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A True Inspiration to all- Our Nan

Updated on December 29, 2012

It's Not a Goodbye but Until We Meet Again

Death has never been an easy topic for me to face and up until 2010 I had only ever witnessed one person close to me dying. However, tragedy struck in 2010 when myfather died at the young age of 58. Words cannot begin to describe the pain a child feels when they lose someone so close.

However, as we grow up and face these sad realities, we begin to understand why things happen the way they do. Therefore, my writing today is to pay tribute to my Nan, a woman who taught me so much and who essentially shapedthe woman I am today. While my Nan has not yet passed, she only has a few days to live so I found it fitting to remember her for who she was, what she taught all of us in life, and why it's important to not cry because she is leaving us but because the world is losing a beautiful soul.

From the time I was a little girl my fondest memories were embedded on Center Road in High Falls Park, as you see this is the place where Nan lived. Most people grow up calling their grandparents grandma or grammy but to us she was always known as “Nan”. The mere thought of that word evokes an image of a youthful, energetic woman whom most would not envision as a grandma. However, this is exactly what our Nan was. In all of my years of living I have never known a woman so full of life as she was. The ironic thing is that Nan was a woman who endured a rough life, a life most people could hardly fathom living but knowing her you never would have known this in the way she carried herself. She was always doing for others and trying to please and care for those around her.

As a young girl growing up around her I learned so much from the way she lived her life. The way she approached life and situations was as optimistic as anyone could ever hope for. She was always smiling, always putting others before herself. The impression this leaves upon a young woman growing up is one which could never be forgotten. Most people can only dream of having such a strong influence in their lives but in our family this dream was a reality.

Nan was also a woman of many talents, as her impressive cooking skills are a legacy in itself. I can recall countless holiday gatherings where Nan would have more food than anyone could ever dream possible. If she didn't have what you liked she was quick to whip up something else, ensuring no one would leave her house hungry. However, the paramount reason for these gatherings was to have all of her kids, grandchildren and friends under one roof for just one night and she was always able to accomplish this year after year.

Although Nan possessed so many worldly skills as aforementioned, what I will always cherish and remember Nan giving us kids is a gift that cannot be bought in stores: She taught us how to be strong, caring, persistent, and above all forgiving. Nan was never one to hold a grudge and was as quick to forgive others no matter how much they wronged her and was just as quick to help anyone who needed it, even if she had nothing for herself. It is this attribute that I am most thankful for, as it taught me about humanity and how to be giving of oneself. I will always consider Nan as the person who has shaped me the most and in my eyes a hero to all who knew her. Her memory lives on in all of us here today as we continue to uphold the values she instilled in us.

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