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I Will Always Love You
by Whitney Houston


Updated: February 19, 2000

I am working on this page, putting down all my precious memories of "MY HEART". I am Marissa's nanny and we shared a very special bond. Marissa loved to travel with me to watch my daughter, Joelle, play basketball. Marissa loved to see her "SHO" play ball. We will be traveling next week (July 1999) to Oklahoma with the New Orleans Southern Belles to play in the national tournament. The picture below is Joe sending a balloon to Marissa in heaven when we went to the state tournament. I know Marissa was with us then and will be with us next week. I miss you MY HEART and I LOVE YOU TO DEATH!!! You are my eternal heart forever, Nanny

September, 1999

Oh My Marissa, Nanny misses you so very much My Heart! "MY HEART" that is what I called you all the time. You are still Nanny's heart my girl! I miss you more and more with each passing day. The weather is beginning to change now, getting a little cooler. As I look out into the back yard, I can see you pulling the clover and filling the flower pots. You would fill the pots and then go and dump them on Niki's (cat) head. Niki would just look at you and wouldn't move. You would amuse yourself by doing this for the longest time. I remember!

I can also see me holding you and us rolling over and over in the grass, I can hear your laugh. When we were through, I made a necklace for you out of the clover flowers. I remember!

Whenever I drive my car and I stop for a red light I can hear your little voice saying, "Go, Nanny, Go." "See that red light, Marissa, we need to wait until it turns green before I can go. It is still red, it means stop." But you didn't want any of that, "Go, Nanny, Go." I Remember!...And I won't forget!

Oh my goodness, the bubbles! How you loved the bubbles!! And you knew just where nanny kept them for you - out in the garage. Matty found your bubble wand, the handle was broken but mommy taped it back together for you. I still have your bottle of bubbles, right where you left it. I remember!

I was cleaning out my desk drawer this week and came across a little notebook. In it was your handwriting! All your scribbled lines and circles. I remember!

Before nanny got her dining room table, that was a big old empty room with nothing but a rug. You used to drag me in there to play ring around a rosey with you all the time. Upstairs, Downstaris, We all fall down! Oh Marissa, how I remember...And I won't forget!

Nanny still has the little doll house in the toy closet for you. Whenever I'd come into the study to play on the computer, you'd pull out the toys from the closet. Oh how I wish I would have replaced the battery in that little house so that the lights would work for you. I remember.

You loved to color. You always wanted me to color with you but then you ended up coloring the picture I was coloring and using my color! Silly Goose!!! I remember!

Whenever we'd go to Wal-Mart I would always buy you a "prize." I'd tell you, "Let's go look at the dolls." But your favorite was always the book isle. "I want this one. No, I want this one". I'd try to coax you into something else beside a book. But all along I think you knew what you were doing. I'd end up buying you the book you wanted and the toy or doll that I had in mind! Yes, Marissa, I remember...And I won't forget!

When you were a tiny baby and mommy was giving you a bath on the counter in the kitchen, I walked by, made a funny face and said something silly - oh how you laughed out loud!! You kept it up, over and over and over again. I'd be silly and you'd laugh out loud so hard! Daddy went and got the movie camera. I remember!

When you first came home you were a fussy little girl. Dr. Giorlando told mommy to put you in your infant seat and place you on top of the running dryer. He said you would like the vibration. Well, I ran to KMart and bought you your own little vibrating seat. You simply loved it!! I remember!

Oh my gosh, your baby swing! I bought that for you so that you could enjoy the outside. And enjoy it you did indeed!! Mommy and daddy could put you in that swing and you would want to stay in it for hours! My Heart, Nanny remembers...And I won't forget!

How you loved to go and look at the fish in Wal-Mart!! As soon as we would walk in the store, your little voice would say, "Nanny, I want to see the fish." I would tell you, "Ok, but let's go over here first." I didn't like to just go and stand in front of those tanks and watch the fish. How I wish I had you now to go see those fish, I'd stand there for hours if you wanted!!! I remember!

"Get the smell good Marissa." That is what you called all of my body sprays and lotions. You would go into Nanny's closet, find the basket, and pick which one you wanted. Then you would give it to me and insist that you always needed a little bit more! This always took place after our bubble bath!! I remember!

Talking about bubble baths - Oh Marissa!! Nanny would put the bubble bath in the tub and then turn the jets on - "Bubbles, bubbles - everywhere!!!" We would splash and splash. The bubbles would go all over the bathroom!! "Bubbles, bubbles - everywhere!!" That is what we would sing together all the while splashing the bubbles! You loved for me to put the bubbles up to my face and ho, ho, ho like Santa. Then it would be your turn, I can hear you saying, "Ho, Ho, Ho", trying to make a deep voice! We would laugh and laugh. Nanny's Heart, I remember...And I won't forget!

October, 1999

Whenever I'd take you to the grocery with me, we always started at the produce section. You loved bananas!!! "Nanny, I want a nanna." That's all you had to say. I'd pick one out for you, peel it down just a little, and let you enjoy it while we shopped. Once when mom came to the grocery with us, she had a fit!!! "You can't do that. You pay for the bananas by weight!" she scolded. "I'll pay the lady a dollar, I don't care. Marissa wants a banana." I gave you everything Marissa - how I loved to spoil you!!!!! I remember!

