Nana 101

Yesterday, my grandmother, Michaela Marina Durán (née Moreno), would have turned 101 years old. She passed away in 1985, when I was three years old. Consequently, I don’t know her too well, but one of my earliest memories of love is from Nana. I have a strong image of her in the doorway at 558 Ramona, holding a baby (although I can’t think of who that would be…maybe a toddler version of Monica or Justine :)). I don’t have any words associated with the memory, just a clear image. And a powerful, visceral feeling of love coming from her.

It’s difficult for me to conceptualize the time period she must have lived in or her life in general. 1914 was such a different time for women, especially women of color. She was the mother of eight children, and I’m told she also miscarried three times. 11 pregnancies…I cannot even imagine. Having only one baby makes me question her overall sanity for going forward with the process seven more times. ;) There have been multiple times already over my one year of motherhood and 9-10 months of pregnancy that I have asked Nana for strength and felt her love in return. When I was going through my insane labor process, I felt her very brightly and I know she helped me stay alive and healthy to push out my baby boy.

Why talk about this now, after a full year of silence on this blog? Why visit these memories? I don’t know, really. I was in yoga last night and during savasana, it dawned on me that I’ve been receiving a lot of messages lately. These messages are becoming more loud and urgent in my brain, and are even showing up in my dreams. I have a calling to serve others. I know that, and I’ve known that for awhile. I do help people in my job/career now, however there is a larger audience for me to speak to and I have to start taking those next steps. I want to support others with IBD to find balance. I think it’s the only way I will “cure” myself of my chronic disease. I will come up with a series of postures and call them “Yoga for IBD.” It’s a concept my friend Joel cae up with and tried to get me to help with many years ago, but I pushed him away. I will also go back to school and learn more about mind-body medicine model with the intention of helping other UC’ers with their pain, balance and journey. The question is when? I don’t know, but the messaging is becoming louder that I need to start something quickly. My first step is returning to my writing. And today I wanted to write about Nana’s love.

I don’t have many pictures of my grandmother here at the house. Just three really. Although they are prized possessions to me. Two of them have love notes on the back from Pop, my grandfather. They were married on April 12, 1941 and stayed together until she passed in 1985. These love notes were from 1938, when he was still in treatment for his tuberculosis and she was there for a visit. It is moving to read his words of love to her, penned so beautifully, so long ago. I now see why my dad is such a romantic.

Anyway, this post is a ramble, but I needed to get it done. I will be taking the next steps toward my recovery and eventual balance with my colitis, and that all starts here for me. Thank you for your patience as I moved through my silence in writing and I hope to see you all here soon again.

My music corner tonight will be courtesy of Ben Harper. I pieced together a video with the pictures I do have of Nana and Pop, along with the other family photos I have here at my house. I don’t have many, still they all show the love and happiness through the foundation that Nana and Pop laid out many years ago. I love you Nana, and Happy Birthday.

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Categories: Balance, Healing, Love, Self-care, Self-love | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Nana 101

  1. Andrea

    ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL! WE ARE SO BLESSED!!!

  2. Alisa- you are amazing! and you will be amazing at helping others : ) Can’t wait to see what you decide to do!

  3. Gina Beth

    BEAUTIFUL!!!!
    I was crying before I even hit play!!!
    Love Love Love

  4. Cathy Boyd

    Hi Sweet Alisa,
    This was beautifully written! I’m glad you are feeling such a connection with your grandma – it’s very touching and loving. She loves you no matter where she is, where you are or what you’re doing. Family is in our hearts. Love you, Michelle, your husbands and now your little boys, AC KISS – KISS!

  5. Cathy Boyd

    Now, on to the other topic! I believe it’s important for each and every person on this earth to volunteer at the non-profit of their choice – it’s our duty as human beings to give of our selves to others less fortunate. Saying that, everyone needs to choose a cause that they are passionate about and it looks like you’ve found you niche! Congratulations! Just think about how many people you’ll help – you have a wealth of information that will be helpful to others while they struggle with their journey – GOOD FOR YOU! I’m proud of you! What am I doing? I donate my time and supplies to three senior centers here in Costa Mesa teaching them how to make jewelry. It’s doesn’t matter to these women if they are in their 90s, they still want to look pretty! It’s so gratifying when they create a piece – they are so happy! Good luck with your new adventure!! LOVE YOU, AC

  6. Great idea about the IBD postures! Looking forward to it :)

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