For me, there will only be one Nanny.
Her warm smile, her encouraging words, her gentle soft touch of her hand, and that ever chuckle she enjoyed sharing when she knew she fooled you, yet again, with her practical jokes.
Nanny. She loved people and loved seeing them become the best they could, as she stood on the sidelines, cheering them on and offering her trademark wink.
Her real name was Evelyn Meier, and she was my mother-in-law. But more importantly, she was a wonderful friend.
We gathered Saturday afternoon at the Royal Glenora Club to share stories and remember what a wonderful person she was.
Last Dec. 18, Nanny passed away at the age of 88.
But she never showed her age and kept an inquisitive curiosity in everything.
Nanny also loved watching The Young and Restless, the afternoon soap opera which my wife also enjoyed. Nanny called Joan after every episode to dissect the storylines and offered her creative ideas of what might be in the next show.
Nanny mentioned to Joan Eric Braeden, the gentleman who played tycoon Victor Newman in the show was coming to the Edmonton’s Women Show in the spring of 2010.
“Would you ever be interested in interviewing Victor?” Nanny asked.
Truthfully, I wasn’t interested. But, the tone of Nanny’s request was crystal clear: she wanted to meet Victor.
I am so very blessed to have the job I have as a columnist. I called the organizers for the event and asked to interview Mr. Braeden.
They gave me an hour. And, of course, I needed to bring along my editorial assistants who could provide thought-provoking questions about the show.
And guess who they were?
Nanny and Joan, of course.
We had a wonderful hour, the four of us, in a small banquet room off the Expo Centre at Northlands.
When Mr. Braeden left the room, Nanny in the sweetest voice ever, said: “By Victor. We love you.”
I share that story many times: not because of meeting the one and only Victor Newman, but because a lady I loved, who just turned 80, still had the zest, the incentive and the courage to reach for her dreams.
She loved kids. When our grandson Nicholas was born, Nanny became a great-grandmother.
To see Nanny around Nic was something I’ll never forget.
And she encouraged me, too, in everything I did — especially writing.
When I was finishing my first book four years ago, she’d phone me daily and asked me how things were going.
“Take your time, but, on the other hand, could you hurry?” she said and then breaking into laughter.
“Because I can’t wait to read it.”
Nanny will always be a big part of our family. There is, for certain, avoid right now. But it will be filled up in time with memories; warm memories of a lady who loved her family and showed us how to embrace life.
There will only be one Nanny. I am blessed to have known her.