Honestly, I've been dreading writing this post, because I knew what it'd have to be. And I knew that my #1 blog follower wouldn't be there to read it. She read the last post I wrote and even commented on it. Now she is no longer here to read what I write and that breaks my heart.
My darling grandmother, my "Bumma," passed away unexpectedly on April 14th - Good Friday. Her mind was sharp as ever and her body seemed strong and tough as ever, up until April 13th. All that week, she went about her normal busy routine. Early on that Friday morning at around 2:30 a.m., she woke up in severe pain. She unfortunately didn't call anyone in my family to let them know. Around 8 or 9 a.m., my Aunt Sarah called her about something. That is when Bumma told her she wasn't feeling well. Three of my aunts went over to her house to take her to the doctor. That is when they saw how white she was and knew they needed to instead call the ambulance. They took her to the Emergency Room at a local Charlottesville hospital, where they immediately wanted to do a CAT scan. It is then they discovered she had a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm. There is the potential for it to be treated if found before this point, but once it ruptures the fatality rate is extremely high, even with surgery. And with her being 85, she was even more fragile. She had been suffering since early morning and by this point it was late morning and she was slipping away. My uncle and two of my aunts were with her and I'm incredibly thankful they were able to comfort her and speak love to her. They called several family members and we were able to say our goodbyes. I'm so not ready to say goodbye... to my best friend whom I adore and will miss the rest of my life. Thinking of Lily and Bumma together brings comfort to my hurting heart.
It was a huge honor and responsibility for my mom and I to be entrusted with the sacred task of writing my grandmother's obituary. I only wanted to do justice to how wonderful she was and is and make my family feel we captured her life well. It was difficult to write in a short amount of time, when we were still reeling from the unexpected pain of goodbye and could barely formulate words. I'm sure we will wish we had said something different or think of something we forgot to include that we would've liked it. In fact, there have been several of these moments so far. But the Lord helped us and I think it gives a precious glimpse into NVB.
The picture we used for her obituary was taken last August at Mint Springs in Crozet. It captures how joyful, colorful, and full of life she was.
Nancy Virginia Shroyer was born at home at Blair Park in Greenwood, Virginia, on September 19, 1931 to Linden and Virginia Wiley Shroyer. She was blessed to live most of her entire 85 years in her beloved Albemarle County. Nancy Virginia grew up loving the fresh air and wide open spaces, her horse Rocky Boy, the Blue Ridge Mountains, her family, school, and all the charms of small town life. She graduated from Greenwood High School, Virginia Intermont College, and Madison College where she earned a degree in education. She went on to teach fourth grade in Richmond and Charlottesville.
Nancy Virginia married the love of her life, James Kirk Bain, in July of 1955. Whatever James Kirk put his mind or his hand to was done with excellence, especially in choosing Nancy Virginia as his bride. Their 7 children came quickly over the next 10 years to complete their sweet family. After raising their children together, she served her husband as office manager for his CPA firm in Charlottesville. Her unwavering devotion to the care of her aging parents was an example to one and all and she never failed to answer the call when needed by her doting grandchildren.
Always thinking of others before herself, Nancy Virginia wholeheartedly poured herself out in service to Jesus by volunteering. She helped establish The Green Olive Tree in Crozet nearly 40 years ago with 6 Christian friends, where she worked diligently since then. She was also a faithful volunteer with Hospice of the Piedmont for over 30 years. Nancy Virginia heard Jesus say, when entering Heaven, "Well done my good and faithful servant."
She was always "on her way," somewhere, as the license plate on her white Buick proclaimed. She enjoyed delving into discussion with fellow bookworms at her book club, playing Mahjong and Bridge with friends, various Bible study and prayer groups, exercise class, art and writing classes, among many other activities she immensely enjoyed.
In each of her endeavors, she left her forever imprint on a community that will deeply feel her absence. Known for her seemingly boundless energy and her contagious zest for living, underneath it all was love. She loved Jesus first and foremost, her family, friends, and literally everyone she encountered. She never met a stranger and was willing and eager to share a story, a joyful smile, and a word of encouragement with anyone. She displayed a gentle and quiet spirit, always believed the best in people, and was funnier than she realized.
Nancy is survived by her children: Ginny Kirk Allen and husband, Chuck; Nancy Corley and husband, Bill; Linden Bain and wife, Kristen; Helen Cook and husband, Scott; Sarah McGahee and husband, Steve; and Ellie Gathright and husband, Tim. Also, survived by grandchildren: Joseph Allen and wife, Kala; Adam Allen; Hannah Rose Allen; Daniel Corley; Emmaline Allen; Hope Cook; Anna Corley; and Thomas Gathright, and great-grandchildren: Owen Markert, and Harvest Allen.
She was preceded in death by her husband, James Kirk Bain; daughter Rachel Ross Bain; great-granddaughter Lily Katherine Allen-Ball; her parents; brother Donald Shroyer, as well as many others who we know she is rejoicing in seeing again.
Nancy Virginia went to be with her beloved Lord on Good Friday, the very day Jesus died. On a day that we reflect on the crucifixion of Jesus and His death at Calvary, we rejoice that because of the sacrifice of our Lord, Easter Sunday is coming. This is the hope to which Nancy Virginia clung and what gave her courage through the ups and downs of life. Shortly before she passed, she confidently and peacefully said to her daughters who were with her, "I'm almost Home." Each of us who love her, and will carry this ache of missing her, rest in the comfort of knowing she finally made it "on her way" to her final destination. The ripple effects of her well-lived life will continue for generations.
Visitation will be held at Anderson Funeral Home in Crozet on Tuesday, April 18 from 5 to 8 p.m. Burial will be held at Hillsboro Cemetery in Crozet on Wednesday, April 19 at 11 a.m. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19, with the location pending.
In addition to flowers, donations can be made to The Hospice of the Piedmont - 675 Peter Jefferson Pkwy, Charlottesville, VA 22911.
This is a tribute video my cousin Anna and I made on behalf of all of Bumma's grandchildren. I am so thankful I held on to many voicemails, videos, and photos... Will be sharing much more later.