Nancy Jean Grundy Baxter
this site received this award some time ago
This site was set up to help me keep my mother’s memory alive in the hearts of those who loved her. She was the oldest of 13 children of my grandparents. She married my father when she was 18 years old, they moved to New Jersey where they lived till her passing. At the age of 57. Mom loved to have all the kids around her door was always open and I think she liked it that way so she could keep an eye on ALL the kids in the area. I think she lived by the rule that it takes a village to raise an idiot. And let me tell you our house always was full of kids, this went on all of my life at home. When we all went off to school mom got a job working in the school system (could never cut a class without her finding out) she worked with Downs Syndrome children and she loved it very much only problem was she was from Mass. And she carried that accent with her, the language teacher had to ask that she not help them kids with their speech lessons. It was a funny story at the time. Now how I miss the way she said my name. In October of 1985 I gave my mother a gift that she was so very proud of, my daughter Jennifer, my mother loved being Nana, (the name she chose for the kids to call her) spoil her rotten then give her back guess that is what Nana’s are for right. In January of 1988 my sister gave birth to another grandchild Kristeen mom was so happy to have another baby around. It was around this time that mom made a change in jobs and moved on to work at the NJ ARC and loved working with Adults with Downs they worked packaging up products for a company and lived in a normal home setting they all loved Nancy and if she was not there they would ask about her. She also had another love it was for the Police Explorers she was asked to help out when a girl wanted to join and they needed a female to watch over this young lady, Mom LOVED this part of her life, she got to help young kids see what it would be like to be a policeman and if that was the choice they wanted to make for their life’s job. And let me tell you she got “roughed” up by some of them but it was all fun teaching them about domestic violence and now to deal with those issues and also traffic stops and looking for any weapons in the car on a stop and also to watch someone for any flaws they might have that will mark them as “suspect”. At my mother’s funeral they all came to pay their respects even the township’s that was next to ours came to respect her too, they also had a color guard for her and there was a black band on their badges in respect someone stood beside her casket head down hands behind the back and legs spread. And when all was said and done they would honor her with a salute, one of the other township police was a guys that once “worked” with mom as students of the Explorers. In February of 1995 she became a Nana again to my other sister’s daughter Amanda. After not having a baby in the house for sometime now she was excited to have Amanda around. My mother loved all her grandbabies. It was also around this time that my Father’s mother had to come live with my parents, she was a bit of a handful but all went ok. In August of 1996 came the joy my mother had always wanted a grandson Colin was born. He would sit and coo with mom every time they got together, he was the twinkle in her eyes. This time however with Colin was short lived as my sister and her family had to make a move to England for work. My sister would come back to visit for Christmas that year, it was a nice visit but a sad one at that, in October my Grandmother had passed away and Mom was diagnosed with cancer. We did the best that we could that year and made Mom as happy as we could. She loved spending time with Colin and Amanda and my Sister they stayed for a bit longer then just a weekend. Mom had good days and bad ones. But she did what she could and would make sure that she had a lot of time with the babies. My sister Roseann had helped a lot with taking mom to the Dr’s and to her chemo visit. However in April I got a call saying Mom was going to come home and that I needed to be there my sister Suzann and Colin flew in from England. Mom was coming home to die. The Cancer had spread from her liver to her lungs and was now in her brain, nothing more could be done for her, my family got the house set for mom the hospital bed showed up the room was set so she could be comfortable. She came home on a Wed. I got there just after they had gotten her home and in bed. She had a very busy and full last few days, a few of her sister’s and brother’s came to see her and she also had a dream come true she became the Godmother of Keri Ann (as mom called her) Mom was always proud of Keri and loved her to bits. My sister’s and I took turns with mom we made sure she was NEVER alone, I had the night shift with mom and my two sister’s did the day watch along with Moms friend Joan V and another women named Joan that mom knew. On Saturday mom slipped into a coma, it was sad to watch her just laying there in the bed, she was never one to just lay around when the house was so full of family and friends. Sunday at 2 AM mom’s breathing became different I went and woke my sister and we called the Joan’s to let them know they both came back to the house to be with us and mom at this time of transition. Mom stayed this way until Monday at 5PM when she passed away with family by her side. On April 14,1997. With love I write this page to help me understand the mom I have lost. There is so much more that she did in her life that I have left out but for the most part she was a funny loving person with a big heart. The Cardinal is in her honor, as she loved that bird and now the kids all call it the “NANA BIRD”.