Friday, September 30, 2011

Nana, Grammy, and Me

For Wednesday, September 28, 2011

When I was a little girl my two grandmothers frequently visited our house for a week or more at a time. Occasionally they would both come, for example during the holidays. My mother’s mom, my Nana, believed I was old enough to tend to my own needs such as when I wanted a glass of milk. My father’s mom, my Grammy, loved spoiling me and was always quick to jump up out of her chair to pour me a glass of milk herself. So, when they were both there, I often felt caught in the middle, unsure whether or not I should ask for assistance. It was often easier to simply go without than to pit the two grandmothers against one another, which sometimes did occur despite my intentions, due to Grammy’s mischievous nature.

My Nana was a rather serious woman whereas my Grammy had some playful Irish blood in her veins. Both were loving grandmothers, but it was more fun for me when Grammy came to visit, I must admit. I remember being pampered and coddled by Grammy and being so delighted when I was once allowed to play penny poker with her, something that usually only my older brothers were privileged to do.

My Nana and Grammy were both intelligent women and both had musical skill. Nana had played the violin and Grammy loved to sing and was a natural at harmonizing. Both were delighted to have me play the piano in their presence and later, when each of them moved into nursing homes, I would often play the piano in the entertainment room and both would beam with pride and tell everyone I was their granddaughter. My Dad and I would put on regular impromptu shows at the nursing homes, something that we each continued to do in our own ways for years afterward. Dad joined a group of community singers who frequented the elderly. I joined my childrens’ dancing and scout troops who visited area nursing home residents. I even found myself playing the piano a few years’ back when Paul’s cub scout troop needed an accompanist.

When I look back at the years I had with my grandmothers I am a little sad that I did not get to know them as I entered my adult years. Having been only 11 when she died, I don’t remember enough about my Nana to give me a full picture of the woman she was, and although I was 16 when Grammy died, she’d been ill for a few years beforehand and I did not get to know her beyond my childhood years. Still, having spent time with each of them, I learned enough to recognize traits of theirs within my Mom and Dad and eventually those same traits of theirs within myself.

Like my Nana I can be prideful and stubborn, even when it hurts me to be so. I am fierce however in my devotion to my family, just as she was. My Nana was a working woman, something quite rare during her generation, and I often am grateful for the way my own Mom always supported me being a working mom even though she herself hadn’t been. She obviously had Nana in mind and knew that like her, I would have my priorities straight.

Like my Grammy, I am a bit of an antagonist and mischievous at times but I love to spoil my family and with them, I laugh hard and often. I see so much of my Gram within my Dad, and my Mom always sees it too and is quick to call him by my Grammy’s name, “Catherine”, when traits of hers manifest.

Like both of my grandmothers I am observant and thoughtful. I am musical and I am strong. I am proud to be the granddaughter of both of these two beautiful women who each left a piece of themselves within me. Someday, when it’s time for me to leave this world, I want so very much for them to find me. I want to see them both through adult eyes. I want them to know me better too. But first, I want them to each introduce me to the grandfathers I never had a chance to meet and then I’d like Nana to take out her violin. I’ll sit down at the piano and sing, and Grammy will add perfect harmony.

1 comment:

  1. Aw, Anne, that was such a nice post. I remember both your Grammy and your Nana, even though I spent only small snatches of time with them when they were at your house. You wrote a lovely tribute, and those photos are great.