Editor's Note


There is a special bond between a grandchild and grandparent. Marilyn's mother was a constant and important presence in Faith's life. Bea (or Nana, as she is affectionately called) produced this touching poem card for Faith in July, 2001. Each of the four poems provides a window into the private pleasures that Bea and Faith shared. Let me explain this as Faith might have told it.

Nana's House

Nana's house is a special place. Papa built this house. Mother and Uncle Steve grew up here. There are so many things that are old. There is a big glass cabinet with special tea cups. (Nana gave me one for my very own for when we have tea parties.) There is furniture that has been here forever. (The furniture in my bedroom used to belong to Mom!) There are pictures of Nana and Papa and Mom and Steve. Did you know that Nana used to have red hair? Did you know that when Eric was 13 years old he looked exactly like Mom when she was 13? There are lots of toys. Eric and Keith used to play with them when they were little like me. There are even toys that Mom used to play with. Right down the street is Robin Hood School that Mom used to go to when she was my age. Nana and I used to go to the playground there. The park where Papa is buried is nearby too. There is a nice picture of Papa over the fireplace. In the picture, Papa is sitting in his favorite blue chair. Now Nana sits in that chair a lot.

There are a lot of places to explore in Nana's house. There are closets full of old clothes that nobody wears anymore. The porch has ever so many things on it. The attic is the best place. Nana lets me climb up the ladder and take a special treasure (sometimes two!) whenever I want. There is a dark and scary place in the basement. Did you know that there is a secret room downstairs?

I like Nana's bedroom. There is an old picture of Mom on the chest of drawers. Nana keeps her jewelry there too and she lets me look at them. I once told Nana that she ought to get a lot more jewelry. When I get tired, I sleep on Nana's bed.

I visit Nana's house a lot. I go after school and stay until Dad or Mom came to get me. Sometimes I just go to be with Nana. A couple of years ago, Nana got sick and couldn't take care of me. She couldn't walk and had to be in a special hospital for a while. Then she needed people in the house all the time. But she learned to use a cane and take care of herself. Now she is able to take care of me again. We aren't able to do a lot of things that we used to do. We don't go to the playground anymore, or drive to Walgreen's. But we can still play games. I like to play hide and seek with Nana. And Nana reads to me and gives me lemonade and pizza. Most importantly, I can be alone with Nana again and do special things, just the two of us.

When I got sick and went on my trip to Duke, I didn't see Nana for a long time. It was good to come home again. When I would take my vacations to Duke for my MRI and my chemo, I would talk to Nana on the phone. I liked to call her from the airport when we were coming home. When my right leg got weak, I had trouble walking. Nana gave me one of her canes. She taught me how to use it and how to go up and down stairs. When my other leg got weak, I got a wheel chair, just like Nana's.

When I came home from Duke the first time, Dad and Eric bought me a new kitty. Mother named him "Duke". That's a good name. Whenever I go to Nana's, Duke comes along. He likes to explore Nana's house too. Duke and I rest on the couch and watch TV together. Whenever there is a party at Nana's (or Christmas or Thanksgiving) Duke comes along. He is part of the family.

Nana has a computer! She taught herself how to use it and makes cards for people all the time. Sometimes she lets me pick out the pictures to decorate the cards. When I was in first grade, Nana would take my spelling words and make poem cards out of them to help me to learn how to read. I love getting cards from Nana.