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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sunny Side of Life

The Rainy Day
THE DAY is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
And at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.
My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.
Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

In the poem above entitled ‘Rainy Day”, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the last two lines read as follows: “Into each life some rain must fall, some days must be dark and dreary.”  All of us know this to be a true statement, for we’ve experienced times when the going gets pretty tough.  In my own life, there have been some dark days---days when I didn’t feel that the sun would ever shine again.  But, I am so thankful that it doesn’t rain forever.
The seasons of life seem to be somewhat cyclic.  Someone once said that we are currently experiencing tough times, or we have just come through them, or we are about to go into them.  We may experience times of our own trials or suffering, or walk through the same with those whom we love.  There are many twists and turns to life and at times each of us becomes weary and tired, sometimes feeling that we are battered beyond recognition.
So, here are my questions: What kind of outlook do we have about life and how to live it?  What does it take for us to get through the storms of life?  When these storms come so hard that we cannot see through the pouring rain, what do we do?  Where do we go for help?  Do we try and get through these times using our own strength or do we depend on friends to help us make it through? Do we have a spiritual faith as our source of help and comfort?  
In this blog, I want to introduce you to a very special lady.  Although, I never had the pleasure of meeting Una “Nanny” Payne, it is through her grandson Derick, and his wife, Joyce, that I have learned much about her. Nanny Payne was a lady whose philosophy of life needs to be shared, and I hope that I am able to do justice to who this precious lady was and what we can all learn from her legacy.  
Derick and Joyce have fondly and lovingly shared insight into what made Nanny Payne so special. They  have shared their belief as to what caused her to leave such a lasting impact on her children, grandchildren, other family members, and friends.  Simply put, Nanny Payne chose to “keep on the sunny side of life.”
Born and raised in Newfoundland, Canada, Nanny Payne passed away at the ripe old age of 95 years.  She was a sincere Christian woman, not one given to gossip or hurting others. She loved studying the Bible, especially the Psalms and Proverbs.  Derick stated that his grandmother used to say to him, “You know, there is everything in this Book to guide us through life and thereafter.” Her outlook on life was based on that statement.  She would tell her family, “It’s hard to love those we disagree with, but we must anyway. We are to love others, not demonize them because they don’t fit into our little groups.” She quoted I Corinthians 10:31, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.” Loving others was something Nanny Payne knew would bring honor and glory to God.
Nanny Payne taught her family that “there is good in everyone you know, but we may have to look harder for the good in some folks.”  She realized that underneath the rough exterior of that difficult person, some hurt may have caused them to seem calloused and bitter.  Even though that might be the case, Nanny Payne chose to find the good in everyone.
Now we come to Nanny Payne’s philosophy in life, which all of us can take to heart.  Because of her strong faith in God, she always said that no matter what our circumstances, we need to “keep on the sunny side of life.” The song by that title which is posted below was her favorite.  She sang it very often. She literally lived the song and left the legacy of its meaning to her family and to all who knew her.
Nanny Payne kept her sense of humor until her dying breath.  On her deathbed, awakening to consciousness, she waited until her daughter and son-in-law were present. She first told her daughter goodbye, and then to her son-in-law she said the following: “Oh, it’s just like Archie Bunker.  We’re all here like All In The Family.” This was in keeping with one of her favorite one-liners, “A day without laughter is a day that is wasted. Laughter is good for the heart and soul.” Nanny Payne laughed until the very end!
To sum it up, Nanny Payne lived by what she believed the Lord wanted her to do. She read God’s Word and she applied it to her life, and she passed these truths on to her family: “Treat others the way you want to be treated; don’t be miserable; keep on the sunny side; laughter is good for the mood, attitude, and soul; say your prayers, and be thankful for the life God has given you.”
Thanks to Nanny Payne, she has left an amazing legacy for her family.  The family members that we have met definitely display her philosophy of life. They carry her in their hearts and they live their lives as she taught them.
Thank you, Nanny Payne, for your words of wisdom. Thank you for the impact you have made on me, even as I write these words. Thank you for causing me to think more about how I want to live my life—always “on the sunny side.”  You have reminded me that life is short and I must live it to the fullest—living and loving my heavenly Father, my family, my friends and those with whom I come in contact each day.
Prayer: Father, thank you for the life and legacy of Una “Nanny” Payne.  Thank You for giving me the words to honor her and her family. Help each of us to learn  and apply her godly wisdom and philosophy to our own lives so that we might be happier, more loving individuals to everyone we meet.  May our actions bring glory and honor to You always. I pray this in Jesus name.  Amen.


  1. Wonderfully said Carolyn!
    Nan was not exempt from troubles, but her life never was a picture of that. She had deep faith to carry her through the storms, and she lived on the, "sunny side, always on the sunny side". She truly was an example to live by. One whom I was so blessed to have had in my life. Today she is safely home, in the arms of her Savoir and she lives on in our hearts, teaching and moulding us to be better!
    Much love,

  2. Thank you, Joyce. I know that your life has been made richer because of Nan. I am very appreciative to you and Derick for allowing me to write about her. I sensed her "specialness" the first time she was mentioned years ago and felt led to write about her several weeks ago. So thankful that I finally found the words, which are inadequate at best, but sincere. God is amazing! Who would have thought a bad case of heartburn would be the catalyst to keep me up all night writing. And, oh, no heartburn today! God's ways are definitely not our ways. I find that amazing!! Take care.

    Love you,

  3. :) Sounds like a wonderful lady. Thank you for sharing some of her story. . Nicely written by another amazing lady! :) Love you.

  4. Thank you, Heather. I love you so much and appreciate the fact that you read my blog. It is my heart. We are loving your and Zachary's blogs and pictures. Helps us feel not as far away from you. So thankful that you are in such a nice place and are resting for the summer. Love your home!! You have it decorated so beautifully. The beach has always been therapeutic for me. Hope you are finding that to be true as well. Praying for you always. Grandma