Today would have been (if my calculations are correct) my Nana’s 95th birthday. She was opinionated, outspoken and cussed like a sailor but she loved almost everyone unconditionally, and would drop what she was doing to help you. I adored her. She’s also the grandmother who taught my sister and I how to cuss and had a colorful saying for almost every occasion (like telling you where you could find sympathy in the dictionary – between “$hit” and “syphilis”).
Nana was only 4’11” but liked to say that, “dynamite comes in small packages” and she was right. She may have been small, but you didn’t mess with her. When I was a teenager she was the only person I’d hug. Not because I loved her the most, but because she used to demand that I come over and “give her some sugar.” Some things I just couldn’t refuse and loving on my grandmother was one of those things.
She was talented and could sew almost anything. She made my senior prom dress from a picture, part of an actual pattern and a pattern she created out of newspaper. She upholstered all our furniture, would re-paint a room on a whim and made the best fried chicken you’ve ever tasted. To say they broke the mold when she was made is an understatement.
Sure, she had her faults, but it’s her birthday and I’m not going to go into them. I’ll always remember spending summers working in her garden, helping to mow the lawn (on a riding mower!) and spending summer nights sleeping on the patio. It’s been 20 years since she died and I think of her often. Happy Birthday, Nana! I hope you’re looking down from heaven and are proud of who I’ve become.