Ginny Nunes ~ In Memoriam…
If we are blessed enough in our lifetimes to come face-to-face with an Angel on Earth, then we have received a gift from God.
This is how I feel about a long-ago chance encounter with a woman who would come to bless the very essence of my motherhood ~ Ginny Nunes.
Ginny was Jane’s babysitter. We didn’t start out with Ginny, though. Barry and I had interviewed several women and daycare providers for our baby. This was back in January of 1981. Jane was just a few weeks old when my maternity leave was over, and we didn’t want Jane in a daycare center because of potential germs and viruses and all the terrible things that go along with a sick infant.
We chose a woman who would care for Jane in her home, a very safe, comfortable happy place. It was, as all Moms know, the hardest thing in the entire would to do, albeit as perfect a situation as we could find. I cried a river the first day I headed back to work (and the second, third and tenth and then some), teaching high school English. I was nursing Jane at the time, and all that stuff just added to my heart-break.
But all things went well.
For about a month.
When our babysitter could no longer watch Jane.
We were told of this on a Friday afternoon.
We understood, of course.
But we were devastated, as well.
I cried an ocean that afternoon.
Then entered an Angel ~ Ginny Nunes.
Ginny was a very close friend of our babysitter, and had spent lots of time with our baby. I remember coming into the babysitter’s home in the afternoon to see Ginny holding Jane, cuddling Jane, singing to Jane, swaddling Jane in her arms that were made to nurture.
Ginny was an effervescent light of the widest smile, dancing eyes, happy voice, love.
Love. Nurture. Hope. Life.
LIFE living in every cell of Ginny.
The next day, a Saturday, in my ocean of tears, I a got a call from an Angel in a lifeboat.
It was Ginny. She could babysit for Jane.
She could babysit for Jane.
If we wanted her to.
This began an almost 5-year relationship with a woman who blessed the very essence of my motherhood.
Ginny had two young daughters back in 1981, she was an Avon representative and she spent countless hours volunteering at her daughters’ elementary school. Jane became an integral, loved piece of this Happy Puzzle. Jane loved Ginny’s daughters, Gina and Sherry, as if they were her sisters. Ginny’s Mom lived in an apartment upstairs, and Jane became part of this extended family of love.
Ginny always had sugary cereal and cookies. Ginny had every single thing in the universe that Jane loved. When Jane fell in love with Annie, Ginny played the Annie album all day long. If Jane wanted to bring every single stuffed animal or doll to Ginny’s home, so be it. They were all welcomed. If Jane wanted ice cream, ice cream appeared.
It was perfection.
Ginny was Jane’s second Mom. There is no other way I can explain the attachment, the relationship, the love between my child and this woman ~ this bigger-than-life, always-smiling, always-hugging, always-the-effervescent-light of LIFE itself.
Then time happened.
Jane began school.
We would still get together with Ginny and her girls.
Then years happened.
Then, this past Saturday morning, as Barry read our local newspaper, he said aloud, “Oh, no.”
“What?” I asked.
Ginny Nunes. Ginny Nunes. 66 years old. There, in the obituary section.
I could hardly read it because my heart had stopped.
Yesterday afternoon, Barry, Jane and I paid our respects to beautiful Ginny, Gina and Sherry and their husbands and children as so many people came.
At first, Sherry didn’t quite recognize us. Years. Years and unthinkable grief do that.
Then the words. The question. The smiles. “Baby Jane? Jane Joe Cartier?”
And what happened… an illness in December. A recovery. A relapse.
Ginny had become an Angel.
When grief comes, it comes with memories.
My memories are wrapped like the warmest blanket in the goodness, laughter, life and love of a woman who made my daughter so very, very safe and happy and nurtured and loved.
My memories are whispers from Ginny in precious nicknames and sugary cereals and girls like sisters and cookies and Annie songs and hours at school with Ginny that Jane loved and cherished and that made her such a happy child.
My memories are Ginny’s arms around my little girl… arms that were so strong and heartfelt and BIG and loving. And a voice just as strong and heartfelt and BIG and loving, too.
Motherhood is the greatest JOY. Motherhood is the greatest LOVE. Motherhood is the greatest responsibility.
To place your child in the arms of another woman is the greatest challenge.
To have met an Angel on earth is the greatest GIFT.
I met an Angel.
Ginny gave me the greatest gift.
Ginny LOVED my child.
Ginny is in Heaven now. I know her arms are strong enough to reach this great Earth of ours. I know her daughters and grandchildren will feel her embrace every single day. I know they will hear her great voice and laughter and effervescent love. I know that memories will tiptoe in and make them smile. And make them cry, too.
I know Ginny has so many more gifts to give. She will send them from Heaven.
I will never, ever forget that Ginny gave me the greatest gift.
Yes, she LOVED my child.
God Bless you, Ginny.