Geraniums for Nana
Photo of Nana and me
Nana, my great-grandmother
March 24, 1897 - September 28, 1997
Nana was a very strong and truly good person. She worked so hard all of her life. She was giving and a caretaker of everyone. Widowed very early in her marriage, Nana raised her only daughter with the help of family. This must be what gave her her patience and what made her have to be strong.
What I like to remember about my great-grandmother is her laugh, I can still hear it. She loved us all so much. She had all of the time in the world and appreciated the simple things in life. I remember her pointing out the evening breeze and how good it felt. She said, "This is my air conditioner," one night when we were sitting on the front porch.
Nana ended up living with alzhiemers for over 10 years. It was too long to live like that in my opinion. Below is a poem I wrote in 1986 when I was a senior in highschool (thank you to my teacher, Mr. Joseph Wilson) about Nana and her alzheimer's.
Requiem for Nana and Me
Once I laughed at you
Telling me I was a naughty girl
Pointing that finger at me
I climbed higher, swinging on weak branches to watch you yell and scold me
I knew you wouldn't be mad, though.
But no more can I run and hide from you.
You are too old to chase me
I am too old to play silly games.
Never again can I sit in your lap
You are frail and like dead tree branches for me
I never understood why you worried when I would be a big girl
Always wanting me to stay little.
Oh Nana, I want to spit againso you will tell me that is bad
I want to walk to the store with you holding my hand tight.
I hate the smell of this place
You can't even notice it
You barely notice me.
Nana, this can't happen
But, you can't do anything
Neither can I
I'll stop whining and be a good little girl.