On June 8th 2004 I lost one of the most influential people in my life. At the time I was 17, my relationship with my husband was new and wonderful and not violent, at the time I couldn't imagine what it would have become.
As a child I learned my Nana left my grandfather and moved to an entirely new province with my uncles and mother, she left a man she loved but couldn't be with. As a child I never pressed on about the story of my grandparents. If I had I would have learned that my Nana survived a turbulent relationship with a man that she cared about deeply, a man who was troubled and she couldn't help. I don't know much else beyond these few stories, i don't know the intricacies or details, but I don't think I need to. The bit that I need to know is that she survived, because she left.
The last couple days my brain has wandered to Nana. It goes without saying that I miss her terribly, but lately my thoughts have been mulling over what my life would be like if Nana was still here. If I had known someone in my life who had gone through a relationship like mine and made it out. If there was someone who could have held my hand or told me to smarten up, perhaps if there was someone who knew what it was like, someone I could have opened up to.
I believe that I now have a stronger tie to Nana, one that I also share with more women and men than I know. We managed to figure out a way to get out of something, realizing that love is not a reason for hurt. I wish that she was here to tell me it gets better, to tell me that the pain will fade into nothing, that I did the right thing and like she did when I was a girl run her fingers through my hair to ease a bad day. Even though she isn't here to sooth me any longer, knowing that she was able to overcome this, knowing that my decision to leave was the same decision she made 50 years earlier. Nana was always my favourite person on this plane. She was a constant place for love in my life and even 9 years later she is still supporting me and guiding me through one of my hardest passages.