Today’s Wednesday Word is “Nandy.” Nandy isn’t technically a word. You won’t find it in a dictionary. But it is one I grew up with. A word, that my ear heard over and over again, until it became REAL.
This is the story.
My maternal grandmother Marie taught my sisters and me a bedtime prayer. Every night that I can remember spending with her, nestled under covers in her big comfy bed, we prayed that prayer. And it began, or so I thought, with Nandy.
Lay me down to sleep.
I pray, dear Lord,
My soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray, dear Lord, my soul to take.
God bless, Mama and Daddy, and Maw Maw and Paw Paw and Nanny….
On and on we asked for blessings for our family and friends. Sometimes we made it to Amen, but sometimes not, drifting off before we reached the end. The ending wasn’t as important as the beginning. As Nandy.
It wasn’t until my twenties, when once again, cuddled under covers in her bed, that I asked her what Nandy meant. She was befuddled. “Nandy Lord,” I queried. “Where did it come from?” The answer. Not Nandy, Now dear Lord!
Now dear Lord. It made sense, but it was all wrong. It sounded too urgent, too uncomfortable, too demanding. It didn’t feel right on my tongue.
And so years later, I still find myself saying this childhood prayer, eschewing the correct for the familiar, invoking the Nandy Lord, my nighttime boon, to please lay my weary head down to rest. This mistake of years, this heard misheard, makes me smile and think of her, my Maw Maw, my Marie, my Mirandy and each blessed day and night I got to spend with her.