with my parents gave family members the opportunity to spend time with her, good, quality time.
While I was there she was in and out of sleep. She was still talking but it took a lot of her energy. We all knew she was in the final stages of life. At the most, maybe a week or so.
Nana is a very spiritual lady. She loves Jesus and the idea of going to Heaven. For 20 years, she’s told us her life stories and given us memorabilia to cherish for when she “kicks the bucket.” To be honest, there were times that it got very annoying. Nobody wants to talk about someone they love dying. But, it didn’t stop her.
I realized after Aria passed that she talks about death because its something she looks forward to. Not something she feared, at all. She looked forward to eternal life, like we on earth look forward to our birthday’s, graduation’s, anniversary’s. She didn’t waiver. She was as certain about going to Heaven as Thanksgiving is on a Thursday. She was ready for God whenever he was ready to take her home. That kind of faith is rare.
I sat on the couch and she sat in her chair. Her eyes were closed, I asked her,
“Nana, when you get to Heaven, what do you think Aria will be wearing?”
Her eyes opened immediately and she said in a confident voice,
” A Butterfly Dress”
I said, ” You are probably absolutely right”
Aria and my Nana have always had a special connection. As I told you all in Blog ” Happy Birthday Baby,” my Nana was the one to drive me to the hospital when I was in labor. I laid in the back of her car and she counted down every 3 minutes to my contractions. She held my hand and assured me everything was going to be ok, and it was.
What I haven’t told you was the night before we left the hospital and had not named Aria yet, she called the hospital, ( with her thick MN accent)
” Britt’s, does the baby have a name yet?”
” No, Nan’s not yet. We’re stuck.”
“Well, here, I stopped at Target and picked up a baby name book on my way home from work. You like “A” names right?”
“I do, but at this point we’re taking any suggestions.”
“Ohhhh Ok, well let me see here? How about A-RIA?
I busted out laughing because she pronounced it so that it rhymed with Diarrhea.
“You mean Aria? A-R-I-A, yea, its pronounced Aria. That’s on our list”
“Well that’s beautiful Aria Joy. That’s a beautiful name.”
I hung up the phone and later that evening, Aria picked her own name. I told you all that story, but my Grandma was drawn to the name immediately. Before she even knew it was a possibility.
Joy was always going to be the babies middle name. It was a growing tradition that the first born daughter, would have the middle name, Joy. Started with my Nana, even though she wasn’t the “first born.” Jacqueline Joy, Virginia Joy, Brittani Joy, and Aria Joy.
My Nana is the matriarch of the Adams family( My moms maiden name). She helped raise her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was fierce, smart, independent, loving, openminded, sassy, and funny as hell. She lived a hell of a life. She accomplished so many incredible things. I wrote a paper about her when I was in college. I am surrounded by, and was raised with strong and supportive women because of her. I hope to be as fearless as she is one day.
On Monday, I started to not feel well. I had a fever and I NEVER get a fever. My cousins and family were coming and visiting my Nana. I thought it was best if I stayed away, considering I didn’t know what was going on with me. I slept all day Tuesday, other than going to the Doctor quick. By Tuesday night, she could no longer talk. I was so angry I couldn’t be there with her.
Wednesday morning I woke up and I facetimed my mom. I asked her to let me see Nana. She laid there as I sang to her and talked to her. I told her how much I love her and I asked her to give Buggy a huge hug and kiss for me.
Jacqueline Joy Adams passed away on Wednesday, just like Aria, in Aria’s room, where Aria passed as well.
Thank God I stayed away, Thursday morning, I got a call from my doctor that my Covid test came back positive. I have a very mild case.
“Oh Aria Joy Joy, you are Nana’s dolly girl. Oh Aria Joy Joy, you are Nana’s dolly girl. Yes you are. Yes you are. Oh Aria Joy Joy”
Lord, Thank you for all the JOY in my life!