Four years ago today, my Nana passed away. Nana Maggie Kahl was my mom’s mother and she was 82 when she passed. As the years go by, it becomes easier to say it outloud, but it never hurts any less. She was a light in everyones’ lives that she touched (and not because she was reflecting the beastly sun off of the foil that she laid on for 6 hours a day in our driveway).
When my family moved to South Carolina from Massachusetts in 1995, we didn’t get to see Nana as much as we wanted. But distance never stopped her from taking a plane down South for two weeks at a time during May and December. We always enjoyed her company as we drove her around to buy lotto tickets and cigarettes, dragged her to every sports game imaginable, and shopped until we all absolutely dropped.
She was always a great sport and I learned a lot from her visits. She taught me about persistence. Nana would come through S.C. with some piece of clothing in her mind that she wanted to find while in the South. It didn’t matter if it was a “lime green sweater” or a “big black belt”, we weren’t going to stop shopping until we found it. She taught me fashion and the importance of looking nice. Nana was always dressed to a T in her big hat, big sunglasses and black boots along with a dark tan and a high bun on the top of her head. And lastly, she taught me unconditional love. Nana loved each and every one of her children and grandchildren in her own way. She always knew how to make me feel special and loved.
This morning I text my mom to tell her that I was thinking about her today on Nana’s death day. She text me back with the rhetorical question, “aren’t we lucky that we had her as long as we did?” Of course we are. I still think that she has a major part of our lives. I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that big things happen to our family around the date of her death. In the past four years near the date of her death, Merrick has played in a State Cup soccer game, I graduated and landed a job in my dream city and Merrick moved to Charleston to pursue her dream. Nana will always be a big part of our lives and she’ll always be forever missed.