in honour of my late nana

My Nana passed away from thyroid cancer on the 24th of October 2000. That day still haunts me, and I think that’s because I was the only one that never got to say good-bye. I also think that, at the age of 14 and a bit, I believed that she was going to get better. I didn’t know that hospice was a place where terminally ill people went. I didn’t even really know what terminal was, and I think that’s because as I am a very sensitive person, my family tried to shelter me. And by sheltering me, her death hit me so unexpectedly, that I didn’t know what to do with myself. It felt unreal, surreal. I saw her on the Sunday afternoon; I remember kissing her cheek, and telling her that I’d see her next weekend. She replied with “Ok Gena, love you.” She passed away on the Tuesday.

Nana, not a single day goes by where I don’t think of you. I see you in Mom, I see you in Aunty D, I see you in M-L. I see your mischievous smile in M-L’s little smile, I see your stubbornness and strength in Mom, and I hear your laughter in Aunty D. I think I just got some of your looks, as you were never so absentminded as I am! I miss your hugs, I miss your kisses, I miss your smell. I cannot smell Oil of Olay without thinking of you, without feeling a kick to my gut, without the pain of missing you intensifying to such a point that I feel I can no longer breathe. I even remember your stokies (slippers), well my backside remembers them very well 😉

Today, the Daily Prompt wants us to honour someone, and I can think of no more deserving person than you Nana. You brought up 3 children practically by yourself, for the 14 years of my life that I knew you it was only you; you supported yourself and gave as much as you could to and for your children and grandchildren. I remember us at a pool; I can’t remember whose pool, and I can’t remember how old I was, but I remember laughing and smiling, and just spending time with you.

We have carried on the ‘Nana’ tradition; Mom has proudly taken this name instead of granny or grandma (I admit, I did make her a Nana before she was 50, so she’s forgiven 😉 ) and every time M-L yells out NANA my heart skips a beat, my tummy does a flip-flop, and I feel myself smiling. You see, when M-L yells out for her Nana, I see myself calling out for my Nana all those years ago.

I know that you’re looking down on us, most likely wanting to slap us with your stokies, hug us and kiss us, and I know that we’ll see each other again one day.

Until we meet again.



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