Missed Connections

Sophie’s great-grand-mother died today. Rest in peace, Isabel Pryce, my Nana.

Nana was 96 and a death at that age isn’t really a tragedy; it’s expected. Nana had a long life, many friends, fierce independence, indomitable elegance. She even passed away peacefully, listening to music, sitting by a window.

What I feel sad about is that I didn’t know her better. I grew up an 8-hour drive from Nana, but, in my memory, we only made that drive twice during my childhood. Nana only visited us once, that I recall, when I was growing up. She did correspond with us regularly, and as a teenager I used to write her weekly letters that she praised lavishly — but lately I have only phoned her a few times a year, only on holidays & her birthday & any major illnesses.

I never took Sophie to meet Nana Isabel, even though Sophie’s middle name is Isabel, too.

I did get to visit Nana last weekend, when I got to meet many of her friends and even some relatives whom I had never known. I got to hear stories I never knew, from people she had helped who had a deep admiration for her. I am grateful I made that visit and feeling guilty that I didn’t visit earlier.  Last weekend, I saw that on her walls were photos of me and my siblings and cousins, lovingly displayed. On her refrigerator, she had a postcard I sent her in 1996, when I happened to be traveling in Cambodia. I had no idea she would save it that long. Her eyesight has been fading for the last decade and so that has been my excuse for not writing, recently. I had not known that she had saved that postcard all these years while I didn’t send her another one.

It’s impossible to change the past, I know. All I can do is work on the present and so I hope I will be able to help Sophie have a closer relationship with all of her grandparents.

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3 responses to “Missed Connections

  1. Aunt Marla

    No matter the circumstances, Honey, I think when loved ones die, we always wish we’d known them better.

    Hugs to you and Sophie Isabel too.
    xoxo

  2. Val

    A lovely tribute to Isabel.
    Over the years I always enjoyed talking to her on special and not so special occasions. When I met her for the first time many years ago she included me in her family – I will not forget that.
    I will miss her. Valx

  3. Anonymous

    I never had the good fortune to meet Isabel. I only know of her through a friend, Ed Stevens. He spoke of her good humor and graciousness.
    I’m very sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing your grief and regrets through your blog. Anyone who has lost a family or friend can share your feelings.
    I read it to Ed last evening. He said Isabel would understand.

    Betsy

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