Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering My Nana

Today I blew $500 on a leather jacket and made 24 pink macarons. I needed a distraction. My Nana died yesterday after a long battle with heart disease. That was a lot harder to type than I thought it would be. I came to America on my Nana's birthday 25 years ago and we lived in her house out on the North Carolina border. When our house was built, she was my babysitter, my playmate, and someone to run to when I was sad or scared. My mom and I spent summers at the condo she moved into swimming in the pool and eating Wendy's chicken nuggets. I never knew my grandfather. He left long ago, so long ago my mother doesn't even remember what he looked like. My other grandmother was back in England and all I had here were my parents and my Nana.

The thing about grandparents is that you very rarely have bad memories of fights or arguments. They just love you and love to spoil you. I certainly was; she wanted a granddaughter so bad, sending my mom letters when she lived in England and in the PS line writing "Think Pink". My memories of her are filled with trips to the zoo, the aquarium, going to yard sales, and feeding the birds at our favorite drive-in restaurant, Doumars. She was there to pick me up every day after preschool and I saw her every afternoon when I came home from school until I was 13. By that time I was "too old" to have a babysitter, but it was still nice just to have someone around. We'd watch Oprah, do the jumble in the newspaper and play with the cats. It was all good, all innocent. Thursday I have to say goodbye to her forever and since this is the first person close tome I've ever lost it makes it that much harder. Luckily, I have some great friends and family that do whatever they can to make me feel better. I know this has been a month full of depressing posts, but writing is my way of coping along with other things.

My Nana was a shopaholic to say the least. She was always decked out in the flashiest costume jewelry on the planet; rings, bracelets, broaches, high heels of many colors, you name it. She always had her fingernails done and always had on something pink. Back when my mom was a kid, my Nana accidentally dyed her hair pink and the nickname Pinky stuck ever since. Today I honored her memory after a sleepless night of over thinking everything by blowing my paycheck on a beautiful AllSaints leather jacket and making pink strawberry-rose macarons. I'm never the irresponsible one, but sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and do what you can to feel better. I could have done much worse and I'll probably never buy anything that expensive for quite some time. It's really the first time I haven't totally turned to food for comfort during a difficult time. I didn't eat one macaron, I saved them for my coworkers who brought me lunch and food today while I was at home.

If my Nana taught me anything, it's that life should be anything but boring and to really just be yourself. Everyone who knew her loved her because she had that air of confidence. This is someone who knows who they are and it didn't hurt that she kept her quick wit until the end. I thought I'd bee sobbing and blubbering over the keyboard while writing this, but I find myself smiling more than anything. I loved my Nana and she knew it. I hope I have some of that rebellious spirit in me, and if she could seeme in that oxblood leather coat, I know she'd be telling me how much it was worth it. Rest in peace Nana, but don't be afraid to raise hell wherever you are :)

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