One of my favorite blogs is The College Prepster. I love Carly’s name (obviously…), her fashion sense, and the way she talks about her life. She’s so relatable, and I would love to meet her in person in NYC. : ) Last week, she wrote a post about her favorite purchase from 2014. After reading it, I naturally starting thinking about what I would choose. I love fashion. I love shopping. But my favorite purchase wasn’t something I set out to buy. And I realized my favorite purchases are one in the same.
I’ve talked about her before, but my Nana has always had a huge influence on me. She’s one of the single greatest people I’ve ever been privileged to know and love. She influenced my drive to do well in school, and she was always eager to hear about my classes and grades. She also always made sure to attend every school event I invited her to. Pushing myself to graduate Summa Cum Laude from college was something I did for her when the idea of taking one more test, studying one more night, or trying even harder to perfect a paper seemed like way too much. But I knew she would be proud. So I finished strong, and it’s something I’m so happy I did for myself and as a way to honor her.
My Nana developed dementia four years ago during my senior year of college, and it’s as though my greatest fan and one of my best friends has been robbed from me ever so slowly much too soon. She wasn’t able to see me graduate from college, I’ve never been able to talk to her about my career (and receive advice from her that I would do anything to hear), and she now only sometimes knows who I am. But, she still influences me because, even at 93 and ailing, she is one of the strongest people I know.
She reminds me to fight for what I believe in. She reminds me to attempt to be as fearless as I can be because she immigrated to the U.S from England with my Poppy and my aunt. Together, my grandparents knew two people in this country, but they constantly believed that the best was yet to come. And her marriage to my Poppy serves as the reason why I work in the wedding industry. My grandparents have been married for over 70 years. It’s an epic feat, and their’s is an epic love story. Simply put, they never ever gave up on each other. Now, even as my Nana leans further into dementia, my Poppy won’t give up on her. Years ago he said he wouldn’t, and he hasn’t. They are my favorite example of love, and one I will forever hold onto. Side note: This song by Ed Sheeran is my favorite. It’s like he knows my grandparents.
My favorite purchases from 2014 aren’t traditional purchases. I had my Nana’s 50th anniversary ring turned into a necklace, and my mom happened to bring home an opal ring after visiting my grandparents that I fell in love with immediately. I had both pieces altered and fitted by a local jeweler, and I almost hugged the woman and cried when I saw the results. I now wear both almost every day, and it’s as though my Nana is with me, especially on the days when I would do just about anything to really talk to her again. I’m forever inspired by my Nana, and I’ll forever believe the best is yet to come because of both of my grandparents. Wearing my Nana’s jewelry serves as a sweet reminder to keep going and know I’m still her “girl” whether she remembers or not. And she’s mine.
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This is so sweet Carly. I miss my grandmother every day and lost her three years ago now. I can’t imagine what it must be like to lose her mentally while she is still here physically. Thinking of you!
You warned me – I started crying when I saw the picture…before I even started reading the post! I’m not sure she knew what a huge influence she was on you, but I know how much she adored you and only wanted the best for you. She’ll ALWAYS be with you exactly where you need her to be – in your heart.
I just read this post again, and I’m STILL crying. It is so beautiful!
Mama S says
Your grandparents inspire those of us that only know them through you and your mom. Your Poppy’s devotion to Nana is an example of such a wonderful love story.
Reading your post reminded me how much I miss my mom. She always listened. I didn’t always get the answers I wanted but she made me think about important choices in my life. Even now, I go to the phone to ask her a question and then I realize she has been unable to communicate for 4 years. I don’t think she knows who I am. I am recovering for surgery right now. The first thing I will do is visit her. She may not know me, but I know the woman she is. I thank God for my Dad who is there every day. He refused to put her in a home. Love like theirs is once in a lifetime. There isn’t a man more devoted than he is. If there is, I haven’t met him yet. I will walk into my parents home and reinforce how much I love them. Hugs and kisses all around. I am a lucky daughter.
Sharon Struk says
Beautiful post. I have so many memories of ‘Mom-Mom’ and Poppy. Going to church, Tanners, Family dinners on Sundays and Holidays, going to Disney when I was 11, going to Canada (still can’t believe the 6 of us drove there in a station wagon) she taught me how to make tarts, scones and shortbread, making TV dinners for Aids for Friends..the list goes on. She has always been my inspiration. Growing up poor, I feel she was cheated of a higher education, which is why I encourage my children to take advantage of the education offered to them. Our grandparents had a rough start in life but they persevered and strived to ensure their children, grand children and great-grandchildren had an easier start in life than what they did. Their love story is timeless, their devotion to each other priceless. Treasure your time and your memories of your loved ones.