“Why Is Life Worth Living?”

Wassup y’all.  

Now I don’t usually get too personal around here, mostly because everyone has their OWN shit to deal with, and I know you come here because it’s a place that you don’t *have* to deal with that shit.  You can come here and just LAUGH.  

Hey, I’m pleased with that!  

In fact, it’s the reason I created this blog in the first place.  Buuuut, (and there’s always a “buuuut”) tonight, I wanted to share with you a piece of MY life….  

A picture I took a few years ago.  It’s of my “Little One” and my “Nana”.  The oldest and the youngest members of my family.  A generational gap spread so vast, it spans nearly a century, and yet, the connection it conveys so simply, is timeless.

The moment is endearing because it’s universal.  You can switch the clothing, the setting, the time and place, but as long as the relationship is there…that primal acknowledgement that adheres to the basics of blood lineage, genetics, and instinctual, familial belonging to, the characters will forever be the same.

My Nana died today.  

She was two months shy of 98.  

She was, as many others of her time, a refugee of her country and an immigrant to this one. 

She endured two World Wars, the death of her parents, siblings, husband, and a child of her own. 

She wet nursed in “The Old Country” so as to prevent other mothers from enduring the same tragedy…whether she knew them or not.  

With a needle and thread, she was a genius

From shirts for US soldiers crafted with the scraps of parachutes, to sliver satin mini-dresses stitched from scratch for my Go-Go dancing Mom in the 60’s, to intricate and lacy area rugs designed so effortlessly for the floors of MY dollhouse, she could do ANYTHING. 

To me, she was EVERYTHING.

She was the bringer of ice-cream and blackberry brandy when my throat was sore.  She made delicate clothes for my Cabbage Patch Kid, grew gooseberries and raspberries in her Brooklyn back yard, and could butcher and prepare a goose if she had to. Her heart was big, but her hands were bigger.  

She believed animals should be kept outside but gave me milk in saucers to feed them anyway.  

She cut my bangs too short, loved tennis, Benny Hill, and Sha Na Na.

She took care of me when I had the chicken-pox with the pink crackling Calamine Lotion and lots of leg rubs…

I could go on and on, but I won’t.  I don’t have to.

I know many of you have lost loved ones and in that respect, I know I’m not unique.  Now that she’s gone however; I realize that her strength and sacrifice was and IS a remarkable reason to celebrate LIFE. 

Even in all her struggle and strife, she persevered. She taught my mother what was truly important, and my mother passed that down to me.

My “Big One” asked me today:
“But if life can end so fast, and you lose everyone you love, what is the point of living???”

I kissed her and hugged her so fucking hard I thought my heart would explode…either that, or I’d break her ribs.  When I finally let her go, she looked at me with welled eyes and a quivering smile.

“The point of living,” I told her “is for moments just. like. these..”

Rest in peace Nania, I love you so much.

5 thoughts on ““Why Is Life Worth Living?”

  1. This really touched my heart. I’m so sorry for your loss. We lost our “Nanny” two years ago, right after my twins were born. She was my daughter’s great-grandmother and best friend and she won’t ever be replaced in our hearts. Cherish this photograph. cherish that bond. Ours was 93 years old. She had 27 great-grandchildren, knew them all like they were her own children. Loved them all dearly. She threw cold water on our ideas when we needed it, but was also there with the warmest heart, hands, and eyes to listen and to care. We miss her so much, and I hate that my boys never got to know her. I keep reminding myself that she’s not really gone, that as long as we keep her in our hearts, she’s still with us. Part of me even wants to believe she knows my boys and she watches my daughter, her best friend.

  2. It is evident in this beautiful eulogy that you admired and adored your dear Nana so much. What an incredible woman she must have been, and how fortunate you are to have had her in your life. And you know, you always will. You may catch yourself doing or saying something reminiscent of the way she said it. Or, her spirit may find a way of just letting you know she’s still around somehow, some way. Enjoy those moments because they are precious too–and may you carry on her legacy in your own special way. Every best wish to you.

  3. You’re words are amazing. Made me teary and think of my Grandma. We lost her physically when my youngest son was only 4 months old, my daughter was 5 and my oldest son was 7. But we had lost her to Alzheimer’s when my oldest was only a few months old, so we never got to have a picture like you to treasure. Now that I have a grandson of my own, I take pictures like yours all the time. I miss her more it seems, the older I get. Thank you for your words and thoughts…they hit home with me.

  4. I’m glad someone else can appreciate the generations. When my daughter was born I took as many pictures as I could. It represented 4 generations. She passed 3 months after she was born at 71. I cried reading your post, knowing that I appreciated my grandmother to the fullest. Not all folks get the chance to love a family member like I cherished her.

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