A Tribute To My Nana

Family has always been a staple in my life. My nana has always been that precious flower framed in all her glory. I truly look up to her. She is amazing. Growing up, I always only had my Nana around, there was never four grandparents by the time I was born. My nana is my idol, she has done so many things in her life and is full of knowledge from all around the world.

My nana has four children, two of them are twins. One of her twins is my beloved Momma. Fortunately, my nana has always lived somewhat close to me while growing up. She bought me my first American Girl Doll. I grew up buying all kinds of clothes for my doll and doing as many hairstyles that I, as a 7-year-old, was able to do. I used to try and get at least one or two matching outfits. My parents never really introduced me into religion and to be quite honest I was never really interested. My nana prides herself on being a very wise and well-educated Jewish woman, fortunately she had lots of stories and experiences that were deemed cool and interesting to me so I would listen. I am personally an atheist, but I like that I can know and understand how many different religions work and I think a lot of that has to do with my nana. Thank you to my nana for teaching me.

She also used to travel like there was no tomorrow. I thought and still think it is amazing how many places she has been to throughout her lifetime. From what I know off the top of my head she has been to Japan, Europe, Hong Kong, and many more. She had this group of people that she would go with and every time she would talk about going on a new trip it only inspired me to want to travel even more at my young age. In high school I tried to get my parents to send me to the farthest and coolest place I could think of, but they wouldn’t let up. When I was sixteen, my nana took me to Israel for two weeks during Hanukkah. I met some of my second cousins who practice Orthodox Judaism. We went on tours of Tel Aviv and the Old City, as well as an old Israeli Military Bunker.

It was such an experience to have and I will forever be thankful for being able to have that opportunity. After that, I was ready to start traveling and sight-seeing no matter what. My parents have said I have had the travel bug ever since then. Although, it was always going to have to be ‘later in life you can’ they said to me, but for now, extravagant trips weren’t their first priority which made sense. Now this year, I have the great opportunity to, and hopefully will, go on trip abroad in my next semester at school this year. Thank you to my nana for inspiring me to learn and see more.

My nana lived half of the year in Jupiter, Florida. Each year, for February school vacation my family would take an annual trip to visit Nana and go to Disney or a Marriot hotel somewhere nice for one week. Each year was a different plan. We would stay at Nana's place for one week before our hotel trip. Sometimes, when I was younger, I would join her in a water aerobics class in the pool. The ladies would laugh and enjoy my sister and I’s young spirit around them. I always thought it was fun to go to the pool and swim with Nana. One day as my sister and I were getting ready, I noticed this silicone thing on the bathroom counter. I asked my mom what it was as I started poking at it. It was a peachy color and I was quite confused.  My mother then explained to me that my nana once had breast cancer and had to have one of her breasts removed. I had never known that my nana had ever been sick before and at first, I was concerned but then I thought that she was such a strong woman who survived the fight of cancer without a change in her personality. Absolutely amazing.

My nana and I will be connected forever. We share the same birthday and I completely adore her. When I was younger, we had a conjoined birthday party for us and we each invited our friends.

It was a pool party at Nana's with pizza and cake…what else could a nine-year-old girl ask for? As I got older, instead of sharing birthday parties, we would go out to eat together and do other things. I soon realized my nana's passion for her artwork. Apparently, my aunts and uncles had a few of her things hanging. I had always been a hands-on learner and genuinely enjoyed painting when I could, so when I found this out, I wanted to see if I could learn anything from her. Honestly, I just enjoyed her company and one day she invited me to her art class where at the end everyone critiques and offers tips as well as compliments. Quite intimidating, but to have people say nice things and explain how I may be able to do something better on my own was actually very cool experience to have.

Now my nana is at the age where she has seen everything, learned everything, done absolutely everything. The family we have spends as much time with her that we can and help her out with her health conditions as much as we are capable of doing. We take care of her and we love her so much. My sister and I have many little things about her that we think are funny. The little sounds she makes when she is thinking of a word, or the cute little face she makes when she is eating, and we definitely will never let go of the remarks she slyly makes about the cute nurses taking care of her.

My nana is full of so much personality and a very large amount of knowledge there is nothing you can’t have a conversation about even if it is about her own daughter (my mother). She will always offer her best wisdom and know-how on what to do in any situation. 

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