My Nana’s Story

Posted September 29, 2017

Selfless, loving, caring, and courageous. To the best of their ability, these four words encompass the kind of miraculous mother, grandmother and friend Nana is to everyone who crosses her path.

Nana is a loving mother of three. The youngest being Mom. Her older two children suffered from cystic fibrosis and passed away when they were 21 years old. Although caring for two sick children during a time when medicine for cystic fibrosis was neither thoroughly developed nor available, the hardships only strengthened her loving and caring personality. Nana always said that she felt so blessed that God had chosen her and her husband to parent their children. “God trusted her to raise her children to the best of her ability”, and that exactly what she did. To this day I believe her quote perfectly describes her. She never self pities; she is grateful for the experiences life has provided to her.

Nana is selfless, always thinking of others before herself. She takes care of anyone and everyone, regardless of the relationship she may have with them. She loves and respects everyone. Nana is known for continuously offering people food, water, and anything else a person could possibly think of because her life goal is to make others happy and comfortable.

After my grandfather died 17 years ago, Nana moved in with my family. We added onto our house so she could live as independently as she pleased. She had her own living areas that included a kitchen, bathrooms, and living room and her kitchen was always in use. Nana was an amazing baker. Chocolate cake with homemade chocolate frosting was the crowd favorite. ‘Healthy baking’ was never a priority when she was in the kitchen.

To put it into perspective, she used to make me and my sisters peanut butter sandwiches, by first buttering both sides of the bread and then adding the peanut butter. Everyday after school we would go into Nana’s part of the house to chat over one of her sugary treats. They were especially delicious because we knew Mom would never allow us to eat all that sugar before dinner.

Throughout our childhood Nana was always our babysitter whenever my parents went away. She would help us with our homework or quiz us for our vocabulary tests, help us get ready for bed and watch us to make sure we brushed our teeth. And she even let us stay up a little later than normal.

Nana is now 92 and has been battling Alzheimer’s Disease for over 8 years. She is the strongest woman I know and it is heartbreaking to see how the disease has affected her.

I decided to begin writing a sequence of blog posts to describe my family’s experience with Nana’s Alzheimer’s and to give back to Nana for all that she has done for the people in her life. I also hope to shed light on the detrimental effects this disease has on the various people who are directly or indirectly affected by it.