“A grandmother is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher, and a little bit best friend.” – Anonymous
Michelle McDougal and her grandmother had been best friends from the beginning. Michelle came on her Nana’s 39th birthday, and they celebrated together from then onwards. Michelle was the first of her seven grandkids to come. They created many lovely memories together, and she knew no one more amazing than her grandmother. In the elderly woman’s last days, Michelle asked her to send pennies from Heaven, so she’d always know her granny was still near. Grandma agreed, and Michelle hasn’t stopped finding pennies since .
Nana’s fierce love for Michelle
In an emotional post published on Love What Matters, 45-year-old Michelle wrote about the powerful bond she’d shared with her grandmother . The woman had been such a kind person, one who would give anything to make sure everyone was okay. When Michelle was just a newborn baby, she came down with severe pneumonia, and her Nana did something she’d never forget.
“When I was only 10 days old I had pneumonia and almost died. My mom and grandparents hired a nurse to come care for me. I never thought much about how they paid for that until my grandfather told me many years later. He said ‘Mit, your Nana worked triple shifts in the shoe shop to help your mother pay for that nurse. She would come home with her fingers bleeding from sewing so many shoes. She’d quickly wash and then run right to you, to make sure you were okay. That’s how much she loves you.’” Her nana’s love for her was truly beyond comprehension.
Michelle never discussed the story with her grandma. She knew the sweet woman wouldn’t want the credit. She wouldn’t have wanted to be thanked or praised for making sacrifices for her little angel.
Nana’s sickness and last days
Michelle’s world took on heavy gloom when her Nana was diagnosed with cancer. She was a strong woman, as this was her nature, and she was able to battle the cancer into remission. Unfortunately, it came back a while later and the family was devastated. The doctors said there was nothing more that could be done. Michelle recalls a special night she spent with her Nana, watching over her and reveling in her company.
“Nana’s very last good night happened to be my turn to spend the night with her.” She explained. “We laughed and ate Chinese food while watching some of her favorite shows and talked about the nonprofit I was starting in her honor called Smile Through The Storm. When we were finished, I held her hand and said, ‘Nana, when you get to heaven please send me lots of pennies so I know you’re still near.’ She laughed and said, ‘Okay, Mit.’ Nana passed away just 2 days later on Thanksgiving night.”
Grandma had opened her heart and gave so much all through her life. Michelle’s heart had been broken when her best friend left, but they found a way to be together even in different worlds.
True to her words, Nana stayed near
Right after her Nana passed away, Michelle began to find pennies everywhere. She founds them even in the cleanest rooms, and everyone knew where they came from. Her Nana hadn’t left her side for a minute.
”Immediately after her passing,” Michelle wrote, “I started finding pennies. Not just a few, but dozens and dozens of pennies. Those dozens turned into hundreds and hundreds of pennies. My mom joked and said, ‘Michelle, you should have told her to send twenty dollar bills.’ But pennies to me are perfect because that’s exactly what I asked for. I smile as I pick up each new one and whisper, ‘Thank you, Nana, I love you.’”
Michelle stored away all the pennies she could find. Four years later, she decided to do something special with the pennies. Her husband helped her screw barn boards together, and she glued each penny together to form a heart. A heart was the perfect shape because her grandmother had been true love itself. Michelle left a message on the penny board for her dear Nana.
”I quickly dug out a card she had given me and scanned it into the computer. My husband carefully traced ‘love and kisses Nana.’ As my Cricut machine printed the final touch. My eyes welled with tears, but my heart was filled with nothing but love.”
May Michelle’s Nana continues to rest in peace, but her memory will live on in every penny she left behind.
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