My Nana was vibrant and tenacious up until the time of her brain hemorrhage 3.5 years ago. After that incident, she was moved into an extended care facility from where she passed away on Good Friday, at the age of 91. We celebrated her life last week, and said good bye.
There were a few surprises at her memorial, most of them good. Members of the family and some very dear friends have been steadfast and stalwart in looking after Nana, and their passion and love was very evident in making arrangements and preparing the celebration of her life.
Nana was a terrifically resilient person. She was born in the shadow of World War I, and lived through the subsequent depression of the 1930's. She had her first child in England early in World War II, emigrated 5000 miles as a War Bride from England to Canada, had polio, raised her family, and as she moved through middle adulthood and her senior years, she dealt with a range of health concerns. Through it all she remained vibrant, opinionated, loving, and especially with her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchild, was a doting grandmother.
Resilience is a fascinating topic to me, and it was a central one of my eulogy. It's a topic I have been speaking about in the past few months as well. Some people seem so able to cope, accept change, and to flourish when others don't. It's not that they don't struggle, fall, and make mistakes, because we all do. The resilient ones keep going, and Nana was one of those.
With love, dear Nana.