My Nana was one cool lady. An Air Force wife, she lived all over the world, working as a volunteer nurse and substitute mom for those men who needed a warm meal and a place to feel at home on Sunday afternoons. She navigated her life as if she were in a tank, plowing over any obstacles in her path. Even when the Alzheimer's got really bad, and her stories became more and more outrageous, she was always the hero of those stories. I loved her to pieces.
One of the best things about Nana is that she always gave it to you straight. Oh, didn't you like what she had to say? Then you shouldn't have asked, dummy. So a couple of years ago, when I was agonizing over whether or not to move to Chicago, I asked her for some advice. She gave me words to live by, Nana-style:
"Suck it up. You're a Gardner."
Damn skippy I am.
What's your last name? Because Bud would like to borrow it for a while. Just for ten, fifteen years or so.