Cheers to Nana Hank!

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the passing of the Nana Hank. No, I didn’t drink a dirty martini and it wasn’t only because they taste like the ocean and are not very good. I did drink a margarita though because I was at a Mexican restaurant and I figured Nana always would throw down for a fiesta as well. I don’t have that much to say now that I didn’t say a year ago, but I figured I should write something. Especially because in just a couple hours I’ll be going to Panama City Beach, a place I haven’t been since her funeral last year. And it’s going to be weird going there and not seeing her. Because the beach is alright, the ocean is pretty cool, but what I liked most about going there was getting to see her. I enjoyed her constant complaining about just about everything, her comments about her own friends behind their backs, you could know you yourself were in for a maybe insulting comment about yourself if you’d changed since you last saw her. I liked it though. Which maybe makes me seem like a bad person, but I just liked her “I’m old and I don’t give a shit what I say or do attitude.” She made some inappropriate comments, she made some out of touch culturally comments, but in the end she loved me, she loved her family. She loved Alabama football just like her family as well so I guess I have them as my extended family too. There may have been times Nana was mean, or rude, but again, that was just who I knew. She was a wild card, she was unpredictable, and it was always entertaining. Be it cursing at a waiter for serving her Pepsi instead of Coke or telling us she had to move out of somewhere because the people around her were too old and she hated them. She was an opinionated woman that didn’t give no care to what you were thinking half the time, and again, there were times when that wasn’t ideal but it just made her who she was. She was also the same woman that would guilt friends and family if they didn’t drink with her. In some people you might that pushy, you might find it coming on too strong, but I just found it Nana. I enjoyed being her bartender and serving her disgusting drinks of the sea. I enjoyed her going on and on about how she could never understand her liberal (at least 2/3 of us) grandchildren. The main point I wanted to write this though is to just say I miss Nana. At the very least she got to see Alabama win another national championship last year so she had that going for her but things are about more than just football. I had just started back at Alabama last year and I was hoping I’d actually succeed. And now here I am over a year in, actually with plans to finally graduate this December and she won’t be there to see it. Her other grandson that should be graduating in the next year or so and she won’t be there. Even though all her grandchildren are beautiful and sexy geniuses, she’ll never get to see any of us be married, to have children. It sucks, obviously, but she still was a woman in her 90s and lived a full life even if she would have been happier dying even earlier. That was the Nana way though, she told it to you straight, how she truly felt and she didn’t care if you liked it or not. I respected that about her. I’m going to drive to Panama City Beach in a couple of hours, and I’m going to have a fun time there. I need to have a fun time there to make up for the last time being such a somber experience. It’s going to be a change, it’s going to be different, but I know it’s going to be okay. It’s what Nana Hank would want, to just keep on living, to just keep on enjoying life. And to keep on drinking dirty martinis, no matter how I feel about them. This week I’ll have them just because I love you Nana, just don’t expect me to start drinking two a day. So it goes.

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