You must do the things you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

My Nana

This past Sunday my Nana passed away after complications from a broken leg. About seven years ago she  fell and broke her femur (thigh bone, biggest bone in the body). What followed was a cycle of surgeries, complications, and infections. She was bedridden for several years, and my Grandpa worked tirelessly to help her. He hired a home health nurse and converted the main floor of their home to a hospital ward so that Nana could stay home and not go to a nursing home.

Random things about my Nana...
Before she broke her leg, she was quite a live wire and  was very out spoken. She also had a bit of a potty mouth... I can still hear her voice, "Come here you little sh!t and give me a hug." Not in an angry way at all; it was just what she called us. I didn't think it was weird until I realized other grandparents didn't say things like that to their grandkids. It would take the casual observer by surprise because she was a very pretty, well dressed woman.
12 years ago at our wedding

My grandparents have lived in El Paso, TX longer than I've been alive. I grew up in central Texas - about a 600 mile drive, across the blazing desert - so we got to see them just a few times a year. This was hard for my Nana because she adored me and my brother, but it made our visits that much sweeter.

She was an excellent cook. Man, could she make a mean lasagna. She would make and freeze a bunch of pans of lasagna for us to take home - my mom is an awful cook (which she readily admits!) so these were such a treat for us!

I was Nana's 'yea, yea girl.' My dad was away at school for the Army when I was born so my mom lived with my grandparents. I was sick a lot as a baby and cried all the time. Nana would rock me saying 'yea, yea' softly and I would stop crying so she called me her yea, yea girl.

One Sunday morning my mom and grandparents were rushing out the door, late for church (or maybe bowling?). Nana wanted to change me one last time so she layed me on the counter of their all white bathroom. As soon as she took my diaper off, my nether regions exploded covering her and the bathroom with baby poo. And she loved me still.

Party Animals

One of the funniest memories I have of her (because I don't remember pooping all over her) is when she was driving my mom, brother, uncle and I somewhere in El Paso. They had a red station wagon with a flip up trundle seat in the way back. We three kids (my uncle is just 3 years older than I am) were sitting back there goofing off and probably making a bunch of noise.

She would get really flustered when driving and she made a wrong turn down a one way street. My mom is typically cool as a cucumber but even she got a little nervous when there were a bunch of cars heading straight for us.

Nana started telling us to be quiet which made us turn around and see the oncoming cars. We started screaming and yelling "We're going to die! You're going to kill us!" while laughing hysterically which made her even more flustered so she yelled even more for us to be quiet and the cycle continued until we made it to the end of the street - unharmed except for our stomach muscles because we laughed so hard. We were just kids so we didn't appreciate the gravity of the situation, but it ended well so it became one of those stories we loved to tell when reminiscing about 'the good ol' days.'

The kids and I were able to visit my grandparents when they made a trip to the east coast a couple of years ago. It was the first time I had seen them since Hank was a baby and since she had broken her leg. It was so good to see them, and I wish I had taken more pictures.

So now she's gone. No longer in pain. Able to breathe deeply and walk freely.

If you think of it, please pray for my Grandpa. He poured so much of his life into her care and this has been quite difficult for him.

While I'm definitely sad and grieving, I'm grieving with hope because....
He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces
~Isaiah 25:8

Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While were were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~Romans 5:7-8


Kovas said...

Condolences to you - never easy to lose a loved one.

misszippy said...

So sorry Tracy. You did a beautiful tribute here for her. Love that she had a potty mouth!

Caratunk Girl said...

I am so sorry Tracy. This was an amazing tribute to her. Big hugs to your grandpa.

The Green Girl said...

I am so sorry for your loss, Tracy. ::hugs::


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