Journal Entry March 21st, 2009 Back at Home for Nana’s Funeral

Being back at home, immersed in memories, looking at old photos and memorabilia of what was, of what has been, of my life, of this reality, my trunk, the trunk or roots, my base, its all a bit surreal. 

There’s a storm coming in as well. The wind is blowing the leaves around, the newly sprouted extensions are being shaken as the branches sway with the breeze. Dark grey clouds here and there amidst an array of grey, blue and white billowing puffs. The atmosphere is a bit more humid and much colder in comparison to the strong sun this afternoon. What a contrast and amazingly appropriate. 

I’m very grateful to have had a sister by my side growing up – I wouldn’t be the same without my other half Alexis. I’m also extremely grateful to have had all of my family so close, I can’t imagine how it would’ve been otherwise. 

I am noticing many similarities between Nana and I as we go through her belongings. She was my first and most impressionable role model and mentor. I am incredibly blessed and thankful for this. I realize today how much this is true. I was meant to have her in such a lead role just as she was meant to teach me what she had learned in life. She was about 70 when Alexis and I moved out to her country home with her. We were young, kindergarten age. She was a great woman. She seemed to be quite connected with who she was. I am lucky to have been raised by such a person. She absolutely influenced me and it is now that I see so clearly how she did. We had a very special bond, different from the rest.  Perhaps it is because I am her first granddaughter, or perhaps it is because our birthdays are two days apart, both on the Pisces/Aires cusp… perhaps we just got along really well in general… 

I took in what she taught me and made it my own. She always wanted to do everything right, the proper way and she would communicate through writing with friends. She would give me paper and a pen to write with as a child which I did next to her. I found a letter that a friend had written back to her proving that she was also quite inspirational to others as well through her words and the way she expressed what she felt from the heart.

The letter was from Anne from 1985, right around the time when Alexis and I went to live with her: 

Anne thanked her for her kind words and support and quoted what Nana had written to her, confessing that she has read it every single day… Nana wrote “All of u have only one day at a time, to lie, we should be thankful, do what we can, and never give up!” That was my grandmother… 

She had all that she needed and was thankful everyday. She wrote in her bible time after time “Thank you Lord for Everything” “and today, and today” She showed it with her loving kindness to everyone in every way. She was selfless and always generous with everything that she had tangible or intangible. I didn’t remember this, but it must be where I get it… she would cut out and copy down poems that she would come across and file them in her most prized possession… her source of inspiration… her bible. They were all about self discover, about being good and kind. She even had a poem of mine from when I was about 13 which made me cry…

I come from a very big hearted family, who are generous and kind, loving and compassionate, who like to enjoy life and have fun in lighthearted easy ways, a family of great people who strive to do their best. They are all unique and individual and extremely loyal. They are my family and I am theirs as well… I haven’t felt this good to be back at home in a long time… never quite like this… it feels great… 

I am glad that Chris was kind enough to pick me up from the meditation center to bring me here to say farewell to my grandmother and be here for my family… I am so blessed to have such friends and family. Blessed.

Living and Giving -or- The Law of Life

I found this cutout poem from 1987 in my grandmother’s bible: 


Whatever you give away today – or think or say or do

Will multiply about tenfold – and then return to you

It may not come immediately – nor from the obvious source

But the LAW applies unfailingly 0 through some invisible force. 

Whatever you feel about another – be it love or hate or passion

Will surely bounce right back to you – in some clear or secret fashion. 

If you speak about some person – a word of praise or two

Soon tens of other people – will speak kind words of you. 

Our thoughts are broadcasts of the soul – not secrets of the brain

Kind ones bring us happiness – petty ones unfold pain. 

Giving words as surely – as reflections in a mirror

If hate you send, hate you’ll get back – but loving brings love nearer. 

Remember as you start his day – and duty crowds your mind

That kindness comes so quickly back – to those who first are kind! 

Let that thought and this one – direct you through each day – – – 

The only things we ever keep – are things we give away. 

-Jerry Buchanan

Smile When You Think of Her

I was a pallbearer along with my sister and a few cousins… In a long white cadillac she took her last ride on a brisk and breezy Monday we bid her farewell not good bye… I read the following graveside… 


Although she’s not here, she’s not gone

her years of hardwork raising all of us

with love and patience as she taught us right from wrong

she lives inside of us and is in all that we do

so smile when you think of her, don’t be sad and blue.

Nana has moved on to a peaceful place

up in heaven where they’ve been saving her space

she left this world and has been welcomed by a loving warm embrace

so smile when you think of her, don’t be sad and blue

remember all the hugs and all of her smiles

keep them with you, they’ll take you through the long and windy miles

thank you Nana…

Memories of Nana

My grandmother, the one I lived with the majority of my youth, just passed away. I wrote something to be shared with family and friends at the funeral chapel… here it is: 


I thought it’d be appropriate if I wrote this down as at times I can be a bit emotional… 

My memories are infused with pleasant images and moments with Nana and I’d like to share a few….

like picking sun ripened tomatoes from her tomato patch

shelling peas and walnuts by hand for hours on end

making homemade fig newtons and molasses cookies in the kitchen 

sitting in suspense during the last half hour of Murder She Wrote

listening to her say her nightly prayers as she knelt down in her bedroom

smelling the perfume she wore with her best Sunday dress, broach and high heels

learning about painting happy little clouds and nature scenes from Bob Ross next to her

singing along while standing in her regular pew at church

walking, speed walking mind you, down the country block as she stressed that I needed to always maintain good posture with my shoulders back, chest and head up

cutting oranges and toasting Roman Meal bread along side her for breakfast

I distinctly recall when I was young, probably 8 or 9 years old, I was crying, worried about death, scared that she would die someday, that I would die someday. She assured me as I knelt by her chair with her loving hand on my shoulder that I needn’t be afraid, that God had a plan and suggested I seek the pastor for guidance. 

I am who I am today because of the experiences and influences of my family and am so fortunate to have lived with Nana for so many years. Even when I’ve been away, she’s always been with me and will continue to always be a part of me. I’ll always cherish those special moments and smile with my heart when I think of her. She was such a generous, kind, dedicated, firm, hardworking, loyal, compassionate and loving woman who has positively impacted our world. Thank you Nana.