Two years ago today…

My nana passed away. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve been through, watching her as she faded. She had a massive stroke, which left her incapacitated. Unable to eat, drink, speak… She could kind of sort of squeeze my hand back when I held hers, but it was hard to do so without crying because she couldn’t even swallow on her own. 

Occasionally, a nurse would come in to moisten her lips with a wet cloth. But because of something Nana had signed previously, that was all they could do. She didn’t want any special measures to be brought back in this sort of situation. And even if she had, I don’t think there was anything anyone could have done, honestly. My sisters both came into town and we spent a few days visiting with our grandmother on her deathbed. The day she died, there was a major snowstorm and I wasn’t able to get back out to see her. 

But these aren’t the things I try to remember. 

I try to remember that as a child, I couldn’t wait to hang out with Nana. I loved going to her house–her street was lined with Weeping Willows, which I grew up calling Rainbow Trees. I loved splashing around in her neighborhood pool in the summer and the way she’d make me hot cocoa in the winter. But what I really loved was to hear about whichever new book she was writing.

She’s published several books. Nothing you’ve ever heard of, I’m sure, because she wrote them in a different age, in a completely different publishing world. But that’s not the point. This is:

That she could run blank pieces of paper through her typewriter and–using nothing more than her creativity and some ink–pull them back out full of stories and characters absolutely amazed me. I wanted to do the exact same thing.

So enter me, at who knows how young, with a spiral notebook and pencil in hand, writing furiously. Poems. Short stories. Beginnings to novels. I’d write until my fingers went numb. One Christmas, I gave everyone in my family a short horror story I’d written. Another time, a booklet of poems. From those first few words–from that first moment I realized I could create something too–I was hooked. It’s all thanks to Nana.

I miss her today. 

I miss her all the time.

Portrait of Nana as a young woman
Nana and my grandfather ❤

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