a watercolor done by artist Frank Stanley Herring - Nanny at age 12
Nanny was quite remarkable - born in 1925, she was raised in New Jersey and was a 1946 graduate of Vassar College. It was a time she would often speak of with a great deal of happiness. The first part of her life was devoted to us, her family, as well as to her community. After we moved to Santa Barbara in 1971, she went to work as Office Manager to Hatch & Parent Law Offices.
"Nancy had much to do with the culture of Hatch and Parent, the caring for each other. Her influence made us ladies and gentlemen and responsible human beings at a time when our profession was turning the other way."
She retired after 20 years to go back to school. At the age 63 she received her M.A. in Counseling Psychology and went on to be licensed as a M.F.C.C.
She worked as a counselor at Family Service Agency - ironically she counseled the group, Children of Aging Parents, lending support to adults who were struggling with their roles as caregivers to their parents. She left after five years when she was joyously reunited with Bill Meeker, a friend from her college days. They were married in 1994 and moved back east - I never saw her happier...... Unfortunately less than three short years after her wedding, Nanny was diagnosed with ALS - Lou Gherig's disease. One thing I haven't mentioned so far is that my mom was a gifted and published writer. Her final piece was a journal she wrote about her struggle with this disease - she pecked it out with one little finger on a laptop over the course of seven months - it was published after her death in a book called Journeys with ALS by David Feigenbaum, which can still be found on Amazon today....
"Close relationships, giving and receiving love have always been of the highest priority for me and now I am floating in a sea of love."