My Nana is dying… the doctors have said that today may be her last day here with us in the present.

So I wanted to take this moment to remember my Nana in the present, before she becomes an angel above.

My Nana.

My father’s mother.

Who loves me more than any Nana could love a granddaughter. She loves all her grandchildren that way. We know it. We feel it. We embrace it. We feel the same way.

We always have had a beautiful and special connection. I don’t know what it is… but there has always been something there that has bonded us, call it fate. I was meant to be her granddaughter. I have always known that.

Nana was my caretaker as a child. She took care of me every afternoon. Being a woman who had 3 sons… she just adored having a little girl around. And then my mother had Jane… and she just loved being in the GIRL MODE!

My Nana. Oh, my Nana.

She loves the color yellow. She has the most beautiful brown eyes. And she cooks with such passion. Even at the age of 89. She has many famous recipes… baked beans, golden rod eggs, deviled eggs, clam dip, chocolate sin…

I remember as a child that I loved her salad dressing. She would make her own, always. I have no clue what she put in it… but till this day, I have never tasted a better taste.

Isn’t it funny how some things in life are just that way… the salad dressing was just always better at Nana’s.

Nana loves a love story. That was our thing. We read Danielle Steel. We go back and forth trading books. We chat about them. And joke about them. And discuss the plot and characters. We’re romantics… we love us a good love story. Always have, always will. I remember going to see The Bridges of Madison County with her. We sobbed throughout the movie…. this beautiful love story. That was us. The romantics!


My Nana was the first person who taught me that you could have different wardrobes for different seasons. She had winter pocketbooks. Summer pocketbooks. I used to love that as a kid. I would go into her hall closet and sneak peeks at her pocketbooks. She took such pleasure in showing me all her girly things… and as a child, I LOVED it.

My Nana. Who was ecstatic to hear that I was having a 4th son. She loves my boys. Loves them with all her heart and soul. And she never gets sick of seeing Alexander do his air guitar and say “Rock and Roll!”

My Nana. Always with beautifully painted nails. Who never (ever) comes to a family-outing empty handed. She has taught us all that… you go somewhere, you bring something. Plain and simple.

My Nana. Quick with a joke. Yes, even at 89.

My Nana.

Who wouldn’t miss a family function, party or event for anything. I mean, anything. And never misses a birthday or anniversary date. That’s her. She remembers things like that… always with a card.

My Nana. Who every time we would go pick her up for dinner would come down and ask if we could take her somewhere else too… something we will all, all remember fondly. She loves a good Target and Sam’s Club trip.

She bowled until she couldn’t pick up the bowling ball any longer. But still goes to the bowling alley to check in. That was a second home for her throughout her life… the Bowling Academy.

My Nana. Who never missed one of my swim meets. And who we have on video walking up and down the pool at my very first swim meet cheering me on. So close to the edge… as if – just in case I needed her – she would be able to jump in and help me.

Nana. Oh, my Nana. Who danced at my wedding… and wore a beautiful blue dress.

I remember when I told her I was pregnant with William, she cried. She cried tears of pure and utter joy and happiness. And who made my boys the most beautiful blankets… even when her hands couldn’t sew anymore, she made them. All for my boys.

She came to the hospital 7 weeks ago to meet my Henry. She held him and kissed him and couldn’t get over how much he looked like William. But most… she was just concerned about me. Kept asking me how I felt… that is my Nana.

I never thought a day like this would come. My heart is broken. My tears are flowing.

But I know she’s here. And she always will be.

The last month she has said some beautiful things to me…

She told me that she “always liked that Matt. He’s a good guy.”

And most recently as I stood over her in the hospital as she slept, I just started sobbing… she immediately came to and looked at me in the eyes. She said, “Don’t cry… it’s OK. I love you.” Those words. Those words. They will live in me forever.

And the last words she spoke to me on Monday night… she couldn’t say my name, but my father told her I was there in the room and she smiled and said, “Love story…” I laughed and told her I had the latest Danielle Steel book for her when she comes home… she smiled.

Nana. I love you. I wish upon wish you could live here forever. I know you will see me and the boys and Matt. I know you will send us love. I know you will send special things to us… just to let us know you are here, always.

I ache. I cry. I do because I love you. I love you from the depths of my being. And I am that being because of you.

Thank you for being MY Nana.

I love you…

*My Nana passed away at 1:16pm this afternoon. She was surrounded by 2 of her sons, 2 of her grandsons and one of her daughter-in-law’s… my mother, whom she felt was an actual daughter.  GOD Bless you Nana… GOD Bless you…*

Nana… was last modified: February 9th, 2010 by Audrey McClelland
SHOWHIDE Comments (45)
  1. Audrey, this is beautiful. I lost my mother in February, and I still remember those same kinds of words she said to me on her death bed, that she loved me and I was “too pretty to be in our family.” Hold on to those memories –your Nana will stay with you even after she passes on.

  2. My dear Audrey – I am so sorry to hear about your Nana – my heart aches for you today. Love, Aunt Sandy

  3. Audrey, this made me cry. Your Nana sounds absolutely amazing. As much as I am sure you will miss her, think of all she has taught you. Every time you show up to a party with a gift, you have her to thank. And every time you laugh and smile at your precious boys, think of how she’d laugh and smile, too.
    My thoughts are with you today.

