I was thinking about what sort of post I would do for Valentine’s on the ol’ blog this year and was considering some sort of cartoon…but then I kept coming back to my very favourite Valentine’s Day memory, and that’s what I want to write about. It doesn’t even involve a significant other, though my first Valentine’s Day with Evan is a close second. My favourite Valentine’s Day memory is all about my Nana.
It makes me feel good to remember her, so it seems fitting to tell this story this year.
Forgive me friends and longtime readers because I have mentioned this several times so you may have already heard it. Hopefully it hasn’t gotten old.
So my Nana was obsessed with greeting cards. They were her favourite part of any gift to both give and receive. All she wanted from us on any occasion was a card (and pictures of us), and she saved every card her family and friends had given her over the years and kept them in a photo album so she could go back and look at them from time to time. She was sentimental, that Nana.
Her favourite cards to give to us were those super cheesy ones with long messages on both sides written in script. She took her card selections very seriously and would choose the perfect card with the perfect message for every family member. She would then decorate the cards and envelopes with stickers she had bought (for this purpose, of course), and she would write the sweetest messages inside. My birthday card every year, without fail, had the message “May your dreams come true.”
Sometimes in her later years they would also say “Happy New Year!” which I also loved and appreciated.
Nana would watch our faces and truly take in our reactions as we opened and read her cards. Those cards gave her great joy. We would get them for Christmas, our birthdays (and on Christmas and birthday’s those cards came with cheques!), St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and of course, Valentine’s Day (and when I was younger my Valentine’s Day card would come with a Babysitter’s Club book!).
The last few years though, it was difficult for her to get out and buy cards being in the nursing home. One Valentine’s Day a few years ago, she didn’t have a card for me. But she couldn’t just let me not receive a card. Unthinkable. So, she did what any resourceful grandmother would do.
A group of elementary school students had recently made Valentine’s cards for residents of the nursing home, so Nana decided she would just use the card she received from one of the kids.
When she presented this to me I remember thinking “Wow, did they have craft time in here or something?” (which, they should!!!) But when I opened it up I saw that Nana was probably not the original creator of the card.
It may have been the “Nana” over the the whited out child’s name that tipped me off.
I’m sure she appreciated the card when she received it (I’m sure there were proclamations of “wonderful,” “beautiful” and “fantastic”), but she didn’t need a card from this stranger, she needed a card to give to her granddaughter!
I erupted with laughter when I realized what had happened and Nana said “Oh I didn’t make this card! I just…borrowed it.” which made me laugh even harder because Nana, I can tell!!! She totally regifted that card, but I loved that she didn’t just try to pass it off as her own.
I’ve saved the card and I think I’m going to frame it because it might be the most precious card I’ve ever received (it’s certainly the most hilarious). I love the thought behind it so much, that she did what it took to ensure she had a card to give me. I think that’s kind of a metaphor for our entire relationship — she went to great lengths to ensure she was taking care of me, and she went to great lengths to show me that she was always thinking of me. What a Nana she was.
Happy Valentine’s Day!