Thursday, July 2, 2009

Memories of my Nana

If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk in my garden forever." --Alfred Lord Tennyson

My Nana and I were very close. As you can tell from her picture she is Native American and Irish. (Not that you can see the Irish in her)Well she was very in tune with the earth and very wise about the world.She taught me things about life by watching nature. She had such an amazing soul. I know how to tell the weather by watching the leaves on trees or what the winter has in store for us by the tails of the squirrels among many other things.

I just felt the need to sh
are a few stories about her today. She has been on my mind a lot and I just want to share a few things.

When I was younger, we used to pick four leaf clovers together and every time we found a feather she would stick it behind her ear.We would sit for hours in the backyard (even when I was a teenager) and pick literally 100’s of four leaf clovers. No one could understand how we always found them let alone so many. It was a memory I always cherished. I went to Woodstock, NY when I was pregnant with my oldest and they were selling necklaces with real four leaf clovers in them. I had to buy her one! I gave it to her and we sat and chatted for hours about them and our special tradition at every visit. After she passed away, I wore the necklace and oddly the four leaf clover disintegrated or something. I think she just took it with her.

My Nana, became ill in 2003 and I visited her almost daily in the hospital. I brought Mikey (her baby in the basket) to see her and I swear he brought her strength. She adored him so much. When she got better she had lost control of her bladder and she could not go home so they transferred her to a nursing home. My Nana was so against it. She begged my Mom to take her home and my mother told her not until she had control again. The problem was she couldn’t get it back. So she gave up. It went rather quickly. Every day she lost more and more. Her eyes started rolling and the rattle. That horrible rattle. I will never forget that sound. I continued to visit her daily and sat and cried and begged her to get better. My mom and dad told me I had to tell her to let go. I didn’t want to. I stayed selfish for a week. I finally built up the courage to tell her she could go. I didn’t want to be there when she passed away. I didn’t want to be in the room. My whole family came down that day. Everyone was saying goodbye and everyone stepped outside to smoke a cigarette. My mother, myself and I’m not really sure who else was in the room were all there when I finally told her it was okay. My mother sang Wind Beneath My Wings to her. I was squeezing her leg and my mother was holding her hand. She for the first time in 2 weeks made eye contact with my mother for a brief second. A tear rolled down her face and she squeezed my mothers hand lightly and that was it.

I was beside myself. I ran out hyperventilating and screaming. I called my friend Joey and was trying to make things clear in my mind and explain what had happened. All of a sudden, a dove circled above me and it grabbed my attention. I became completely silent and intrigued. Then a second one came and they circled each other and then they just flew off together. I sat there in silence. (Meanwhile Joey is freaking out because I haven’t said a word and cut off mid sentence) I finally told Joey, I was finally okay and I needed to hang up. I ended our conversation and had the greatest sense of peace. It was as if I had an out of body experience or meditated all day….the sense of peace was amazing. I went back into the nursing home gave my mother a hug and told her it was okay, that my Nana had found my Grandpa and she was at peace. It was the most amazing thing I ever experienced.

My Nana is always with me. She has ways of letting me know she is there. Every birthday,
holiday, event….I always find a four leaf clover. She always lets me know she is with me. I have found them for my mother on her birthday and so on as well. This year I couldn't find any for a few months and I was getting really upset because I always find them. Two weeks ago I was sitting in front of my parents house and I found 5. I was so excited. There was one for my birthday, one for each of my boys birthdays, my anniversary and mothers day. On my way into the house to wrap them, I lost one. But I wasn't disappointed because I knew she was there for me. Last weekend, it was my boys birthday party and I found another one which I gave to my mother.

Another funny thing that reminds me she is watching over me is, three years ago
for Mikey’s birthday when I was hanging up decorations in the back yard at my parent’s house, I found a feather. (Remember, she used to wear them in her hair?) I taped it to the chimney and told
everyone that my Nana was there. Three years later and after many storms that have passed it still hung there until a week or two ago when my parents replaced the chimney. When my father was cleaning up the yard for Mikey and Alex’s party the following year he found a new feather on the ground right below it. My mother called me and told me my Nana left me another present. At the party, I proudly hung it up right below the one from the previous year. This year when cleaning up the yard for the party, I found yet another but didn't hang it since my parents just replaced the chimney. But I smiled and admired it for a little while.

No matter where she is, I know she is with me. I love sharing stories about her and admire the woman she once was. She will forever live on in my memory and in the stories I share with my boys.


Lit and Life said...

What lovely memories you have of an amazing woman. I literally got chills down my spine as I read about the doves.

Cindy said...

Thanks for sharing this! Such a great story and a great woman...brought me to tears!

Sarah said...

It's wonderful that you had (and still have?) such a great relationship with your grandma. She sounds like such an amazing woman, you must feel so blessed to have had her in your life.

Just Tera said...

What lovely memories to share, and so important that you do. Some gifts are never wrapped up.

nacherluver said...

Waaaaaah! Where's my kleenex?
Thank you for sharing such wonderful memories of an amazing sounding woman.

Jo said...

I loved my Nana so much too and miss her more & more as times passes. Your Nana sounded like an amazing woman. Thank you for sharing this with us. (I'm now off to find more tissues & try to see through my tears! Sorry for any odd typo's).