By Charles Towne

Thank you Papa God for giving Nanny to me, not for just one day, but for a lifetime.  I thank you for my darling, my wife, my Nancy with the smiling face.

O God, my merciful and Holy friend, Nanny is an absolute wonder, one of your miracles of grace and joy.

Due to the Alzheimer’s disease she might be a bit childlike at times, but then there are so many of those around us that are acting so darned “mature” they have forgotten what it is to be like little children, and who wants to be around grumpy old poops like that?

The world is so full of gnarly old gas bombs that seem determined to spread misery like a plague so it’s nice to be around someone like Nancy who likes to smile and giggle as she watches little children at play, or at the antics of a butterfly, or for the sheer joy of laughing and praises God’s handiwork no matter how simple, and whether I deserve it or not, I know for a certainty that she loves me.

While illness has perhaps made her more innocent, it has made her more gracious at the same time.

Nancy smiles and praises God when other folks, supposedly with everything going for them, are frowning and complaining.  It’s too bad that happiness isn’t contagious.  If it was, my Nanny would be the “Typhoid Mary” of happiness.

She finds a reason to laugh when others are griping, crabbing, and moaning.

She forgets so many things, but so far, she remembers my name.

It might be dark, but there is always a light in my sweetheart’s eyes that illuminates my world like the stars of night, and when she whispers, “I love you!” I am thrilled and my heart overflows with joy.

Nancy demands little, expects little, asks for little, is content with little, but gives much.

My Nanny has Multiple Sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s Disease and I am probably going to be in God’s kingdom because of her.

Yes, she teaches me: she teaches me patience, mercy, tenderness, compassion.  These are just some of the things she is teaching me, and though I am a slow learner, praise Papa God, I am learning.

This then is my wife, my Nanny, and I love her so very much.  Again, I say thank you, Father, for gifting me with my darling, my sweetheart, my precious lady, my wife.


Thank you Papa God for putting me where I am.  I thank you for leading me, for guiding me; for all that you are doing in my life to create in me what you want me to be.  Help all of us caregivers to be what you want us to be.  Help us to smile in the darkness, to hear your voice in a chaotic and raucous world, to feel your presence, and to bathe in your love, in Jesus’ holy, sweet and wonderful name, Amen

Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.


  1. What a beautiful story of love, commitment, happiness and gratitude. We don’t always understand why things turn out the way they do, but when we appreciate the small things and continue to praise God, He is so faithful to bless us in ways we never imagined. Thank you, Chuck….may God continue to bless you and Nancy!

  2. Dear CSG, there are times I miss te mark and fall far short of the goal but I love this lady. She is not always the epitome of perfection and grace that I wish her to be, but as much as I hate to admit it do any of us reach that aspired goal? Papa God must be saddened when we fall short of the ideal at times but He still loves us with an undying love. Yes, I fail, but the fact is I don’t give up, I continue to get up agin and go forward and God somehow accepts that as enough. Praise Him! Blessings on you and yours, Chaz

  3. Nan is truly a blessing. I love this article….it teaches us all how important it is to focus on the good and positive. Thank you Charles for your gift of words and insight.

  4. Dear NH, Papa God give us wonderful gifts doesn’t He? I believe He is yearning for an opportunity to work miracles in each of us don’t you. We must pray for our eyes to be opened that we can really see Him for the friend H e is. Bless you guys. Love you, Chaz

  5. Beautiful story about a beautiful person and a wonderful and loving relationship. I count my self blessed to have met Nancy at the gym a while back. Please give her a hug for me – both of you are an inspiration.

  6. Dear Mike, you are so blessed in so many ways pal. Your sweet wife loves you with a love that can only come from a loving and gracious God. I count myself so very fortunate because of the friendships I have and also because of the wonders that are ahead of me. Bless you and yours my friend, Chaz

  7. Yes, you are blessed in many ways. Though Nancy struggles to retrieve memories, you are blessed with many. You are both blessed to have each other – I’m certain she beams when she sees you walk through the door. That smile is priceless. During the last few months of Mama’s life, I visited her on weekends in the nursing home, usually arriving at lunch time. After leaving her little dog, Cream Puff (I took Mama’s cat and dog when she could no longer care for them), I would go to the dining room and look toward her table area; she was always watching for me and beamed when she spotted me. I wish I could see her beautiful smile again . . . eventually. (I tried to post this on your memory of Nancy’s Christmas Big, but for some reason it wouldn’t post.)

    • Ahh Judith, nan’s smile won the day for me when I first met her and still does. NANCY WITH THE SMILING FACE. They tell us that 2 out of 3 victims of Alzheimer’s disease are women, and after diagnosis of the disease the expected life expectancy is six years. At that rate Nanny has already beat the odds. I spent about four hours with her today. A very dear friend of ours from South America, Leonardo De Larosa Cano and his son came and spent about an hour with her today and she recognized them, what a wonder she is! Bless you and yours sissy, love you muchly, Chaz

  8. My dear friend, I too am glad God saw fit to loan you Nancy! You are a much better man with her than without! I first met Nancy at church and I think it took all of two minutes before we both were agreeing that old black and white movies are still the best and we both decried the fact that men largely no longer wear hats! ( baseball caps don’t count, most can’t figure out how to wear them correctly anyway!). Just spending a few minutes visiting, makes your whole day a lot brighter! You are a very lucky man!

    • Ricardo my friend, Nan loved your visit! Yes, she loves the old black and whites, and she loves hats even more. She is one of the few women that wear hats well! Blessings on you pal, Chaz

  9. My Betty always enjoyed seeing Nancy sing and do the hand motions! And, she liked her hats. And, most of all she liked the positive nature of Nancy. I would have to say that Nancy was the best example, to Betty, of the power of a smile. Betty spent a lot of time passing out the story of how God let her live, after her auto accident, and doing it with a big Nancy type of smile.

  10. Dear Don, it is so good that her smile has touched and continues to touch the hearts of so many people. As the disease progresses it becomes more and more difficult for my darling to smile. Please pray for her. We know there is great power in prayer. Bless you pal, Chaz

  11. Dear Chaz, to have the assurance that someone loves you in spite of illness is so special. Nancy is a true treasure. I imagine the path you walk must be very difficult at times. I pray that you will be blessed with a special amount of grace and that you will be overwhelmed by Nancy’s love and be blind to her sad little quarks that arise from her illness. Bless you my brother, A Friend

  12. I love the people who find a way to smile in the midst of the storm…they are a blessing to all and we need to strive to be more like them!!

  13. Dear Faith, my goal and my prayer is summed up with the words, Please God give me the character of Jesus! Bless you my dear little girl, Chaz

  14. My Wonderful, Greatest and Example Brother !!! I Did really ebjoy and Blessed You Guys (Both) but Specially YoU Charlitos, The Man that YoU Really Are … I Do Sincerely Enjoy the latest times that spent with your Queen … I Truly Learned What’s the Real Love Means To YoU … How Bright Husband, Man, Gentleman You are with Nancy … And of Course The Bautiful Great Friend that GOD Sent Me. Thanks PaPaGOD !!!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here