Thursday, December 9, 2010


On a chilly day in December, 2007, my Nana set out. Off to the historical society, then to lecture in church—though she wasn’t feeling well, she knew she had to do it, because the churchgoers needed her—and finally back home. She took out the garbage, one last time, then only had a moment to take off one glove before she passed on. My beautiful Nana.

I miss her especially on days like today, when a touch of snow coats the trees and the sun is rising, painting the sky pink and pastel blue to match her eyes. And I think about how nice it would be to get a letter from her once more—her letters were so full of joy and delight in tiny details. That was how she lived her life. Nana embraced each day as an opportunity for love and life and laughter.

She would have been thrilled that we came to live in Basel, Switzerland, and sometimes I imagine the letters I would write to her about our latest adventures. It’s strange, because sometimes I see her here: in the face of the lady with the wool beret walking slowly across the Mittlebruck to savor the rushing Rhine below, in the eyes of the smartly dressed woman sitting next to me on the tram, in the delicate hands fussing with the petals of a rose in the flower shop. I see her walking with me down the cobbled alleys laughing up at the grotesque faces adorning the buildings. I hear her giggle in the trickle of the stream next to my apartment. Nana is always near me.

I miss you, Nana.