Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, October 24, 2003

Happy Birthday, NaNa

One last thing. My grandmother, Frances Duncan Vanarsdall, was born on October 24, 1921. She's been gone for ten years now and I still miss her vivacity. NaNa was my most eccentric relative, and I didn't always understand her, but she was also one of the most supportive. She never batted an eye when I basically got into a relationship with a bisexual man and his male lover-she accepted them both because they were with me, without judgement, yet when I came to my senses and got out of the marriage, she was the one who helped me financially so I could get an apartment and start my life on my own. She may not have understood my non-practical academic interests, but she never questioned my love for them and supported me in their pursuit. She taught me to live every moment of life and find your own path in life. She had a life full of ups and downs and in retrospect, had some very real emotional issues that prevented her from being totally happy, I think. I think a big part of her felt that in order to be loved she had to go over the top to win people over. But she made a difference in so many people's lives, especially as a nurse. She was a frontier nurse, riding on horseback. She was an army nurse and veteran of World War II. She took care of her parents and a much older husband and worked, shuttling between three cities, and just when you thought she was free of those responsibilities, she came down with cancer. She fought that disease with tremendous dignity. I learnt a lot about dying from my grandmother, too.

I love you, NaNa, and I hope, wherever you are, that you are at peace and have found love.

No comments: