On April 28th at 9am Est, my Nana passed away. It’s been a month and it still doesn’t seem real. There is nothing I want more than to get a phone call from her. “How’s my pretty girl doing?” This past Mother’s Day was our first Mother’s Day without her. Man, I don’t think I’ve ever felt a pain this strong in my life. My Nana, Lydia Wright, is my maternal grandmother and the grandparent I’ve been the closest to my entire life. We talked AT LEAST once a week, sometimes more. She offered me life advice (even if it was a little old-fashioned for my taste), and was always there for me, cheering me on and bragging about me to anybody who would listen. You know, the last few weeks of her life I was in such DENIAL. She had been sick before but she always bounced back. She was tired of fighting. I can’t say I blame her. She had been through SO MUCH in her life! From an eating disorder to breast cancer to kidney failure, emphysema, to much more. She was a fucking fighter and the strongest woman I know. I can’t put into words what she meant to me and I really honestly never thought about the day I’d have to live without her but those days are here now and now I have to figure it out. I have to figure out how to go on when all I really want to do is crawl into bed and cry.
While my Nana isn’t my first family member to pass away (I just lost my maternal grandfather last July), this pain is something different. The grief is almost unbearable at times. However, I know that she is always with me. She was always blunt and said whatever she wanted to say and did whatever she wanted to do and I hope to be as courageous as her. A few years ago she got me a bear that sang the song “I Hope You Dance” and dedicated that song to me. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with it (who are you? And WHY?), here are some of the lyrics:
“I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’
Don’t let some hell-bent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
I hope you dance, I hope you dance.”
I loved the song when she dedicated it to me but now that she’s passed it means even more. I now can’t listen to it without crying but I will make sure I listen to my Nana’s song of wisdom and never let her down. I have to make sure to be there for my mom and not be too sad. While I miss her, it is for selfish reasons because she is no longer in pain and has finally found peace. I’m learning a lot about grief and it’s come and go as it pleases attitude. Grief really doesn’t give a fuck.
Nana, All I know is when I wear purple (your favorite color), I’ll think of you. When someone mentions the Steelers (your favorite team and half of your wardrobe haha) I’ll think of you. Whenever I melt a scentsy (why did you have over 100 of them?), I’ll think of you. Whenever I eat something pumpkin (your nickname for me since before I even ate it) I’ll think of you. Nana, there will not be a day that goes by that I don’t think of you and I’m happy you were able to see me get into law school, even if I don’t know how I’ma survive without your weekly phone calls. I guess I’ll have to find a different way to talk to you. I love you and miss you! Say hi to Grandpa for me.