Friday, January 18, 2008
Mabel Carnell RIP
Just got word from my sister that my Nanna (my mom's mom) passed away this morning. Last I heard, she had been hospitalized with fluid on the heart. She was 92. Luckily, my parents did get over there to see her.
Nanna was a fun, cheerful, warm, hopeful person. My earliest memories of her were of the summers we used to spend at her house in England when Dad was stationed in the Air Force. It was always important to Nanna to set out a warm house, make sure everyone was welcome and well-fed...her dinners and teas were enormous (and, of course, delicious).
Her husband (my grandfather) died a number of years back, and I know it was a shock to her to be alone. After a while, she spent half the year with my uncle (the less said about him, the better...I'm trying to block out the hatred) and the other half with my parents...so I got to see her on a normal basis, and she even came up here for my graduation. Luckily, the spousal unit and I got to see her this past summer when she was staying with my parents.
It wasn't the easiest of visits...we knew her health was declining to the point where she wouldn't be able to come back, so we knew it was the last time we'd see her. But even though she had visibly declined, she was still warm, still funny, still happy to see us. Lori and I got our photo taken at one of those "old time-y photograph" places, and gave Nanna a copy...she loved seeing us as "the outlaw and the hussy."
When she went back, she went into a retirement home, and my mother went over there with her, to help her settle in. Her fellow residents, she made a point of telling us, saw the old timey photo of Lori and I and asked Nanna if we were movie stars. Nanna liked that.
There's so much more, so many memories, but frankly, I don't have the energy right now. The only thing I can think of is the words of a favorite writer, on the passing of his mother...after apparently getting one too many sympathy e-mails, he said something to the effect of "while I appreciate the sympathy, every day we have here on earth is a blessing, a bonus."
I'm happy I got to know Nanna, even if not as well as I wanted. I'm happy that she had my parents to look after her for half the year. I'm happy that she was in a good retirement home, where they looked after her. I'm very thankful to my cousin for looking after her.
This is what I'm trying to hold onto...the happiness.