On August 4, 1900, my great-grandmother, Callie Curts, was born in Oklahoma. I called her Nana. Today, she would be celebrating her 109th birthday. Nana died in 1980 at the age of 80 when I was 13 years old. I can remember the day down to the hour that I got called out of class to be given the news by my mother… I was utterly devastated. Nana was a tall woman. She stood about 5’11″ and she was beautiful.
I am writing this post because today I have been reflecting about all of my grandparents and the significant roles they each played in my life. I never knew my paternal grandfather because he passed away when my dad was 10. However, I was able to fully know both my materal and paternal great-grandmothers, grandmothers and maternal grandfather. Nana and my grandmother (her daughter) traveled from California almost ever summer together to come and see us children. It was a ritual for us and boy it was a great day when we all knew that they were arriving. I remember standing at the airport terminal jumping up and down when I saw them coming down the terminal and once we got back to the house, Nana would pull out her wallet and hand each of us children a crisp, brand-new two dollar bill. Oh how WE loved that!! One of my fondest memories of my grandmother and Nana was when I would sit on the counter in their kitchen in California and watch them cook and bake. Nana made the best lemon meringue pie you ever tasted!!!
My grandmother was a graduate of Stanford University and attended on an academic scholarship. She was a smart lady, the first woman in her family to attend and graduate college . She specialized in and was a RN in the pediatric nursing area and she personally delivered her first grandaughter, ME! I am so lucky for that. Both she and my Nana were also Avon ladies for more than 30 years. So, imagine the joy of a young girl when she opened up that suitcase once a year on her visit and it was full of goodies for us kids!!! It was fabulous and I ALWAYS got my favorite Sweet Honesty perfume!
The best part was I would always sleep with my Nana. Before bed, she would tell me how important (as she would say) it was to put “cold cream” on your face at night to keep the wrinkles away (I was young — but I now know why she said it). I would watch her with complete awe as she made up her face, brushed out her rolled hair and painted my nails. She was the sweetest woman I knew. She would tell me stories about my family, about how when she was young she traveled in covered wagons and just about her life. I so enjoyed listening to her. The best part though was when I would curl up with her and she would rub her thumb on the palm of my hand until I fell asleep. Sometimes, I still feel like she is rubbing my palm.
Some of you may think….”How does this relate to the blended family?” Maybe it doesn’t really, but today, I just wanted to share with everyone the importance our grandparents make in our lives. The little memories they make with us matter so much when we are adults.
I am a grandmother now. I hope I make the same memories for my grandson and I hope I am around for my great grandchildren too. I hope he remembers and cherishes them when 109 rolls around for me, but if it doesn’t, I hope that he remembers me the way I remember Nana Callie. All of my grandparents set the bar high for me!! I miss them all dearly!
Peace & Blessings,