Thinking about Nana Flo today and Audrey’s Baby Girl… and crying a happy river.

This morning, I headed into the bedroom in our home that we keep for our 2 granddaughters, Taylor and Maddie.  Taylor is 12 and Maddie is ready to turn 12.  These two girls have brought us more joy, happiness, laughter and fun than I could begin to explain.

Taylor and Maddie remember my late mother-in-law, Flo; Nana Flo they called her.  Flo was a boy kind-of-lady (having 3 boys and 5 grandsons herself), and she let it be known that boys (she would have 12 great-grandsons in a row after 3 great-granddaughters) were beyond awesome, but she loved her 3 granddaughters and 3 great-granddaughters beyond measure.

This is why I put Nana Flo’s knitting basket in the girls’ room.  This precious reminder of Flo tells me every day of Nana Flo’s love and continuing presence in our lives… even though she’s been gone for 4 1/2 years.

Today, that little knitting basket of Flo’s with its skein of pink yarn and knitting needles and little pink masterpieces had me crying a happy river.  It made me go dig for a post I wrote way back on July 29, 2009.

This one’s for Flo, for Audrey and for the new Baby Girl who’ll be joining our family in July…


Sharon — July 29, 2009 at 9:02 am

I’ve written in many previous post that Flo, my mother-in-law, loved boys. This is the proverbial understatement.

But I always suspected that somewhere in her psyche was lurking the mother of a daughter. I often teased her about this. “Come on, Mom, you know you would’ve loved a daughter,” I would say to her. But if Flo was one thing, it was stubborn, and this teasing would send her into a litany of reasons why boys are so much easier than girls.

“Girls whine,” she would say. “Girls sulk. Who wants that?”

Ah… girls. Flo had two sisters whom she loved and several nieces whom she adored. And then there were her granddaughters, Cassie, Audrey and Jane. Flo loved these girls. I will never forget clothes shopping for Audrey and Jane with Flo. She could find something pink in an ocean of blue. She loved frills and ruffles to the point where I had to tell her to stop. Audrey and Jane especially loved it when Nana Flo bought them underwear because it was always fancy and ribbony and appliqued with things like pink roses. I always bought them sensible, white, easy-to-wash stuff. Bor-ing.

Then came Flo’s great-granddaughters. 3 in a row; my 2 granddaughters, Taylor, Maddie and my grand-niece, Chloe. Pink again. I remember shopping with her for baby showers… we knew Taylor and Maddie were girls before they were born. Seas of pink.

Again, I would tease Flo about her fondness for boys. “Doncha just think you would’ve loved having a girl?”

“NO,” she would say. “Who needs ‘em,” Flo would answer.

A couple of years ago, while in a restaurant with Barry, Audrey, Jane and me, Flo went on a mini-tirade against girls. Something “girl” had gotten her all riled up and she went on and on about girls. Barry listened patiently for a bit, and Audrey, Jane and I just kind of knew to let it pass… but Flo was relentless. Finally, Barry said firmly, “Mom. Look around you. I HAVE TWO GIRLS.” Flo didn’t miss a beat. She used that little fact that Audrey, at that time, had given Barry 3 more boys!

Ah. Flo. I have been thinking of her so often lately. Maybe it’s the first anniversary of her passing that’s coming. Flo’s around. She’s everywhere. There are yellow balloons everywhere I turn.

But there’s also something else.

When Audrey had Henry last June 17th – her 4th boy – Flo came to visit Audrey & Matt and her new great-grandson. Flo held Henry tightly and swaddled him like only she could do. She was a boy expert and she soothed him like magic. That day, for the first time, Flo told Audrey that some day she would have a little girl. I was there. The words took my breath away for that moment.

Audrey said, “Oh, Nana. I’m not thinking more babies or girls. I have my boys. Just like you.”

Flo said, “Darlin’, I’m making something for you.”

Flo smiled. Less than two months later, on August 8th, Flo passed away. Henry would be the last great-grandbaby Flo would hold. Her passing was sudden and unexpected, even though she was 89 years old.  We never expected Flo to die.

When Barry and I were cleaning Flo’s apartment and sorting through her things, I found her knitting/crocheting basket. Flo loved to knit and crochet and she made the most exquisite things for just about everyone she knew. In her basket was a skein of yarn with knitting needles square in the center of one of her creations. The yarn is pink. The creation is a baby booty. A pink hat is already lovingly finished. From Flo’s hands and most especially from her heart.

Flo had, at sometime or other, tied a little bell around the handle of the knitting basket. When I picked up the basket, the bell rang its little song. From Flo. From heaven. I cried a river that day, but if ever there were such things as messages from heaven, that was it. I have kept Flo’s knitting basket exactly as I found it, yarn and needles in place. I often ring the little bell that signaled Flo’s grand entrance into heaven with a hand and heart still here with us.

Flo is still sending her messages to us… but this one is all about girls. I think she’s telling me that I was right about girls all along!


I rang that little bell this morning and could hear Nana Flo saying, “I told you, Dahlin’!”… and I cried a happy river.

You sure did, Flo.  You sure did!

Thinking about Nana Flo today and Audrey’s Baby Girl… and crying a happy river. was last modified: February 16th, 2013 by Sharon Couto
SHOWHIDE Comments (5)
  1. I was thinking of this while I was driving into work this morning. I remember Audrey’s story of how Nana Flo told her that some day she would have a baby girl. Warms my heart.

  2. I agree with what Nancy said…Laughter and tears…I could hear Nana Flow stories every day…I LOVE the Nana Flow knitting basket…

Thinking about Nana Flo today and Audrey’s Baby Girl… and crying a happy river. was last modified: February 16th, 2013 by Sharon Couto