Last Tuesday morning my mom called me to tell me my grandma (who I called Nanny) had passed away sometime during the night. Shocked doesn’t being to describe it.
My nanny was 88 years old so it seems silly to say shocked but I had seen her less than 4 days before and she was doing so well. I knew this day would come but y’all, I really thought we had more time.
Saying I was close to my nanny is a vast understatement. My nanny was my best friend. Almost 60 years separated us but we were kindred souls.
Growing up, my parents worked full time and so they paid my nanny to watch my sister and me. When Vince deployed, I lived with her for 6 months and we did everything together… she was my “go-buddy.” She was a part of every aspect of my life. I will never walk into a grocery store and not think about how excited my nanny got about sales (or how she went to the grocery store multiple times a week). I will never look at a Cracker Barrel and not think about how much we both loved their apple dumpling. The idea of watching the Weather Channel, making macaroni-n-cheese, or taking our annual Christmas morning photo hurts. It all hurts. I will never be able to drive to Columbia and not be heartbroken that she is no longer there.
I asked my mom if I could try and do the write up for the funeral program. Nanny always loved my writing and even had my mom print out several blog posts over the years. I wanted to do this for her, but how can you sum up someone who was so much more than a page on a bulletin? How can you encompass all that someone was in words?
You can’t. But below I want to share with you what I came up with. It doesn’t do her justice, but nothing ever would.
My nanny was a rare gift. She was a quiet woman who never stole the spotlight but you always knew was there. She always put others first and she was the most forgiving person. I just want to be a fraction of the woman she was.
So thankful I asked my husband to get a quick photo of us last week, just 6 days before she passed. I am so thankful for these photos… even though right now they hurt to see.
Mary Elizabeth Martin Glenn, 88, left this earth and was received into the arms of her Savior on July 10, 2018. She was born in Columbia, SC on September 25, 1929 to the late James Warren and Rachel Melvina Allen Martin. Her fiery red hair caught the eyes of a WW2 soldier and on September 28, 1947, Mrs. Glenn married her late husband, Ben Hoyt “B.H” Glenn.
Raised on the cusp of the Great Depression, Mary learned to appreciate the simple things in life, like spending time with her beloved childhood cow, Daisy, rain after days of extreme heat, and spending quality time with friends and family. She never took any of her blessings for granted.
Mary graduated from Dentsville High School. Upon graduating she worked alongside her mother in a cafeteria in a very small school on Fort Jackson, then went on to manage the cafeteria at Forest Lake Elementary. She worked for Young’s Hearing, Britton’s, and Shakespeare before going to the SC Department of Highways and Public Transportation. She retired from SCDHPT in 1989.
Married 67 years, Mary and B.H. raised their four children, Phil, Mike, Carolyn, and Donna, in a small white home off Rabon Road. Possessing a true servant’s heart, Mary faithfully cared for family and friends through delicious cooking. She was especially known for her amazing macaroni-n-cheese and the best sweet tea in the whole South.
She was the heart of the Glenn family, leading with a beautiful Christian example. A tiny, unassuming powerhouse, Mary led her family with grace and conviction. Mary always listened to people and was the first to help you “pray the devil off your shoulder.” Ever the dedicated matriarch, Mary never missed a school performance, wedding, birthday, or funeral. Her humble spirit radiated as she showed her family how to love and to lead. She is survived by her four children and their spouses, eight grandchildren, and twelve great-grandchildren.
Mary was always full of amazing advice, such as always bring a jacket and shoes anytime you leave the house (even if it’s 100* outside), always sign and date the back of homemade gifts, it’s better to have too much food at a gathering than not enough, and never pass up a good sale at the grocery store. And while she always enjoyed a yummy meal, she was ever the avid mall walker and never missed the opportunity to see what Macy’s had on sale. She spent the later years of her life researching her families genealogy and reading every Barbara Cartland book she could get her hands on. She enjoyed traveling with family and experienced quite a few exciting adventures including an earthquake in Hawaii and allowing her children to bring home a pet pig from Kentucky.
She was an active member of the Eleanor Laurens Pinckney Chapter of the DAR and held several offices over the years. She was an active member at Spring Valley Baptist for decades where, after retirement, she worked in the preschool and enjoyed singing in Valley Voices. In the last few years, she developed an affinity for TV evangelists, her favorites being Les Feldick, John Hagee, Perry Stone, and David Jeremiah.
Above all, Mary was a follower of Christ. Not a day went by where she wasn’t thanking God for all her blessings. Known for grabbing your hand and saying, “thank you Jesus” multiple times a day and always having a Bible within arms reach, she lived and breathed the truths of her favorite chapter in the Bible, Psalm 121. She lived the truth of Jesus Christ’s love and the beautiful peace that was awaiting her after her passing. Her story really was to tell others of her Savior.
She will be remembered for always putting others first, her quiet strength, her unwavering faith, and for the beautiful life she lived.
Photos from our Generation session with Robin Garner Photo last year.