Saturday, August 8, 2009

We'll Miss You, Nancy Faye Tribble

December 11, 1954 - July 23, 2009

It just happened. You know when someone who you love has just died and you think of something to tell her/him and you get smacked in the head with reality? You can't tell her anything, ANYMORE? There was an ad on television about Paul McCartney coming to Atlanta for a concert next week. I started thinking about who I know who would possibly want to go, and I thought of Nancy Tribble. Well, guess what, she can't go; we lost her last week.

About three hours ago, I returned home from attending her service and the celebration afterwards. Being a teacher and a friend to so many, there were well over 150 in attendance. It was one of the most beautiful and meaningful services I have ever attended. Two of her good friends sang and her brother, Randy, and friend, Mary, spoke. They both told stories about her life and how it affected those who were her family and friends. Randy told us about the family and the times he spent with Nancy as a child. He also explained her illness and her constant struggle to survive. In Mary's eulogy, she asked several questions that related to our experiences with Nancy. For example, "Have you ever gone grocery shopping with Nancy?" That caused a laugh from many of us who had that excruciating experience. Mine was a little over a year ago.

Nancy had just had another surgery and after a lengthy stay in the hospital she was being released from Emory. I volunteered to take her home and get her settled. I can't remember which surgery this was, but she was able to walk and take care of herself. After she got in the car at the hospital, she asked me if I could make a quick stop at Publix so she could get some groceries. Thinking that she really did mean "quick," and I knew she wouldn't have much energy, I agreed. I had no idea what I was in for. This was my first and last trip to the grocery store with her. After you went grocery shopping with her once, you never went again. She fancied herself of somewhat a gourmet cook, so every piece of fruit and every vegetable had to be examined. You would think she was the chef at the Ritz. To make a long story short, I was ready to explode. I think she was used to getting this reaction from others, because she totally ignored my expressions and body language and continued on her merry way up and down the aisles. After an hour or maybe a little less, we were on the way to her condo. I was fuming and she was happy.

Then about two weeks ago, she asked if she could spend the weekend with me because her friends who were taking care of her, Mary and Doreen, were having company and she wanted to give them her room. So I drove to Macon with my friend Penny, picked her up and brought her to Atlanta. As we were nearing my house, I began to discuss my plan regarding her meals, etc. I told her that I would get her in the house and settled and then go to the store and buy what she wanted. She expressed in her weakened state that maybe WE could stop at Publix and shop together. She was trying it again. Penny was sitting in the back seat and was somewhat surprised by my reaction to Tribble when I replied, "NO, HELL NO!" Tribble had given it the old college try, as they say. To calm Penny down, I told her about my fateful trip to the store a year ago.

I know lots of folks hate going to funeral services, but they're a part of life. It gives us a chance to listen to stories about our friend or family member and honor them. It's okay to laugh and to cry. We did both. Because Tribble was so funny, I think we did more laughing than crying. I really believe that she would have been proud of what was said about her. Proud that Jolly and Leslie sang, proud of Randy and Mary's eulogies, and proud that so many of her friends, especially the Tift women, came to honor and remember her. The song that the Tift girls sang was truly beautiful. She was honored and that would have made her happy.

Below I have included pictures that were in her program.

After the service, everyone was invited to continue the celebration at her brother, Robb and his wife, Pam's home.

Pictured below are her three brothers: Randy, Steven, and Robb.

"Old, old friends" (HA!), Doreen, Debra, and Mary.

Her two ex-roommates, Leslie (who sang at the service) and Sherry.

Marie, her friend from Fernandino Beach and Nancy Faye (in the urn).

School friends from way back, Nettie, Yolanda and Pat.

And finally, the Tiftettes!

I'll post more pictures on my Facebook page later. It was a celebration to remember. What a wonderful group of friends she had!

As you can tell, Nancy Tribble was a friend to many. She will live forever in our hearts and never, never, be forgotten.