I think almost every person has had someone in their life that inspired them. For me, it is my Nana. Nana passed away on the 4th of July 2004. She was a painter, a sewer, the world's most fantastic cook and a strong Christian woman who drove herself to Bible study every week and went to church Sundays without fail. In Nana's desert garden, she could grow almost anything, oranges, tomatoes, even lavender!
When I was a teen, I spent time in the summer at my Nana's house in Tucson, Arizona. A typical day at Nana's invariably included a hot breakfast (with bran muffins... Nana was all about balance!), a trip to the thrift store, the library, and then the video store to rent wonderful old movies like The Shop Around the Corner and Meet Me in St. Louis. After a yummy lunch of sandwiches (with sprouts!), we'd go for a swim. An energetic person, Nana swam everyday, and went skiing for the first time of her life in her late 60's! In the late afternoon, Nana would put the kettle on, and we'd have shortbread cookies and cream in our tea. For dinner we'd get a pizza or Nana would whip up something wonderful, always, always, always followed by homemade cake! After dinner, we'd get comfortable in the family room and read, or watch movies. Sometimes, Nana and I would stay up past midnight immersed in conversation...she recalling life during the depression and the war, what is was like raising my dad and his brother and sisters in the 50's, choices she had made, both good and bad, our favorite books, even politics and religion.
I had a wonderful conversation with Nana a few months before she traveled to her "forever home". She knew, at that time, what she was facing, and looked forward to meeting up again with the friends (and my grandfather) that went before her. She was excited, curious and admitted her slight fear. A few weeks before July 4, 2004, she gave me the most beautiful Turquoise bracelet. The bracelet was an heirloom, handcrafted by a Native American artist from a local tribe that had been given to her by my grandfather decades before. It's amazing... the comfort that small bracelet grants me when I have had a bad day or am fearful in anyway (like when I fly!).
Nana's grace, courage and beauty inspire me daily to create, to pray, to show kindness, to relish the process of making meals for my family, to enjoy indulgent foods, but to balance that pleasure with vegetables and exercise. She was a women with a life well lived, full of friendship, spirituality, creativity and the people she loved.
June 1924-July 2004
June 1924-July 2004