Wednesday, August 09, 2006

In Memory of Nana

My grandmother passed away early this morning.

Dorothy Bertram Caward was an absolute kick, all of her life. She didn't really care what other people thought—she did what she knew was right, and she did what she wanted to do. She said what came into her head and damn the consequences. (And yes, she said damn.)

She also embraced life every day, with vigor. She got up early, because she didn't want to waste the day. She always tried new foods, and encouraged us to do the same ("How can you say you don't like it if you haven't tried it?" still rings in my head). She loved cottage cheese on pancakes and salt and pepper in buttermilk.

Her favorite color was orange—probably because it was one of the colors of her baseball team, the San Francisco Giants. They were only surpassed in her affections by her football team, the San Francisco 49'ers. Oh, she was passionate about sports. Many's the time I sat on the back bed with her while she argued with the TV, shaking her fists and rattling all her bracelets. But she also loved bridge, and earned her master's certificate (she was quite proud of that; it hung on the wall above the dining room table). And she was an excellent cook. She made the best chocolate pie I've ever tasted, or probably ever will.

She was only 5' tall, but you'd never know it for all the energy she had; she filled up the room. She loved people, all people. When we went anywhere with her she'd either see someone she knew—and stop to chat—or make new friends: with the waitress, the clerk, the child in the next booth. She was always waving or smiling or calling out hellos.

She was stricken with Alzheimer's at the end of her life, but even without her memories she still loved to interact with people. Almost to the end she was vivacious and positive.

To me, she was "Nana". I loved her deeply. I was very lucky to have her in my life, and she will be missed.


Cindy said...

Dear Susan:
I'm sorry. It sounds like she was quite a firecracker. God Bless her, and you.

Susan Adrian said...

Thanks, Cindy. I added a picture so y'all could see. (and yes, that's 2-year-old me)

She was a very cool woman.

Precie said...

My sympathies to you and your family. You were truly lucky to have such a wonderful woman in your life, and I hope happy memories stay with you forever.


Susan Adrian said...

Thank you, Precie! I do feel very lucky. {s}

Amy said...

I've been following this blog, and commenting on and off, and saw this update.

I wanted to tell you that I am sorry about your loss. Your Nana sounds like a wonderful person. You and your family are in my thoughts.


Susan Adrian said...

Thank you, Amy! I appreciate it.

Mrs. Mitty said...

Dear Susan,

I'm so sorry for your loss. Sounds like your Nana was a great lady who shared a lot of love with you.


ChrisMac said...

So sorry for your loss.

What you wrote was a beautiful tribute to her. I feel like I know something about her now and wished that I knew her. She sounds like she was an amazing woman.

Susan Adrian said...

Thank you, Maureen!!

Susan Adrian said...

Aw, thank you, Chrismac! That she was. {s}

Anonymous said...


{{{hugs}}} I'm so sorry.
Sounds like you have some wonderful memories of her.


Susan Adrian said...

Thank you, Rhonddalyn!

Renée said...

I'm so sorry, Susan. It sounds like you had a wonderful relationship with her.

Take care,


Susan Adrian said...

Thanks, Renee! She was a unique lady--an excellent role model for daring to be yourself. {s}

Beth said...

I'm so sorry.

She sounds like such a wonderful person. Aren't you glad you knew her? I know she must've been glad to know you.