My Nana was the original character. She would have the entire family over for Sunday lunch and make enough food for five Sunday lunches. Imagine getting off the elevator in her apartment building and smelling the aroma of sauce and meatballs all the way down at the end of the hall. Opening the door and walking directly into her kitchen was an all factory explosion that caused many guests’ mouths to water. Getting an invite to Sunday dinner was like winning the lottery.
While that was really amazing (not so amazing to my waist line), that wasn’t why my Nana was so special.
She would do anything to make her granddaughters (and most anybody else) happy. We put her through endless exercises like asking her to make the sounds of various cars ( read: Nana, make the sound of a Volkswagen) and she’d happily oblige us all the while feigning aggravation.
She would act out every conceivable emotion we asked of her – happy, sad, angry, surprise. She always put us first and would do whatever it took to make us feel special. Even if she may have a look silly or a little crazy doing so.
Make no mistake – my Nana was not a subtle person. Everything she did was big. Her whispers had all the subtlety of a jet engine. When she was feeling neglected, she would dramatically announce that we could just come visit her in the cemetery. To this day, we still use Nana-isms: there’s the shitty Swiss Miss story, the “call Nana” imitation and the way she would suck on her little finger.
For all her idiosyncrasies, I think my Nana unknowingly (both to us and her) modeled what it’s like to love without care or fear. She never worried what people thought about her. She just was and that made her, and all of us happy.
Hell, she’s still entertaining us all these years later and likely for the rest of my life.
Are you OK just being you? Who will you leave that kind of impression on?
Be Nana- the o.g. SMALL magician! And don’t make her call you from the cemetery!