I took the kids to see Nana last Thursday. We had some clothes to drop off, and of course an Easter treat for her. It was a morning visit, always the best time, and she looked in good health and humour. I’d brought along a card for Nana to write on, for my sister’s new baby. My sister is thinking of coming up over the break to introduce her little one to his Great Grandmother and I wanted Nana to have something to give them. There’s a picture of my nephew in a frame in Nana’s room, which I’ve labelled with his name, and who he belongs to. I set Nana up with a pen and the card at the table and put the photo in front of her so she could check the spelling of his name. I explained to Nana several times what it was she needed to do.

She started to copy word for word straight from the frame in painfully slow writing. She trailed off as I asked her what she wished for the little one. ‘Oh yes, that will do’ she said, confusion in her eyes. I wrote the message myself and passed it back to Nana to sign, encouraging with ‘just put love from Nana’. I spelt ‘love’ out letter by letter then asked her again to sign ‘Nana’. Nana wrote the first three letters of her first name before looking at it and saying ‘I don’t know what I am writing?’. I spelt out Nana for her, letter by letter, and ten minutes after we started the card was done.

It was so incredibly painful to watch, I wish that I had never thought of it. I certainly won’t be asking anything similar of her again. Oh Nana, my Nana, how I miss you.

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