my nana

So, forgive the time in between posts. I’m working out some kinks. Not in my blog but in life! LOL! Juggling mommying, working and home life, it’s rough. And I needed a new computer, which I finally got, and I’m writing my very first blog post from right now! I feel like I’m on my way to being a legit writer now that I have this here MacBook Air. my very own, very first Mac. Thank you to my loving husband and an early Valentine’s Day gift. ❤

I thought this second blog post of the year would be about my new laptop or about Sloane, or about my husband and how we met. But sadly, on Tuesday, January 30th, my Nana passed away. I have so many thoughts, so many things to share, but for now, I think the best is the eulogy that I wrote and said at her funeral this past Friday.

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I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend

He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end

He noted that first came her date of her birth
And spoke the following date with tears,

But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth.

We are here today to celebrate my Nana Gayle. A woman who lived her dash to it’s fullest. She was born in 1920 and lived until 2018. The magnitude of those numbers is just baffling to me. She and I often discussed of the massive changes that had happened in her lifetime.

A child of the depression, my Nana was one of the most frugal people on the planet, having begun recycling and reusing before I was even born.

nana with her grandchildren circa 1977My Nana was a do-er. She wasn’t one to just sit, she always had to be doing SOMETHING. She loved to cook and bake and she was amazing at both!! Her food and her baked goods are some of the things that will highlight her absence the most. Her matzah ball soup, was delicious and amazing! Her rolled cabbage that sadly my husband roy never got to have was my favorite. Her life changing mandle bread she would give each of us and label with our names with the promise of us returning the container when we had finished it. A few years ago when she gave me my container of mandel bread I asked her if she would make me an extra container and leave it in her freezer for me to find after she passed away. I understand there’s one waiting for me with my name on it.

She was an avid reader, oh did Nana love to read. We all had taken to giving her the latest Biographies or Autobiographies as gifts because she would sit and read each book cover to cover. And I have no doubt that she finished all of the books that we all gave her for Hanukkah in December.

My Nana was a, no nonsense, very capable and independent woman. Well, in my eyes anyway. I remember when I was a little girl and I was so proud that MY NANA had a job she went to every day. No one else’s grandma had a job outside of their home! More recently, the fact that at 98 she was still living on her own, in her own home, by herself was incredible. She still paid her own bills and made her own appointments and kept her own bank accounts and business affairs in order. She was truly amazing at 98 years old.

In 2003 my Papa passed away, her beloved Danny. They were married for 63 years, which absolutely blows my mind. They loved to do things together. They had a love of traveling, and seeing the world. They loved music and getting together with friends and playing cards. My Nana loved to host and have people over. Always being ready with a basket of lovely fruit and a plate of candies or delightful little cookies or maybe even a bundt cake.

How DO I share 42 years of memories?? I could stand here telling you stories for hours. I love to write and yet I’ve never found anything as difficult to write as this. Trying to sum up it ALL up and not keep you here for hours isn’t easy.

I spent a lot of time over the years with Nana and she loved to share stories that I remember as if they were imprinted on my memory. Etched there for my lifetime. When I was younger we would go on walks around her community and she would tell me detailed stories of when she and my Papa were newly married they lived in an attached duplex with her in-laws and young SIL. When my Papa was stationed at San Clemente Island and she was home alone with a young baby Joyce.

She would tell stories about my mom, her perfect teri who could do no wrong she would say. I could tell you stories about my own childhood and how Nana would come over and within minutes of arriving she was ushering me to take a walk with my babydoll in her stroller and our family dog. Or she would be in the front yard playing basketball with Ryan. Or she would have an apron on and be tinkering around in the kitchen. Whether she was baking with us at our own house or helping my mom out with a holiday meal. In more recent years she would sit down at the kitchen table and my mom would bring her things she could do while sitting, like cutting the apple for apples & honey at Rosh Hashanah.

There was never a shortage of questions from Nana. She took a real active interest in our lives. She wanted to know what we were up to, who we were seeing, what we were eating, where we were going. She spent A LOT of time as I like to refer to it, “in her own head” so when she actually saw us or spoke to us she had thought through all sorts of scenarios and situations and wanted to ask. “Listen dear, I was just thinking…..” are words I have heard for 42 years.

One of the great heartbreaks of my life is that my Papa didn’t get to meet Roy and see meimg_0073 married and a mom. He would have loved both Roy & Sloane. And of course my SIL Britt and my niece Dylan. The amazing thing is that Nana was there for ALL OF IT. And we knew how special it was. I am so grateful that I was able to tell her that. She knew that having her at my wedding and meeting my daughter were HUGE for me. She claimed not to understand it, but I know she knew. The pictures tell the real story and I’ve never seen Nana smile so big.

This week we have heard from family and friends near and far. And hearing what people had to say about Nana has been so eloquently stated and spot on. She was so filled with spunk and vitality one person stated. Which couldn’t have been more accurate.

That was my Nana.

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One Response to my nana

  1. Dina Ochs, Blairsville, Georgia says:

    Just beautiful and a tribute to your Nana. I learned after my Baba died that the best way to honor her was how she lived her life. How much she loved her family and her three grandchildren where her life. Her cooking skills is something I will always cherish and I hope she is proud of me. Hold on to that ❤️ Love you girl.

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