What if someone in your family became your best friend? What if the relationship grew stronger over many years? What if, one day, out of the blue, this “friend” got taken away? My grandmother, my dear and very close friend, died of Lung Cancer on August 27, 2006.
I believe it’s important to cherish every moment with your family, because you never know when they’ll be gone.
Cancer, the second leading cause of death in the United States, is a horrifying disease. It killed my grandmother. MY grandmother. MY Nanny, as I called her. MY best friend. It all started in December 2004. After running many tests, my Nanny was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States.
I have always been the closest grandchild to my Nanny. I was her only girl. My Nanny used to take me shopping when I was a baby, she would stroll me around the mall in the carriage. My Nanny used to bring me to her club’s pool, she used to take me in the water, which I hated. My Nanny used to buy me all these dresses and shoes to match them with bows and headbands. My Nanny used to teach me how to dance. As I grew up as the oldest grandchild, I would sleepover at my Nanny’s house on weekends. We would spend hours of the day together and chatting over lunch… I can hear her laugh now. When my younger cousin and my brother were born, my Nanny loved them both very much. But I was the first grandchild. I was the first girl. I was the one she could call her best friend, as could I. We were always the closest out of the family, and everybody knew it.
It is unimaginable that I am even writing this essay about my grandmother’s death. I never would have thought of her leaving the world, leaving ME behind. I should have known to cherish every moment when I was younger. I should have known to remember every day we spent together. I should have known this was going to happen. But I couldn’t. Cancer takes us by surprise; there is nothing we can do about it. Cancer took my Nanny by surprise.
My Nanny did live to share my Bat Mitzvah, a milestone in my life. But she did not make it to my high school graduation, college, or wedding, which are three huge anticipated experiences in my life I would have wanted to share with her. My Nanny is with me everyday in my heart; she fills my whole heart. I am so unbelievably lucky to be able to have had such a precious relationship with my Nanny. Many children are born without knowing their grandparents. I am extremely grateful for having her in my life for 14 years because nobody I know has a bond like my Nanny’s and mine. Although she is not physically with me anymore this bond that we share is stretched a farther distance, but it is still there. From this experience, I have now learned it is essential to build strong relationships and memories with people you love. All of the memorable times I spent with my Nanny are so special to me and will be with me forever. Clearly, you never know when such a life changing experience can occur. So, value the times you spend with loved ones because you’re never warned when you’re going to lose them. This I believe.
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