Today I would like to tell you about my Nana. She passed away Wednesday, around five in the morning, peacefully sleeping at home, cared for by her children. Her grandchildren visited throughout December, knowing it was her last lap with lung cancer. She was my inheritance. Our beloved matriarch, a well-read & well-traveled woman, a loyal wife & longtime widow of her best friend, a nurturing mother to the very end, dignified, full of faith, the devoted friend I wish to be. My face & temperament is more like hers than I realized until looking in the mirror this morning. She let me have her cocktail dresses when I was still young enough and small enough to wear them out. She gave me a gift to congratulate me on becoming a woman the first time I got my period. She always let us into her world and always knew when to give us space. She treated my mom as a friend rather than an in-law, & I cherish their remarkably open & unpretentious way with one another.

Nana loved to sing & dance, took us to the Nutcracker Ballet every Christmas, invited us to her beach week each year & let us join her adventure across Ireland to celebrate retirement at 70. (I was 16, & felt like she was giving me the world.) I hope to convey the depth of her kindness & inclusive love to our boys as their memories of her are sure to fade. Frankie was like no other. I'm thankful she's at peace now. And I'm so glad to share her memory with all of you.

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