Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Nana Died Last Night


I have been told my entire life that she wasn't going to live for very much longer.
When I was four, my mom told me that I should "kiss Nana because this will probably be her last Christmas". It became something we said, not something we actually believed. Until now.


I remember "Nana kisses"...her lips puckered so much that it was practically a fish-face...

I remember getting cards from her and laughing at how many times a sentence was underlined...or my Christmas card last year that had EVERY WORD underlined...she really meant that card.

I remember talking at the top of my lungs and her still only barely being able to hear me. I can picture my Papa's face over her shoulder...he and I laughing at the joke that she didn't get...


I remember when she and Grandpa moved out of their house and we went to "claim" things...I took the cuckoo clock (which has so many memories that I'm not sure how I was lucky enough to get it)...I also took the love birds, which I am constantly made fun of for, but now seem like such valuable items...I also remember putting her fake boobs (she had a double-mastectomy) in my shirt...first as bra padding, then as shoulder pads...funny.

I remember eating food at her house for Christmas dinner...gnocchi...which, though the years we began to refer to as "n-yucky" because she had just lost her touch...hours of sitting at her house with promise of a McDonald's drive-thru on the way home since we hadn't eaten enough to make us full.

I remember going to her house and being asked at least a dozen times if we were hungry...and, even though we would say we had just eaten, she was already making a sandwich.

I remember drinking a Coke at her house...and it was slightly off...then, looking at the can, we realized it was from the 1980 Olympics (oh, and this was in 1999).


I read my aunt Sarah's blog tonight and it said, "My Last Letter From Nana" and I thought, did she die? Being on the other side of the world, I'm not as easily reachable for important news (texts don't make it to Africa). There was no way she had died. She was never going to die. They've been threatening me with her fake-inevitable-death since I was a kid.


I guess I really thought it was never going to happen.
I definitely didn't think I would be so sad when it did.
She was 95. She lived a long, long life.
She has so many stories...and such a great legacy...
Weird that she's not around anymore.

I call dibs on the scrapbook that has the photo of her and Grandpa with the chained-up bear.


Julie Hibbard said...

You are adorable. I am so sorry you did not get the email first thing this morning...I tried!
I love you and I love this post! You were certainly blessed to have known ALL of your GREAT GRANDPARENTS for so much of your life! We'll have stories to tell forever!!

PETE Di LALLO said...

As funny as your blog is it made Bum and me cry more than anything anyone has said or written today...

Aunt Debby said that the things she "claimed" from Nana's house a few years ago took on a whole new meaning today...

Here are a few comments from phone conversations today with:
Sunny: "I'm sorry but I'm not that sad because I only new Nana for eight years",
Thea: " Does that mean I can ride in a limo again?".

What a magnificent piece of writing your blog is!!!

Love ya

B & P

Shan Smith said...

Sorry to hear about your loss. Praying for you and your family. May you continue to find comfort in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Elyse said...

I'm so sorry for your loss!! 95 is a good age thought, that was how old my grandpa was when he died.

SarahD said...

I'm sorry you learned thru a blog.
It's so sad to me here, too.....really feels like I'm on an island.

How DID you manage getting the clock, you lucky???

Cathi said...

I'm so sorry Alice. I loved reading these memories of your Nana. Praying for you and missing you, friend.

Mama Oasis said...

I just read this today.....

I was in Kenya in Jan of 07 when my "Gaga" (my mom's mom) died. She was 90 and had been living in an Altzheimer facility for a few years.

When I was home, mom and I would visit her every weekend and it was a time that I loved/dreaded. I loved it once it was over and I felt like it was such a good thing that we had visited her..but, beforehand...I resented the time and dreaded being around all of those sad elderly people. I know it sounds selfish (and it was)....but, that is the honest truth.

It is very surreal to be in another country when somebody in your family dies. You feel like you SHOULD get on a plane and go home...but you don't really WANT to and it is a big dilemma.

I'm sorry about your Nana ....not being home will always make it feel like she just disappeared. That is how I feel about my she was here and then she was gone. As much as I hate is true that they give you "closure" (another term I hate).

Well, this is a weird comment...but, reading your blog brought a lot of this stuff back. Also, Monday will be the year anniversary of my brother's death. He died just 3 weeks after I returned from Kenya last this is a totally weird week for me.

Hey, Lydia...thanks for the cheerful comment!