Tuesday, March 25, 2014

nana


On March 13, 2014 my Nana, Valerie Joan Hunter, shuffled off this mortal coil and since I so infrequently remember to blog my husby recommended that I post the eulogy I gave at her funeral.

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I, along with my two brothers and my sister-in-law, drove here to Halifax from Toronto to celebrate Nana’s life and we couldn’t be happier that we did.

That’s what she was to us: Nana.  But looking at all your faces and flipping through the albums at last night’s viewing, I realize I didn’t know her like you know her.

I didn’t know her as a work colleague, or an Eagle Point Drive neighbour, or a church friend, as many of you had the pleasure of knowing her.

I didn’t know her as a travel companion, or fancy-dress-party-goer, or best friend for decades.

I didn’t know her as an aunt, or a Big Sister, or a mom or a wife.

I didn’t even know her as Grandma, which was her East Coast alias.

I won’t even know her as my 2-year old son will one day know her: as Great Nana, from the stories we will tell him, and from the watercolour painting hung up in his room.

But I knew her as Nana.

Nana and Grandad’s visits to Toronto were always the happiest, fullest, most joyous memories for me.  It helped that they visited at Christmas and traveled with one suitcase exclusively dedicated to presents.  Nana was, to me, was and always will be a series of memories: pearl nail polish, putting her face on, a great laugh, “getting ogernized”, teaching me shorthand, and they way she said “Oh, Tony…”

It’s impossible to remember Nana - no matter how you knew her - without tenderness and admiration.  I think that’s because she filled every relationship, every conversation, every room with gentleness and light.

She always had something to say - an anecdote, a story, something optimistic, something helpful.
She always had something to give - like the Werther’s Originals she kept in her purse for the car drive to and from the airport.
She left something behind - when I saw the tiny hairs left on the car seat from her fur coat and remember her, or the music boxes she and Grandad gave me that played “It’s a Small World After All” which helped me when I missed them.

So that’s how I’d like to remember Nana.  By being more like her.  With always something optimistic to say, always something ready to give, and always with something to leave behind.

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