Jeanette Grindle Hanscome

Bar Harbor

“There is a flower, a little flower, with silver crest, and golden eye, that welcomes every changing hour, and weather every sky.” James Montgomery (“The Daisy”)

Jeanette Grindle Hanscome, daughter of George E. Grindle and Ada Bell Carter, was born Aug. 24, 1929, as the world was crushed by the Great Depression. She grew up as one of six sisters (Our beloved Aunt Dot, Eleanor, Sibbie, Georgia, and Aunt Elaine) with little money to spare, but in a world full of companions who fed her sense of adventure, and the need to laugh at herself and with others. Having little seemed to have forced the need for heightened imagination. She giggled away the days and made up beauty in her mind like the strokes of a master artist. Although her mother died when she was in her teens, her father’s keen eye for nature’s wonder instilled in our mother the ability to notice the most delicate of Mayflowers, the mesmerizing veins in a rock and the grandest of trees. She was a natural naturalist and taught all who knew her the grandeur of the silver-crested daisy growing by the roadside. She met our father, Robert S. Hanscome, when she was little older than a child herself, fell in love, and was fortunate to fall under the care of the wonderful nurturer, Emily Hanscom, our grandmother. She found more girls to giggle with and scheme ways to have a good time (Our beloved Aunt Helen and Ginny). She listened to stories from our Great Aunt Dodie and became a keeper of history before becoming a teller of it. It is fair to say our mother found her place in the world of make-believe and the magic of creating art in the most unique way possible.

Throughout her whole life, the “Great Depression” never left her, but defined her instead as an overcomer. We watched her struggle to find joy, but she always found a way to get to the top of the mountain to be reminded of why it mattered. It was an imperfect walk to the finish, but one that would inspire anyone. She was that roadside daisy, weathering every sky. She raised five children and survived losing our brother at sea in the most heartbreaking moment of her life. Surely, a petal fell the day she said goodbye to our brother, Robert Elwood.

We have loved our mother on the blueberry plains, at Indian rock, in the crusher and in hidden treasures on the mountains on an island by the sea. We have watched her gather roadside bouquets fit for a queen, collect bottles of blue and purple gems on the rocky coast and find delight in a feather, a rock or a pussy willow growing by the sea breeze. God implanted a sense of wonder in our mother, which never waned in her 91 years of life.

Most of all, she was Nanny. She loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews. She wrote her stories on their hearts and they became the holders of her past and future legacy. She told bedside stories and stopped mid-sentence to sleep, made her followers believe in mermaid’s hair on a beach or kelp dogs along the shore. She affirmed them all and loved what they loved. Nanny will forever be remembered for sitting on the floor with the children, while others busied themselves with the inconsequential tasks of the day. Her beauties of the field brought her the greatest pride! Grandchildren Kristine, Jocelyn, Adrian, Emily, Claire, Hope, Peter, Lindsey, Joe, Joshua, Shepherd, Robert and Andy will miss her forever.

We are left with her storytelling in the dozens and dozens of journals she kept all her life and her Facebook posts that everyone looked forward to reading. As we sort through the things she valued most, we have found every letter, postcard or note ever written to her. Everyone mattered to our mom, and she found it impossible to erase a word of cheer and kindness. As we search for comfort in days to come, that flower, the little flower, will “smile upon the lap of May” and remind us to welcome every hour.

In loving memory of our mother who slipped into eternity on March 22 surrounded by her family and sure of her future with God who she saw as the creator of the beauty she loved. A celebration of her life with be held this summer. – Roberta Sharp, Donna Munro, Annette Carter, Mark Hanscome.

Know when to pay your respects.