When I decided to start this blog I wanted to have a theme for Monday through Friday. I figured it would help keep me organized and hopefully this blog a little interesting. Well since I first set up the site, my grandmother passed away. Her name was Mary Elizabeth Orr Buchanan. She was known as Mary, Liz, Aunt Liz, Lizzie, and to her grandchildren she was Nannie Jersey. The picture is her in my parents’ pool in 2005. She didn’t get in often so when she did it was a photo op moment.
About 5 1/2 years ago she was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. It started with a growth on her arm and when it was found the cancer was already in her lungs. After consulting specialists she opted to forego any treatment. It was a decision supported by her children and her family doctor. The doctor told her “you don’t have an expiration date. We can treat issues as they come up.” And that they did. The doctor did tell my mother on the side he felt my grandmother only had 6 months to live. Well, about 4 years later he told my mother “The cancer won’t kill her. It should have already by now.”
Ever hear the saying: Your attitude is 90% of the battle? Yeah, that was Nannie. Even in the last days of her life when my mother and her siblings would pray over her they could tell in her eyes she had no idea why they were doing that. Don’t feel bad for her. Her self-denial, resiliance, stubborness and seeing a situation the way she wanted to was how she lived her life. Even though she could not get around much in the last 6 months or so, she still enjoyed visits with family and being around the younger kids. She loved life and she was holding on with everything she had.
Today I feel sad but only because I won’t get to see her for Sunday dinner. I sat next to her every week. I helped get her dinner on her plate, sometimes I cut her food for her, helped her to the restroom….I realized that one of my jobs is over. I have other jobs: wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, employee, friend. I just will miss this job of being Nannie’s granddaughter.
So, Monday is supposed to be Encouragement and Wednesday is supposed to be something fun. But I needed some encouragement today so I wanted to share some of Nan’s story with you. And a reminder to me, that attitude is everything. You can conquer anything with the right attitude – even the process of dying.
I love you Nan.