What began as a stop to drop off the newspaper blossomed into a very special responsibility that lasted nearly 25 years. I visited Nana daily since I was five years old; I helped shop for her, took care of household repairs as I got older, watched out for her, and just spent time listening to her talk about her life. Over the years I developed a very special love for Nana, and a great respect and affection for the elderly.
The matriarch of our family, Anne Gillis could be stubborn, melancholy, and gloomy. She was always generous, the most honest person I’ve ever met, religious, good-natured, and kind. Nana was human and not perfect, but she was a loving woman who made a profound difference in my life for which I will always be grateful.
After Nana died, I started jotting memories about her—things I wanted to remember, stories she told, family facts and trivia, and little anecdotes. I discovered that after such a difficult personal loss, writing was the best therapy. I hadn’t intended to write a book, but the memories just flooded into me and I kept writing. Over time, I found that there could be no better way to mourn Nana, and accept her passing, than by celebrating her life.
While this book chronicles Nana’s life and times before I was born, much of it is devoted to my life experiences with Nana, such as the unique problems Nana faced as a landlady, my relationship with Nana over the years, Nana growing older, and my first year after Nana died.
It's a very special story, and one I would like to share with you.