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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy Birthday Nana!

I have an strange knack for remembering birthdays - I'll look at the calendar and the seemingly inconsequential date and then suddenly recall that it's somebody's birthday who I went to elementary school with, even if I haven't spoken to that person since elementary school!

My grandmother (mom's mom) who we affectionately called Nana would have been 104 today. Of course, her birthday shouldn't seem random to remember, but the truth is, she passed away over fifteen years ago and spent the last few years of her life battling advanced stages of Alzheimer's Disease so she wasn't all there. But every year, on March 28th, I spend a lot of the day thinking about her and hoping she's in a better place now than she was those last few years.


My parents were both the youngest siblings in their families (by a lot, like 9+ years) so our grandparents were always ancient compared to our friend's grandparents. Sadly, my dad's mom Nana Gladys passed away before any of us were born (which was even more sad b/c as a mother of three boys, she would have no doubt been tickled pink with the three girls my dad was cursed with!) and my dad's dad, Papa Al, passed away just a few years after I was born.

My mom's parents were the only grandparents we grew up knowing. Pompa (who gave me one of the best nicknames I've ever been bestowed - PLG for Precious Little Girl!) was completely with it up until his unexpected death my senior year of high school. Nana became sick with Alzheimer's when I was quite young so my memories of her are few and far between. What I do remember was that she (very much like my own mother) was always put together (I don't recall ever seeing her in a pair of jeans my entire life), she loved to go square dancing with my grandfather and made all of her own dresses and she also made a killer batch of fudge (which, to this day, us Mailloux girls are still trying to replicate!). 


Having not had a living grandparent for 14+ years, it's always been really important to me that my kids are close with theirs. Hayes is incredibly lucky in that he has all four of his grandparents and was able to meet four of his GREAT grandparents (his great grandfather 'Papa Golf' passed away in October 2011). That is seriously rare. I love seeing him with the people who raised Grant and me and hope that it's as fun for them as it is for us (plus, they sure come in handy in the whole babysitting department!).

So in honor of what kids these days are calling 'Throwback Thursday' (or #tbt for those of you who have heard of this thing called twitter), here are some pics I scrounged up of my Nana from back in the day. 

(Side note: Look at the mullet on Penny!)
Now go call your grandparents and tell them you love them - I sure wish I could ;-)

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