Early this morning my Nana passed away. She was 87. She had been living for several months in a nursing home in El Paso, Texas. Nana had a lot of life and spunk in her right until the end. She was one funny lady, very dry with her humor. Recently she started responding to the question 'How are you doing?' with the answer 'I'm 87.' Like, that should cover it!
Charlie is named after Nana's late husband, my Daddy Chuck, and she really enjoyed looking at pictures and videos of him in his first year. In July we flew out to El Paso to see her and so Charlie could meet her. She fed him a bottle and he was so good sitting in her lap. He brought her a lot of joy the past few months.
We used to go visit Nana and Daddy Chuck every summer in El Paso for a week. Occasionally we'd go for Christmas but the summer trip happened every year. I have a lot of fond memories of those trips and the time we spent with them, mostly out back by their swimming pool. Or at Leo's for Mexican food. I think we all have very fond memories of that place.
But mostly I remember silly little things. Like how Nana would mix orange juice and sprite into special drinks for us and have plenty of popsicles on hand to eat by the pool. How she'd put in the Wizard of Oz for us to watch when we got tired of swimming and sneak back to her room to watch her soap operas, which she recorded on BETA. I remember looking at her Hummels and winding up all her music boxes that were on shelves near the dining room. And riding in her car to go to church. It's funny what you remember.
I haven't been to that house in several years but I will be there next week. I'm sure it will bring back a lot of those happy memories. I am leaving early Monday morning to fly to El Paso for the funeral, which is Monday afternoon. The burial is Tuesday morning and I fly home shortly after that. Since Charlie is recovering from a ruptured ear drum he will not be flying so Brad is staying home with him.
In my memories Nana was of course always a grandmother, but I love photos of her before that. I've posted this one before because I love it so much - this is Nana and Daddy Chuck on their wedding day in Peebles, Ohio. Nothing says love to me like this photo.
And below is a photo from many years later (yet many years ago) at their house in El Paso. Santa brought me a Polaroid camera that year (went great with my Coco-Cola jersey - remember those?) and I made everyone pose for pictures. Nana was busy cooking Christmas dinner but Daddy Chuck persuaded her to stop what she was doing and pose for a picture! This was in the kitchen.
After Daddy Chuck died Nana was never the same. She missed him so much. It was like life didn't quite work right without him. When I've gotten really emotional about her passing today it is when I think about them together again, finally. And how happy she must be.