My Nana was the kind of Nana that everybody else wanted.
She baked every kind of confection you could name and she baked them beautifully.
She gardened. A lot. Her garden was like a mini botanical garden and where I first fell in love with plants.
She bought me dresses.
She insisted I wear “good” underwear.
She was very generous.
She taught me table manners.
She teased me, mercilessly.
She was ever so slightly controlling ….
…. but she was cool.
Nana liked things to be “proper”.
Church on Sundays.
Hot meal on the table for The Men by 6pm every night.
Healthy food first.
Eat your peas and carrots …. because the dessert was going to be worth it.
Children should do their chores happily.
…and by GOD if you didn’t, she’d make up some chores. It paid to look busy.
But she was well-loved, my Nan.
…. So many people loved her…
She was a great beauty in her youth and many men were heartbroken the day she married my Pop. (She could be such a flirt).
She mothered the motherless.
She fed the hungry.
…and between her and my darling Pop, nobody ever left their place hungry or without some freshly picked fruit and veges….
…. bananas, lychees, mangoes, custard apples, pecans, watermelon, strawberries, pumpkin, beans and fresh roses too.
… and a jar of lemon butter, pickles, relish or the best damn rosella jam you’d ever tasted.
Scones, tarts, biscuits and slices were always on hand, and if you were lucky, the lightest sponge cake would almost carry you away.
and her fruit cake was beyond comparison. It remains the best cake I have ever eaten (and I’ve eaten a lot of cake).
But Nan has been slowly giving in to her age. She’s slid into health decline over the past 10 years or so.
After each scare (be it stroke, broken arm, ulcerated foot, dodgy ticker) she’d miraculously bounce back to health.
But not this time.
She has been slipping way from us in a more determined manner since Christmas.
She periodically forgot who we were, good some days and vague the next.
and she stopped eating.
everything except apple juice.
This morning, a rare day when she had no visitors, she quietly slipped away.
She was 94 years and 5 months old.
I miss you Nana.
I love you.