My Nana died tonight. I didn’t cry. I have, and I will. But I didn’t when I heard the news. Some things take a while to settle in.
It occurred to me recently that, in the span of six months, I have gone from having three living grandparents to, now, only one. It is something that was never supposed to happen, really. Grandparents aren’t supposed to die. They’re the ones who tickle you and tell you stories and sneak you treats when Mom and Dad aren’t looking. They’re the ones with gray hair and wrinkles and sparkly eyes and easy smiles. They’re the ones who age but don’t get old, who tire but are never too tired for you.
They are, and always have been, for eternity.
My Nana and all of her “yakety-saxes” (she was always trying to get me to play Boots Randolph on my saxophone) and “Will you beeee, my teddy bear?” (she loved Elvis and Derek was her “Der-Bear”) fell asleep in a hospital room in Ohio–only this time, she won’t wake up. This time, she’ll never ask for bread for breakfast again. (Despite being diabetic, Nana was a true Midwesterner and believed that bread was an integral part of every meal.)
This time, I’ll never hear her sweet voice again, or her laugh; I’ll never cringe at her outrageous jokes; I’ll never listen to her, “Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooo!“
And I will miss her terribly.
I already do.
I talked to her on the phone two days ago. The conversation was a stark contrast to jovial dialogues of days gone by. This time, there were long pauses between thoughts: She was tired; she was giving up.
But I’ll never forget one of the last things I said to her, or her response.
I told her, “I love you, Nana.”
And she said, “I know, sweetheart.”
Note: We will be holding a memorial service for my Nana in Ohio at the beginning of June. I may write another tribute at that time. For now, I plan to return to previously pondered topics. I hope you’ll stay tuned.
- on death and living life to the fullest (jesscy.com)
- hello, my name is ____? (jesscy.com)
- let there be light (jesscy.com)