Mudcat Café message #442100 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #33270   Message #442100
Posted By: Naemanson
16-Apr-01 - 08:15 PM
Thread Name: Goodbye Nana....
Subject: Goodbye Nana....
My grandmother died this evening, less than an hour ago. My mother just called me and informed me that she was gone. With that call and my calls to other family members behind me I have time to reflect on the little old woman we called Nana.

She was the matriarch of the family, a tiny bent old white haired woman with translucent skin and a quavering voice. She defiantly went on living despite the hard years, the loneliness, and the poverty. She was independent, hard nosed, and pessimistic all her life.

She was my last living grandparent. The others had left her many years earlier, in fact, my grandfather, her husband, was the first of the grandparents to die.

The years following his death were hard for her. She was alone in a huge rambling house full of ghosts and antiques. She worked cleaning hotel rooms and driving a school bus. She raised two grandchildren, my cousins, while their parents struggled to make a living.

Then she finally had to sell the old family home. It was one of the great houses. Every child should have one of these homes somewhere in his or her past. It was full of cannon balls and old guns, cutlasses, and brass knuckles. The closets were full of antique clothing and fancy hats. The bookcases were full of odd volumes and wonderful surprises. The attic was creepy and full of marvels from ages gone by. There was even a secret passage leading from the south front room on the first floor up around the chimney to the trap door in the attic.

And it was haunted. There were mysterious clocks that ticked and knockings from under the beds. Heavy footsteps resounded in the night and hats squirmed out of protective coverings and sat once more regally waiting for the woman of the house. There were wondrous ghost stories that everyone told. In her declining years someone had the temerity to ask her how she could stand living alone in the house. She replied that she usually kept her hearing aid turned off.

This was Nana. From her beginnings as the daughter of a farmer in Brewer, Maine, when she drove a buggy to the river to catch the ferry across to go to school through her hard fought years with my grandfather, then the more difficult years without him, to finally her little apartment in Littleton, Maine, she was a hell of a woman and an inspiration for those of us honored to be related to her.

Goodbye Nana, I love you.