Monday, January 16, 2012
This is my Nana. She is remarkable. She has raised five children, a large chunk of the time on her own. She has twenty-five grandchildren. Come every birthday, Christmas, Easter, anniversary, or trip to hospital, I know there will be a card in the mail addressed with her perfect handwriting.
Nana has been a big part of my life. I saw her at least once a week until we moved states when I was nineteen. Her room was always an exciting place to me. It was full of treasures. There were pearls, brooches, ceramic figures and all sorts of wonderful knick-knacks that tickle young girls. As I have grown, come Christmas, birthdays and Mother's Day, I always keep an eye out for brooches as I like the idea that they too will have a place amongst Nan's treasures.
I love to hear Nana laugh. She has the giggle of a young woman, despite her age.
I love to have little chats with Nana on the phone. She fills me in on the news from her end in Adelaide, and I keep her up to date with our goings-on here on the Central Coast. We discuss "our programmes" that we both like to watch and what episodes we have seen or missed. At the end of our phone calls, just before we say goodbye, she pauses and I tell her I love her. She then tells me she loves me very much and that I am very special to her. She doesn't need to tell me this, because she has made me feel this way all along, but I love to hear it anyway.
Nana is very ill now. She was diagnosed with terminal lymphoma of the brain just prior to Christmas. It would be fast and not drawn out, for which I am thankful. She is currently receiving palliative care and not doing too well, but she is constantly surrounded by family and friends. She has spent her life loving others and has few moments alone as these same people want to spend their time with her.
My little Tony often reminds me that we don't need to be too sad about Nana. He tells me that we will be a little bit sad because we will miss her for now but that she is lucky that she gets to go and be with Jesus, and that we will see her soon. He has such certainty in his voice that it lifts me up and reminds me that it won't be goodbye for too long.
My Nana is everything I could have ever asked for in a Grandmother. I know that soon she will leave this earth and that I will be sad for a while. I will miss her cards, her phone calls, her sense of humour, and of course her giggle, but I know that it will be okay. She will have plenty of loved ones waiting to greet her and this gives me something to strive for, that when my turn comes, I will have lived my life in a way that she will be there to greet me too.