This is my nana (sorry Lou, I stole the pic).
I went to visit her today in my little red riding car. There were no big bad wolves, thankfully, but I didn't have a basket of goodies either.
Actually, I went to visit her last Sunday too - a sunny, spring-hearted day with an infectiously warm core.
I was thinking after last Sunday's visit how nana was the one person I can think of who I've never seen angry, or even curt. The most optimistic and blue-skied soul I can imagine, and not in a forced self-help-book kind of way. Just someone honestly believing that things can be ok, and that even existing is proof of some kind of grace we've all been granted. Mary Tobin has wonder in her eyes.
That's her full name, Mary Tobin, because when she was born they didn't have time to give her a middle name. She was a twin, and when she was born she weighed in at around three pounds or something so the doctors of 1913 pretty much gave up on her while they tried to ensure her bigger, stronger sister survived. For one twin to survive back then was special. Nobody expected two to do so.
And it was the little one left on her own who made it. Her sister passed on. Mary with no middle name because they didn't think she'd need one turned out to be one tough customer. Even last Sunday, set firmly in her 90s, she could give me a hug with a grip that took the wind out.
She was smiling last Sunday, too, the way she always did when she saw one of her grandkids, a smile that began in the eyes and blossomed across her features from there. Even after she couldn't talk she held onto that joy, that ability to marvel at the crazy, inexplicable luck that has allowed us to live so long, if at all. It was burnt into her. It was her, really. (Next pic stolen from Gen)
She passed away on Monday. I'm glad I went to see her today, but I'll always remember her as the gentle, tough little lady who wore a smile with her style, her leopard-print coordinates and rouge bolstered by that always-springtime attitude. She didn't need goodies and could have fought off a wolf on her own.