Who is your role model? Mine…Nana Mae.
As I look around my living room I am comforted by three grey stone statues made by my late grandmother. They bring a smile to my face; strong and graceful, much like she was.
This torso in particular is my favorite, powerful with ragged edges that shape the whole. A defining piece. One that wouldn’t be as interesting smoothed out!
Nana was gentle yet impactful in more ways than her art. She was chatty though spoke with conviction and brevity when it mattered.
I recall a conversation we had in my early twenties when my health took a hit. She said sternly, “you must not let this stop you Jill, dear.” At first I was taken aback. Later, I realized she was presenting an opportunity.
Over a decade later as I laid on Nanas bed while she was perched upright (age 92 at the time), she acknowledged my further decline, offered her tender heart, and predicted something would ‘catch’ (fix my spine) in the future.
Her forecast came true. I wish we could share it together.
I hoped to speak at her funeral, but was too weak to stand at the front of the room on stage. I can now honor her here.
Nana was a breath of fresh air: positive, intelligent, wise, interesting, generous and gentle. She exuded a quiet and dignified strength. We laughed often and simply enjoyed each other’s company.
Nana was curious. She easily warmed to strangers, took pleasure in new experiences, and always had something to talk about whether current or historical. She touched lives without fuss or fanfare; and made the best of every situation.
I miss her terribly and hope to lead by example.