Once while taking a shower, you and I were the only two people in the house. I brought you into the bath room and told you to stay and talk to me while I showered. I was going quickly while we were having our conversation. Then there was quiet. I panicked. I flew open the shower door and no Marissa. I yelled, "Marissa, where are you?" Then this beautiful little voice calmly said, "I right here Nanny" as you stuck your head around the corner of my bedroom. I can still hear you, "I right here Nanny!" Are you saying that to me now, baby girl? "I right here Nanny!" I remember...and I won't forget!

You not only loved to go and watch Joe play basketball, you just simply loved to go to any basketball game with Nanny. When Joe and I took you to a game at Loyola to see DoBee coach and watch Brooke play you were thrilled!!! But the sight of their mascot frightened you - "The Big Bad Woof, Nanny!" You made Joe and I laugh as you clung to my neck. Oh Marissa, what I wouldn't give to have you cling to my neck one more time! When the game was over, we took you up to DoBee's office for a visit. Joe would ask you, "Marissa, what are you going to do when you get big?" "Play basketball!" was always your answer. "And who are you going to play for?" would be the next question. Your quick answer as always, "Coach DoBee." "And what position are you going to play?" would be followed by, "Post!!!" You were so happy to repeat this, knowing how proud Joe was to show you off!! Marissa, I remember.

I almost forgot about our Zoo trip until mommy reminded me. We had gone off shopping in the morning and decided to make a stop at the zoo. Marissa, Joelle and Nanny. It was in the early evening so we didn't have very much time - but the time we did have, you enjoyed every minute of it!! My Dear, Sweet, Heart, how I do remember...And I won't forget!!!

Nanny bought an angel last year at Christmas, a large, beautiful angel. She carries a lighted candle in her left hand and moves her head and right hand. I put her on the second to last step of the staircase. When Christmas was over and I put all the other things away, I just couldn't bring myself to pick up this angel. She will remain on this step forever. This is her place in my home. This was your step Marissa. The one where you always went to read your books. "Come read me," your little voice still echos from this spot in my house. This was your favorite place to sit and read your books. I remember.

For your last Christmas, one of your presents from me was your Fischer Price Tape Player. You just loved it!!! I always took so much delight in giving you things. You appreciated everything!!! But I do believe that the tape player was one of your favorites!! I remember.

While going through some old papers from school, I found a receipt with your name on it. I often placed an order with the children's book club each month for books and corresponding tapes for you. I would put 'Marissa' where it asked for the child's name. I would be so excited to see your face light up when you received your special prize. I remember...And I won't forget!

November, 1999

Joelle's favorite restaurant to eat is CuCo's. She has a huge collection of drink coasters upstairs in her room. One evening we were up there just talking and you picked up the coasters. Before long, we were having a "little war" throwing the coasters at each other. Auntie was here and she joined in our game. There were CuCo's coasters all over Joe's room. Oh, how funny you thought this was. Then I had an idea. Go out to the balcony and throw them downstairs on everyone sitting in the den. This was the most fun!! I can see the excitement in your eyes as you put handfuls of coasters over the railing and let them go. You laughed and laughed. Uncle Gary got a little aggravated but I told you to keep going. It was just too much fun, and how I enjoyed hearing your laugh!!! Marissa, I remember!

On one of our many trips to Wal-Mart I bought you the video tape of Peter Pan. I also bought one to keep at my house. For a while, everytime you came over you wanted to watch Peter Pan. Once, when we were at the gym for Joelle's basketball practice, you were getting tired. "I want to go home to your house Nanny and watch Peter Pan on your big TV!" "Ok Marissa, as soon as Joe is finished I will take you home" meaning to my house. You wanted it understood, "I want to go home to your house." When we got home, Uncle Gary was watching something on the big TV. I didn't have a VCR in my bedroom so we went up to Justin's room. He put the tape in for you. Then I got tired and told you to let's go downstairs and go to bed. You said, "No, I want to sleep with Justin and watch Peter Pan." Reluctantly, I went downstaris by myself. But in the middle of the night you woke up and ended up sleeping with me afterall. I remember...And I won't forget!!

February, 2000

It has been quite a while since I last wrote her for you my girl. But Nanny hasn't forgotten. I still remember. I awoke this morning thinking about the time you got into mommy's make up. Oh, My girl, you were so funny!!! Daddy caught you and without making any noise, went and got the movie camera. He filmed you being a make up artist at 3. Your beautiful eyes were black, but you thought you had done a wonderful job, until daddy let you see yourself through the camera!! The look on your face told such a story!!!! You were startled with your "new" look! And daddy has it all on film. He even made a copy and sent it to "Funniest Home Videos." I brought a copy to school and showed it to my class. Everyone thought you were so cute!! I even called some other teachers in to see you. Funniest Home Videos even accepted your video. But that was after Jesus called you home. It was too painful. One day My Heart we will again be able to watch your videos and smile, but until then... I remember!

I keep an eternal candle burning for "My Heart".