Elinor Elaine Nichols-Stacks
A great part of me left the Earth this morning at 2:04 AM. Elinor Elaine Nichols-Stacks, also referred to in name as Elaine Cox in articles, became like a second grandmother to me. She is whom I make reference to in my blog entries, “Nostalgia and Non-Answers,” and, “When Chairs Go Empty.”
Mrs. Elaine, or Mimi, as the rest of us knew her, ran a bed and breakfast from her historically registered home in West Tennessee. The home dates back to 1849. Her house became a haven for ghost hunters. There was always an energy in the air at Magnolia Manor. If there weren’t ghost hunters camped out there at the moment, it was a known fact that the lull would not last for long. It was a given that the next group of paranormalists would be arriving soon. The entire experience was amazing. Walking into the house was like walking into a scene of, “Gone with the Wind,” there was the anticipation of having Mrs. Elaine’s, Eggs Benedict, for breakfast after an overnight stay, and there was the always present electric charge in the air from the steady rotation of visitors fluxing from both near and far. Mrs. Elaine, in her inimitable kindness, gave me a front row seat to the entire affair. She allowed her visiting adventurer to indulge in his devotion to exploring and looking for answers. The entire experience is incomparable, and I should realize how fortunate I was to have had it.
Mimi and her son, Gregg. Photo courtesy of the family.
There is an entire backstory on how our lives came to bear intersection, and it is amazing how my tunnel vision and stubborn curiosity for mystery came to render such an unexpected blessing. The blessing is a testament to Mrs. Elaine’s grace and sense of humor, and not my own pestulent tendencies. I love ya, Mimi, and I harbor the utmost of appreciation that I got to call you my honorary grandmother in this life. I thank you and all of your family for the hospitality that you always extended. For each time I feel the encroachment of grief that stems from the fact that I will never get to sit at your kitchen table and laugh with you again, I will be fervent in challenging that grief with the memory that I had the great fortune of getting to visit with you over the span of a decade. Ten years go by far too quickly. Mimi, you have made a difference in the world at large, but I am in complete awe of the difference that you have made in mine.