Nana

Dear Nana

Author’s note: My maternal grandmother, Dorothy Elizabeth Pope, died of ovarian cancer in 1997. She never got to see me as an adult, or meet her great-grandchildren. I miss her terribly and so often something will happen, or I’ll see something that will make me think of her and think “I wish Nana could be here to see this. She would have liked that.” This post is a collection of these thoughts.

Dear Nana,

Did you know I learned to crochet? When I sit with a new skein of yarn and work up something new and unique, I think of you. Of all of the needlepoint and quilting and embroidery you did over the years. I think, I bet Nana would be proud of me and think it’s cool that I am doing something creative with my hands. I bet we would love going yarn shopping together!

Hannah's sewing project
Hannah modeling the flannel pajama bottoms she made herself in sewing class.

Nana, did you hear that Hannah is learning to sew? And Daniel, too. Oh you would have loved the little pillow alien he made in art class. And Hannah? She’s so talented. She can already make clothes from a pattern! She made the Kermit the Frog flannel pajama pants which are just adorable. You would be so proud. 

Nana, did you know that all of that Barbie furniture you made me when I was little, well I saved it all. And now, my kids play with it. All of those hours you spent, focusing on every little detail to make canopy beds, refrigerators, pool tables, kitchen appliances, and even tiny clocks, books and ice cream sundaes. It was so worth it! A new generation is getting joy out of your hard work. They may not be as careful with the delicate yarn and canvas pieces you made as I would like, but I know you made these things to be played with, not sit in a box. So I remind myself that a little wear and tear done in love is OK. Then I tell them about you. They ask me questions about you. They would love you and think you are awesome. 

Needlepoint Barbie furniture
Daniel and Olivia getting ready to play with the Barbie furniture you made.

Nana, would you be surprised to hear my kids love your tuna and noodle casserole? Probably not, since Vanessa and I always asked for it when we were kids. Every time I make it I think of you. Once I even tried to make your meatballs and beans dish! It didn’t turn out as good as yours, but Hannah, Daniel and Olivia thought it was delicious! I wish you were here to teach me your recipes. I remember how every summer we came to visit and on our first day you would always say “I’m going to the grocery store, what would you girls like to eat while you’re here?” No one ever planned an entire week’s worth of meals around what we wanted. That made me feel so important.

Nana
My beautiful Nana when she was in her early-twenties.

Nana – Did you know that sometimes I come across something with your handwriting, a card, back of a photograph, letter, and I start to cry. Did you know how hard it would be on the ones you left behind to not have you here with us anymore? I bet you did. You knew loss.

Dear Nana, save me a spot next to your recliner. We will have a lot of catching up to do.

Love,

Jelise

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4 thoughts on “Dear Nana”

  1. Omg! I’m sitting on my couch weeping uncontrollably while reading all of these amazing memories and thoughts about our Nana. Thank you, big sister. 🙂

  2. I finally found this post. I had missed it before. I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face. With every sentence I could see it as if it were happening in front of me right here, right now. She had an impact on a lot of people. I can only hope I have a similar legacy.

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