Happy 74th Birthday Nana!

Today my Nana turns 74. I have put a picture of her and my Papa holding Grace when she was born and a picture of her holding Ella when she was born. I wasn't able to find my more current pictures, but that's ok because this is the way I like to remember her.

Her health has deteriorated quite a bit over the last 4 years. She has had two angioplasties, a hip replacement, and now suffers with end stage COPD and gall bladder problems. She actually should have her gall bladder removed but her lungs would not survive the surgery so she instead needs to try and control her attacks through diet. There is no hope of excercise for her, as both of her knees need to be replaced. They are actually bone on bone at this point, but again there is no chance for surgery. She also has been on steroids for too long, so now they have to try and wean her off. This will cause her more pain, and could make it even more difficult for her to breathe. Add this to the fact that her oxygen is no longer covered by Medicare so she has to worry about how to pay for it. You can just imagine what kind of life she has.

But, that said, this is one of the strongest women I know. She insisted on doing Thanksgiving at her house (like she has every year since I've been born) and she does EVERYTHING. And, this is for over 30 people just for the main meal, with other people coming later in the day (we usually eat at noon). She has had a rough life, but no matter what I can call her and she always makes me feel better. Even though I tell her how much I love her, and how much she means to me, I'm not sure words can express how grateful I am to have had such a wonderful role model for my life. I only hope that I can be half the woman she has been, and I hope that if I face some of the circumstances that she has, I will have the strength she has tried to instill in me to get through them as she has.

Happy Birthday Nana - I love you!

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