“Wake up, Brandy-man! It’s morning!” my mother’s sweet and wonderful voice says, startling me awake. It’s 6 o’clock in the morning, on a warm summer’s day in July.
“I’m up,” I yell sleepily, attempting to get myself up. But my bed is so soft, warm, and comfortable…and it’s 6 o’clock!
It would be so nice to just lie here for hours, and look outside at the Sun shining through the trees, I think dreamily.
Of course, it is still early morning, so all I see out my window is a dark, slightly depressing sky. Groaning, I lay back down. After a few seconds, which feel like an eternity to my tired mind, I finally shake myself awake, and get dressed.
It’s not long before I’m getting into the car with my parents, and we’re driving down the street to my grandmother’s. I wave good-bye to my mom and dad, and watch their car slowly disappear in the distance.
Time to check the reading conditions. I look up at the sky again: still a little dark and cloudy. Oh well, the Sun will be up in an hour or so. It’s a perfect day to read outside! And so, book in hand, and with a touch of a smile on my face, I walk up the long gravel driveway, up the wooden steps, and through the door.
“Hi Nana,” I say brightly. The house is dark, but for the kitchen light, where my grandmother sits making breakfast. There’s bread in the toaster, an open margarine container on the counter, and a pot of boiling water on the stove.
“Hello, love,” she says, as I walk in the kitchen, “what would you like for breakfast? There’s bread on the counter, cereal in the cupboard, or would you like me to make you some bacon or sausages?”
“I’m okay, Nannie,” I say, laughing, having heard this same speech my whole life. “I’m not hungry yet, I’ll just be outside reading if you need me.”
Glancing at the microwave clock quickly (it’s about 7), I head back outside, and around the side of the house, to my reading spot in the backyard. Bright, soft green grass and tall oak trees greet me, along with the brown dirt path I have worn into the ground alongside the house.
“Good morning old friends,” I say to the oaks, stepping onto my path, and opening my book. It’s a nice feeling, being out here. The air is still cool and refreshing…and I’m just happy to be able to read outside. With no worries, and my kindred spirits all around me, I feel happy and fulfilled. I’m doing what I was born to do.
If there’s a heaven,” I think, staring at the now light blue sky, then this is it. Thank you…
I finally pull myself back to reality, and come back inside. The clock: 8:05 am.
“Are you ready for breakfast now, Brandon?” Nana asks from her chair in the living room.
“No, I’ll eat at 9, “I say, yawning. Lying down on the couch, I sigh and look outside the living room window for a minute or two.
There’s a little blue bird on one of the tree branches, and I can just hear her little voice chirping. It’s just a beautiful scene to watch, and I lay there lost in thought, until with another little chirp, my bird friend flies off.
Turning away from the window, I close my eyes, listening to the sounds of Canada AM on the television…
“…Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa!” I’m awake now, and really hungry. I get up, re-energized, thinking about what I should eat for breakfast. Nana hands me a plate of buttered toast.
“I knew you’d be up soon,” she laughs, while I thank her, and sit back down.
The rest of the day passes too quickly for my liking. I’ve always preferred morning, because the day is still young, and there’s still time to do everything you want.
One minute I’m going back outside to read again, the next I’m having a delicious lunch of tacos. Then it’s just me and Nana sitting together, watching television all afternoon, laughing and talking about Oprah’s guests today, and the crazy people Dr. Phil is helping now.
“They always make me laugh,” Nana says.
It’s one of my favourite parts of the day; because Nana and I get to talk…I mean really talk. She tells me stories, and we chat about life and the future. It’s really fun, and it means a lot to me. Nana is as much my friend as my grandmother.
6 o’clock rolls around, and I see my parents pull up the driveway.
“Bye Nannie, I love you,” I say, giving her a hug. I never realize how lucky I am to be able to say and do that almost everyday. I go home…smiling, happy, and loved.
And that is the legacy of my grandmother, my Nana. For 17 wonderful years she gave me a sanctuary, and a second home. There are no words worthy of describing how lucky I was to have such a profoundly caring person in my life, or to show how extraordinary she really was. All I can say is: I love you Nannie. And I really miss you.