We had Nana's service on Saturday. It was an emotional day. But a good day. We had a family friend do the service and eulogy. Then I stood and read this:
I think each of you here knows what a huge part of our lives that Nana was. And how much each one of us loved her. Nana had a very special relationship with each one of us. All FIVE generations! Today, I want to tell you a little bit about my relationship with Nana. For me, this relationship really developed in my late teens and adult life. When my brothers and I were little, Nana always worked. Of course we spent holidays together, and there were many visits. But it wasn't until she retired in 76' that we would get the chance to spend a lot of time together. When all of her grandkids began to have babies, Nana was first in line to hold, rock and cuddle. Not only was Nana close to all of her grandkids, and her great grandkids, she was crazy about her three great-great grandkids. That adoration was mutual for each and every one of us!
I had the great pleasure to go along on several trips with Nana. She was always ready for an adventure, whether it was a trip to the mall, or a weekend away, her bags were packed and ready to go. We went to Hawaii. To Tennessee, where we visited The Grand Ole Opry and Dollywood. We traveled country roads, and stamped white horses, and big trucks of hay would take our wishes away We would often share a room on these trips and chat into the night. We went on a cruise and shared a tiny room and bathroom, and a lot of laughs. Spent many an hour on the swing at our family cabin in Big Bear, watching the birds and squirrels, often waiting for one of her famous lemon merinque pies to come out of the oven. At our beloved Bass Lake though, there is one memory that stands out in my mind. We were to be celebrating her 80th birthday on this trip and she jokingly teased that she would ride around the lake on a jet ski in a string bikini to celebrate this big event. Well, lucky for me, while shopping in the village, I happened to find the teeniest, tiniest string bikini. So I bought it for her big ride. We all got a good laugh out of that. Being the good sport, and fun kind of lady she was, she even put that teeny tiny bikini on to pose for me! Oh how we laughed.
Nana had a wonderful sense of humor. But she was also very matter of fact and sensible. I recall one time, after losing some weight, she and I were in a changing room together as I tried on some new clothes. I was gushing over the new me, and Nana said, "Kristy, you's never gonna be skinny. You take after the other side." I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, but whenever I am feeling fluffy, I remember her wise words. She also brought me back to earth on a weekend trip to Catalina that my family had taken. Greg and I always dreamed of living somewhere rural and slower paced. I told her how much I thought I might like to live there. She said, "Nah...the dust would still settle, and the laundry would still need doin', no matter where you live!"
When Nana lived in her condo, I would come out to help her clean and then we would go to lunch and sometimes to Target. Nana loved Polly's Pie's back burner soup for lunch, and if we had breakfast it was usually at The Original Pancake House, where we always split our favorite, the apple pancake, or pannycake, as we called them.
Nana was always game for some fun. Once after doing dishes and cleaning the kitchen following a family meal at my parents, I suggested to Nana that she sit in the giant stainless steel salad bowl so that I could pull her by her legs on a fast ride on the living room carpet. Oh YES she did!!! And she loved it!! We were all in tears we laughed so hard.
Nana was born and raised in Texas. She was firecly proud of her roots. Even though she lived most of her life in California, she never lost that sweet Southern accent. We always talked about making a "Nana Dictionary." There were certain words that she pronounced as only Nana could do. For instance, she didn't much care for "Dawgs." Especially if they were jumping on her. Then she would need to take a "shour", because she was feeling "trayshy." She always fried her Salmon Patties in "ol" and liked to wash them down with a cold Corona.
Whenever I would tell Nana that I was going anywhere that might involve water, she would say, "Don't forget to hang yer clothes on a hickory limb now." I loved to share Nana's playful personality with my friends. Through me, they all knew Nana. Whether it was her delicious Nana's Chicken or her famous sayings. Everyone loved Nana.
Nana never complained. Not ever. And she never lost her sense of humor. A couple of days before she passed, Mom and I were with her, and upon leaving, Nana told me, "Don't forget me."
With tears in my eyes, I walked to the foot of her bed while my Mom said goodnight. As we left, Mom kind of gave her top sheet a little billowing snap to cover up her bare legs. As we left, we could hear her say something, but didn't quite catch it. We went back to her side and Mom bent down to her and said, "what did you say Mom?" Then she repeated it, with a crooked grin, and a twinkle in her eye. "Shame on you for peeking up my dress!"
We walked out that night with heavy hearts, and tears in our eyes. But we were laughing too. We talked all the way home about how remarkable she is!
Whenever we saw Nana she always said goodbye in the same way. Tootle-Loo.....Be Sweet.
Nana, I will love you, and miss forever. Until we meet again..........Tootle-Loo. Be sweet.
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