I believe that even the strongest of people whither. I wouldn’t say I’d necessarily heard this saying a hundred times before it’s impact, but I’d heard it enough to feel the relation to it upon an incidents occurrence in my life. Before then, I’d never really registered the meaning or the thought process behind it until I was put into a state where all I knew how to do, was contemplate the thought.
As long as I can remember, my nana was always sick. Surgery after surgery, hospital visit after hospital visit, she somehow always made it back into her own bed. She was superwoman to everyone who knew her; hell, she even confused doctors. In three out of her thirty nine surgeries she was supposed to pass away, and every time she pulled through like the miracle that she was. She’s the strongest person I’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting in my life, and I say that undoubtedly. Somehow, she managed to always have a smile and a high spirit. Carol, my nana, was also the funniest woman I’d ever met. From terrorizing hotel rooms on Florida vacations to harassing my brothers’ wrestling opponents, she had a consistent gift to continue life going with laughter. It was almost as if none of her health problems fazed her. I never second guessed her though. Sure, she’d gone through three times what any human should and pulled through remarkably, but she was my nana; that’s how it always was.
It was 9:48pm, and I was on the phone with my best friend. I was wandering around the kitchen in my PJ’s, the typical night. I mean, sure, my nana had just undergone another life threatening surgery, but this was something I was completely used to by now. Go in, come out, recover, joke, and go home. That was how everything happened. But this time, it was different. I could feel it, but I denied its presence and continued to wait for the phone call saying my nana had done remarkable, as always, and would be returning home on whatever date.
The home phone rings, I’m on my cell phone, so this doesn’t affect me much. My mom tells me my nana is dead; and suddenly I’d forgotten how to operate a converstaion. “How could my nana be dead?” I remember thinking. It wasn’t possible, MY nana? Carol? Not possible. It took me a long time to realize that even the strongest people in this world, eventually fade. We cannot control or tame it, but we can try to accept it for what it is. No matter how harsh this idea is rejected upon registering it, it eventually became easier to accept. Just because she’d passed, didn’t defy her reputation for being the amazing person she was. It was then I realized, it was only her body that had given out, because a spirit as strong as hers could never cease; even when confronted with the toughest obstacles.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.