  4. I’m sorry to hear about your Nana. All the things you said about her remind me of my Nanny. I lived with her growing up, and while I miss her horribly (and this post brought thoughts of her and tears to my eyes) I know where she is, and that someday I’ll see her again. I can grieve with hope. I pray your family stays strong through this difficult time of life.

  5. What a beautiful tribute. The tears are flowing down my cheeks just reading your heartfelt, loving words…Wishing you and your family must peace and joy in memories.

  6. What a beautiful tribute to an obviously beautiful woman. Tears are streaming down my cheeks as I write this and my daughter is patting me in concern. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family today.

  7. My grandfather, whom I lost last year, was able to say goodbye to all and express a desire to go, and that made his passing much more bittersweet than bitter and quite easier to bear—knowing that he was at peace. I wish that for you, your family, and your Nana.

  8. I am so sorry to hear about your Nana. She sounded like quite a special lady … What loving tributes from you and Jane, to someone who is so special to so many … Sounds like you and Jane have some wonderful memories that will stay with you forever (it brought back playing waitress when I was young with my grandmother …) Losing someone is never easy, especially someone so special and so much a part of who you are, but be grateful for all of the time you had with her and the memories that you shared! Sympathy and hugs to your entire family during this difficult time … xo, Meg

  9. Oh Audrey, it was hard enough for me to get through this without crying. I am so sorry for your loss. Your Nana sounds so much like my “Mommal.” You have painted a beautiful picture of her here for us. Thank you.


  10. Oh Audrey . . . .my heart absolutely aches for you and your family. So much of how you described your Nana is how I feel about my own grandmother.

    I’ve got quite a lump in my throat. Hugs to you all.

  11. what a beautiful memoir. Long before I found the joys of motherhood, I always wanted to grow up to be a grandma. Grandma’s are just so special. My heart goes out to you while you are grieving

  12. Audrey, Jane, Sharon and Barry,

    This is a beautiful tribute to a woman who clearly led a full and engaging life — a woman who seemed to understand that raising a family, and helping to raise grandchildren, is among the most important charges in the world. Look at what she has given you all — you all understand how important children are! And you are all doing an amazing job of raising them. I, too, had wonderful grandmothers, who also cared for me while my mother worked. I understand the heartache and I feel for you. But I understand the joy, too, and you will always carry that in your hearts. My prayers are with you.

  13. How lucky you are to have had such a wonderful gramma. My deepest condolences, Audrey. I know how hard it is. But I also know that your nana will always be with you….just like mine has been for many years.

  14. This was beautiful, Audrey. I am so happy we were there together when she told you not to cry and that it would be OK… and that she loved you. That was Nana… always wanting to be the caretaker. Her legacy will live on. She was bigger than life. There’s just no other way to go on than to honor her memory every day.

    I love you!

  15. What a sweet, sweet tribute, Audrey. I’ve been thinking about you guys all day. I’m so sorry to hear about Nana but I’m thankful that you shared such beautiful memories of her with us.

  16. I’m so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family at this time.

    This was a beautiful tribute to what an incredible woman.

  17. What a beautiful tribute Audrey that you have written here! So amazing how much she was to you and your whole entire family. What a blessing she got to see all four of your handsome boys.

    Big (((HUGS))) and you all will be in my thoughts and prayers. Also I pray God will give you all strength to get through this difficult time!

  18. What a tribute. What love. I am so sorry for your loss. I am 55 yr old mom of 5 and grandma to 8. My youngest is 17 and the rest are grown and gone with kids of their own. This post really touched my heart. I had a wonderful grandma. My children lost both of theirs when I was pregnant with baby # 3. They never got to make any memories. Because of that I always try to be the bestest funnest granny in the world.I always pray they will remember how much I love them and all the fun things we do. After reading this post I can see that all those things will be a part of their lives just like you describe. How blessed you are to have had her for so long. My heart goes out to you. God Bless, debi

  19. I am so very sorry to hear about your loss. Your Nana was certainly blessed with a very loving family and she sounds like a very loving women. God bless you and your family during this difficult time.

  20. I’m sorry. My mother-in-law died in April, joining two of her sons (including my husband). The last thing we said to each other was, “I love you.” We didn’t have to say it to know it was true, but I’m so glad we did.

    Thinking of you and your family.


  21. Oh Audrey, I am so sad for your family; I was really super close to my Grandfather (we collected stamps together for years) and it was so hard to loose him a few years ago. I am praying you all find the ways you need to grieve; and I am sending many hugs your way.

  22. My heart breaks for you all. What a beautiful love story this post is…so appropriate for a woman who loved Love Stories. (((HUGS)))

  23. I’m so sorry about your Nana. I have one elderly Granny left and she is getting quite fragile, so I understand (a little) how you feel. Your tribute is beautiful. You’ll be in my prayers, as will your family, as you adjust to the loss. It’s all good for those who’ve flown away; now those of us left must grieve.

  24. I am so sorry for your loss. My grandmother is declining rapidly as well and I just can’t put it out there, in the blogosphere. But I know exactly how it feels. Hugs and good thoughts to your entire family.

  25. This was a beautiful tribute from you to what only sounds like a beautiful woman, your Nana. I do not look forward to the day my Nannie will pass but this post reminds me of all of the wonderful things about my Nannie as well.

Nana… was last modified: February 9th, 2010 by Audrey McClelland