I don’t even think I can begin to describe my nana. Let’s just say she is 95 years old and is the smartest, kindest and wisest woman there is. She raised my father and my uncle here on her farm with my poppy. Nana and poppy met at the VA, (veterans association) nana was a nurse and poppy was the laundry supervisor.
Nana was 23 and it was Thanksgiving, they both had to work. He asked her if she wanted to get Thanksgiving dinner together, she said “I work until 11pm”, he replied “I’ll pick you up after work to get a hamburger and a cup of coffee”. Every single night after this she saw him at 11pm after work, even if it was just for a coffee. That Christmas, he asked her to marry him, she said “I don’t know, I wasn’t planning on getting married this soon ”. On New Years, he tried again, she still said no (nana is a stubborn one) On Valentine’s Day, he brought her candy and flowers and wouldn’t give up, he asked her again. Still no.
On April 9th, they went home to PA (they found out they grew up only 20 miles away from one another) and he took her to a jewelry store and said “pick out your ring”. She picked out her engagement ring that day. On June 24th, the same year- they got married. They were married for 45 years when poppy passed away 25 years ago. I knew him until I was only 5 years old, he would drive me around in his pickup truck and I can vividly remember there being candy under the seat. I remember building snow men with him in our backyard and picking apples from their orchard.
I asked nana to describe her marriage, here is what she said, in the most joyful way.
“Gee whiz, it was the most wonderful thing that happened in my life, those years that we were married, went by so fast. We never had a dull moment, we were always doing things, going someplace. He planted 75 fruit trees, we went to polka parties, he built this house, he built the barn you’re getting married outside of. That’s what I mean, there was never a dull moment in my life with him.”
25 years have passed since my poppy passed away. Nana has lived alone and has taken care of herself this whole time. She sips her coffee with creamer every morning, still reads a book a week, has subscriptions to every magazine you can imagine and doggy ears the recipes I should make, watches tons of soap operas (she also loves “The Nanny”) and enjoys the homemade dinners my parents bring her at 5:00pm every single night. She has lived and continues to live a life full of simplicity, hard work, finding joy in the small things and appreciating every single day.
She is who I look up to and always have. The love she gives, her genuineness, her independence, her memories, her kindness to others, her smile and pure happiness for life. That is what I strive for. Thank you nana.