This is a picture from my Nana’s 90th birthday party a year and a half ago. She’s now 91 years old. She’s an amazing person and has always been a big influence on my life and love perspectives. She’s been there for me as a confidant my entire adulthood. She went through the great depression and met my Grampa when she was 15 years old (he was 23… that was ok back then ;-). She raised two smart and giving women and then went back to school and got her masters in Social Anthropology in her 40's! She never complains and has taught me to be patient with life and to believe in myself. Nan was there for me when the twin towers fell and I literally thought I would lose my mind after having moved to the city just 5 months before. She’s always been the first person I call when I land from a flight on any trip and the first person when I return. It’s been hard over the last couple of years as her immensely sharp mind and use of language has diminished. We cannot have the same type of conversations that we used to, but I know that her heart, spirit and mind are always there for me. Writing this now brings back all of the memories of our amazing chats over the years and I cherish all those times. Now we visit her whenever we can so she can see her new love, my daughter.
Also featured in this pic is my mom. She has been my #1 fan and supporter my entire life, always showing unconditional love. She’s been one of my biggest influences for creativity, passion, art, music and a strong work ethic. She performed as a singer song-writer when she was younger, got her masters in teaching and taught young children, before raising 2 kids of her own (my Dad did help). She then when back to work when I was 8 years old during a time when women faced severe challenges in the workforce with less pay and chauvinism in the 1980's. She persevered through a tough medical issue during that time and helped support our family so that my dad could make a career shift to pursue his passion. She has helped my sister with my nephew over the years and now loves to see my daughter. She sings with her, reads to her and shows her the beautiful things in life like nature and color. Though we can definitely battle like a good mom and son can, I love her tremendously and respect everything she has accomplished as a mom, grandma (Nana) and human.
My sister has also been an incredible inspiration throughout my life. We definitely had our tough times growing up (sharing a room until I was 8 and she was 12! Can you imagine how that was for her??). We became best friends as soon as she went to college and I entered high school and have been soul confidants since then. We share the same sensitivities for others, as well intuitiveness, openness, and zest for life. Through many challenges she has persevered and recently gained her masters in social work (very much like my Nana, a bit later in life) and got her dream job as a school social worker for young children!