Everyone has a grandma and grandpa. The two old people that are your parent’s mom and dad. The two people whose house you go over to at Thanksgiving and Christmas.Also the two people who pinch your cheek and tell you how cute you are and how much you’ve grown. While I knew both of my grandparents on my dad’s side of the family, I did not know my grandpa on my mom’s side. I did, however, have my Nana. Yes, my Nana was old and was my mom’s mom, and I did go over to house on Thanksgiving and Christmas but she wasn’t a “grandma”. She was my hero.
My Nana died when I was 14. She battled cancer for sixteen years of her life. She died with one lung and breast and lung cancer in her past. She died happy and strong. My Nana was the most unique and inspiring person I have ever known. She brought joy to everyone and everything she did. Without knowing her you would have never suspected she had cancer. She never complainted or felt bad for herself. Instead she rejoiced in the blessings she had. Her ability to love each moment and each day, protected me from ever worrying too much about her. . She taught me how to love life, how to cherish each and every moment, and how to be myself. My Nana gave me hope and faith. She never looked down on me but encouraged me to do better every time I messed up. She never judged me or compared me to others but she loved me for me.
The other day I visited her grave site for the first time. Being at the place where I said my final good-bye brought back all of the feelings of loss that I had pushed in the back of my mind. I realized
that I had tried to forget about her gravesite. I thought about the reasons I told myself that prevented me from visiting sooner. Such as I couldn’t find the right time to go, or I was too busy, or maybe I was just scared. Walking to her grave site a few days ago made me realize I was terrified. I didn’t know what to expect, or what emotions it would touch. Finally being there and looking down at her gravestone I expected to cry, to break apart, and have all my emotions spill out. But nothing I expected happened. I didn’t cry, but I smiled. Looking at her name made me proud and feel peaceful. I realized how proud I was to be my Nana’s grand daughter. I realized how proud I was that I knew her. Standing there, I
was expecting sad emotions to rush back, but instead every memory I had with her came before my eyes. Finally,I started laughing, and crying with happiness. For in that moment , I realized that I believe in memories. I believe memories keep people going. They help people take a step out of bed each morning and start the day. Even after a tragedy, they help people go on. I believe my memories of my Nana have given me the strength to step forward everyday. I will never forget my memories of my Nana. They are the most treasured part of life to me. I will hold on to her memories forever and I will smile the whole way.
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