Monday my Nana, Barbara Strain, passed away and is now in the arms of love. It was a major shock to us all. She was loved immensely and without a doubt always in our hearts. Here is the letter from us grandchildren wrote to her and is now resting with her as we said our final goodbyes until eternity.
Some days words are not enough. But it is the memories we have together that join us forever. As Cameron put it, you always were – and will always be – the grandmother every child wishes they had. From the first moment you set eyes on all of us – we knew you were our Nana and we your precious grandkids. You set so many examples and showed us so much about life – how to be strong, how to be loyal and most definitely how to be sassy. You were our hip grandmother – the one person who could have wrote the book on being a grandma. It all started with the “farm” – Nana’s house was a wonderland. It was magical – the candy canisters that never seemed to empty and the shelves with the tiniest clay miniature dolls that seemed as if they could leap to life at any moment. From the goldfish that looked like carrots swimming in the trough, to the way you let us play in the mud for hours only to line us up and hose off the evidence, how you got down on the floor with us, to the countless sessions of playing Barbies, to learning how to beat Cameron at Ninja Turtles on Nintendo. You would spend hours down on the floor with Connor, racing cars around and around that little track. And when our energy wore down, you were the best movie and cartoon-watching partner we ever had. From Tiny Toons when we were young, to taking us to our first movie – Batman Returns rings a bell, to letting us make bad choices at the video store – you never questioned us and we never questioned why the popcorn was always slightly burnt. We just knew you were our Nana. From your early morning with Heather getting ready for school, to teaching rolling skate skills, to the play dough sessions – our childhood was made complete because you took the time for us in world that often doesn’t.
As we grew older, the love never faded. You taught us so much, and you never wanted to seem a bother when you’d call to check on us. You were always there. You came to every birthday party and we always looked forward to your thoughtful gifts. You showed up to graduations and weddings, solidifying your spot as our Nana. Christmases every year brought surprises and gifts for kids of all ages. You always knew what we wanted. And when Cameron would pour cream soda in his cereal or say something mean – you threatened with mouths full of soap, but in the end, your soft heart got the better of you. You were a friend, someone who showed us how to be friendly to anyone we met and you showed us how to love – in a way only you could. And everyone in this room today can say – you lived a life that overcame challenges and showed us that we can live life our own way and be happy. You will always be our Nana and we will always carry you in our hearts.