Nana Hank

I wasn’t sure when I should write this, I wasn’t sure how I should write this, I just knew I had to write this. Nana Hank passed away on March 9th and that was a pretty shitty event. It’s true, I might use the word shitty a few times in here but is there a better word to describe death? It’s not ideal, it’s not fun, it’s not just simply bad, it’s not just simply unfortunate, it’s shitty through and through.  At one point I wondered, if I write an epic, beautiful thought about Nana will they get me to read this at her celebration of life? Probably not if you use shitty repeatedly. I understand how Nana died suddenly, that she didn’t suffer, that for all intents and purposes it was an act of god and no one could have predicted it. Which I think makes it shittier. There’s a big difference between preparing yourself for the death of someone and having it happen in the blink of an eye. One can understand that someone is old, one can understand that someone isn’t invincible, that someone isn’t immortal but no one wants to think about how quickly someone can be here and then not be. Because it applies to all of us, it doesn’t matter if you’re 93 or 25, anything can happen and this can be your last breath. And no one wants to think like that because no one wants to live in constant worry and fear. I’m not trying to write about what happened to Nana, I don’t even know what I’m trying to write about Nana. I just know that she was always more popular than me. Even if I introduced her to my own friends it seemed by the end of the night that she would have a new set of best friends. No woman is perfect and Nana isn’t the exception to the rule, but I still can’t think of a lady, a person, that couldn’t go into a room of strangers and end up with everyone of them wanting to see her again. She taught me that two dirty martinis a night is the secret to a long life. She just never told me that those drinks tasted like salt water. She taught me that Alabama football was the most important thing in life and then maybe make sure you had your cocktails was second. She loved her grandchildren, she loved boys, she loved my friends, she wouldn’t hide it if you put on five pounds. It’s hard to speak about Nana because I don’t know what to say. She has been a part of my life since the beginning, she was the first person to hold me, I believe she narrowly avoided me peeing on her and let the doctor take the brunt of it instead. She was around me for my whole life and though I knew she was old, I never thought anything would happen with her. She always complained about living, she told that getting old sucked, she told me she wished she didn’t have to be here anymore but she kept persevering. I didn’t think anything could happen to her, hell, I thought she’d outlive me and I’m only in my 20s. I just want Nana to know, I just want everyone to know that she made them a better person by her influence. By knowing her, that people improved by being in her presence. She may be gone but she isn’t forgotten and I hope no one forgets her because how can you? How many sons, grandsons can be said they were named after their own grandmother? I know the answer is few but I sure am honored that I got to share a name with her. I love her, I will keep on loving her, and I’m surely gonna miss the hell out of her. As I told my mother, as I told my friends, my family, I’m just finally glad that no matter where they are, she’s back in touch with Stanhope. They’re up there somewhere drinking a coke with Bear Bryant and that makes me happy. So it goes.


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