Frankly, Nana lived a lot longer than anyone ever expected her to. There were Christmases where we thought "This might be the last Christmas with Nana" and sicknesses where we thought "This could be it". But Nana was a tough old gal and defied death for 10+ years. Even though her body was frail her mind was still sharp, even up towards the end.
I have fond memories of my Nana, and many of them are tied up with memories of the house in Espanola, New Mexico where she lived. She was on her own in that house from 1969, when my grandfather died, to the mid-90s. My mom finally moved her to San Antonio when Nana couldn't fully take care of herself.
I regularly visited the Espanola house when I was in middle school and high school. The house was always an interesting mystery to me. It was a solid, simple house, one I always explored, knowing there were stories in its basements and closets and nooks and crannies and trinkets.
A year ago, I visited Nana in San Antonio and I spent a couple hours asking her questions and tape recording her talking about her life. I still have those tapes, but haven't listened to them recently. Transcribing those is one of my main tasks before the funerals.
I'll be out of town at services and helping Mom from Thursday, March 6 through Wednesday, March 12 with minimal Internet access so not much LJing in that time. Until then, it's a frenzy to get things (work, home, etc) in good shape before I head out.
Rest In Peace, Nana. You've earned it. We'll miss you.