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Remembering My Grandma, The Nanz

The other day was The Nanz’ birthday.

October 5th, if we’re getting specific.

I really try to not give a birthday or death anniversary too much energy, but at the same time it’s important to acknowledge the feelings. Feelings that sometimes have been bottling up over time. Maybe they’re suppressed. I do think I tend to compartmentalized. You know, sort of put my head down & get what’s in front of me done.

There are pros & cons here.

On one hand, I’m constantly moving forward, ready to tackle the day…putting on my bootstraps. But on the other hand, there’s something therapeutic about going through something to get to the other side.

The whole compartmentalizing thing is something I’ve done since I was little. Maybe a therapist would have a field day with me? Who knows. It’s sort of a survival thing, I guess?

I do believe that there is no right way to grieve; everyone is different with grief.

The point is, sometimes it takes an anniversary of a death or a birthday for me to stop, breath, & acknowledge.

JUST SLOW DOWN, you know?

We’ve all been there, when we’re just kind of going through the motions- doing the day-to-day thing, not stopping. Sort of like swimming in a pool but never coming up for air.

Well The Nanz’ birthday felt like coming up for air after swimming under water for far too long.

I sat back for a moment & recognized how much I miss her.

I miss her energy. I miss her daily check-in calls. I miss picking her up to get a blowout. I miss our witty banter. I miss our love for Bossanova, Gruyère cheese, tennis, Freestone peaches, huge sunglasses, cornichons, & dogs. I miss our friendship.

No one knew me better.

My grandma wasn’t just my grandma- she really was my best friend. The first person I summoned for sushi-filled wine nights ( loved our hole in the wall in Solana Beach ). The first person I called when I got engaged ( she screamed “SO BLOW ME DOWN!” ). The first person who always believed in me ( like always moving The Skinny Confidential Books to the front of Barnes & Noble’s new release section ), AND the first person to call my ass out ( she hated the whole Botox thing ).

Complete transparency: I wasn’t going to post anything on The Skinny Confidential. But over the weekend I realized I wanted to post a special remembrance. She was such a character on this blog that I think it’s important to acknowledge her every once in a while.

With that, I compiled some of my favorite blog posts featuring my grandma. These are her words, not mine.

So let’s call this….

The Nanz’ Guide to Life:

1. ) Prepare for your later years. Have a regular savings program.

2. ) Be healthy. Eat the right foods. I did know this but I think it’s important to be very concerned to wash your fruits and vegetables before you eat them because they’re full of pesticides. Lettuce, string beans, blueberries. Lauryn & I love to snack. We love to have a small glass of wine with a good cheese ( we love Gruyère ), cornichons, a nice cracker, candied pecans, & a few grapes. That’s our go-to snack. Not a meal, just a small, portioned snack. Sometimes we like Fuji apples & pumpernickel bread with that too. Diet & food intake are important for a healthy, long life.

3. ) Attitude. Be happy, love your friends & family. How you conduct yourself when you’re out among people is important. Put a smile on your face, throw your shoulders back, stay clean, and be prepared. Have some style ( you don’t have to follow what everyone else does, create your own style ).

4.) Have your friends & have a nice social life but still spend time at home. Be responsive and caring with your husband. Keep your faith, improve your style and be aware of how you treat people. Be as loving and kind to people as you can. Also, sometimes you need to accept things you don’t agree with. If they’re harmless it’s ok, they’re doing their thing ( even if it’s not the way you like it ). It’s very hard to do this because things are always changing, but sometimes it’s good to take it in. Being understanding when things don’t go your way is very important.

5.) INTERESTED. Always be interested. It makes life more interesting. Getting outside yourself. Be interested in what’s going on with other people, remember their different stages and their different things. Think outside yourself in every way.

6.) My relationship tips: Oh, first the two ‘H’s.’ Honesty & humor.

Then the two ‘C’s.’ Compassion & character.

You have to have honesty with a person because if you’re ever dishonest, then the other person will never trust you again. That’s a must. Also you must have humor. You have to laugh at things together. As you build your life together, you can go back & laugh on funny instances.

For the two ‘C’s,’ you need compassion & character. Be deeply compassionate. Wanting to be the best that you can be. Character is for everybody. You have to have depth & character in a relationship. Character should be a part of the personality.

7.) Reading is terrific. Picking up a sport together that you both like. Even if it’s horseback riding or… whatever. Something that you like doing together. There are other things besides sports but you build on a hobby together.

8.) Do the best you can wherever you can.

9.) In relationships think kindness. Be kind to each other.

10.) Tell The Skinny Confidential readers to always take time for music & dance. Always be honest in character. Animals are wonderful friends & very easy to love. XO, The Nanz.

Death has been a subject we’ve discussed on the blog. My advice with death is the same as it was a year ago: when people ask me about death & what to do & how to grieve after losing someone important, I always say this: “don’t be there immediately. Everyone else will do that. Be there months…even years down the line.”

For those of you who have dealt with a loss that’s unbearable, how do you cope? Do you stop & acknowledge your feelings? Or do you pack them away in bows, only to be dealt with on birthdays or death anniversaries? Is there a ‘right’ way to grieve?

I’m sending you all a big hug. As always, thank you for your support.

To remember her, you can find me in Home Goods with Pixy in my shopping cart ( she LOVED to push her chihuahua, Slipper, around the store for exercise ).

I LOVE YOU GUYS, lauryn x

+ if you haven’t listened to The Nanz on TSC Podcast ( Episode #16 ), please do. She’s inspiring & just SO cute. I sure miss her little voice <3.

+ more Nanz: meet The Nanz | The Nanz’ pecans | The Nanz’ egg salad | The Nanz’ flower tips | The Nanz’ relationship tips

{ pics }

  1. I loved her! I lost my Dad around the same time as you lost her. It’s been the hardest year of my life. We just celebrated his birthday (Oct 4) and his death (Oct 8) and it has been an odd feeling of…sigh of relief that we made it through all the firsts. Grief is HARD and I agree there isn’t a right way or a wrong way, but I do know feeling it…all the feelings has helped me tremendously. I still copy your Nanz’ egg salad because it’s the best! Cheers, friend!

  2. Love her advice! It reminds me of my grandmother who passed away. I try to remember to be a little more like her every day.

  3. Love this post, thank you for sharing! I miss seeing her in videos, she was always such a burst of life and positive energy – and sass! 🙂 xx

  4. Beyond love this post, it has made me reach out to my grandmother more than ever and strengthen our bond from when i was a little girl. I LOVE how much you loved her. Thank you for this post, this heartfelt, beautiful piece.
    When you speak of her now I immediately think of e.e.cummings poem, I carry your heart with me. All my love, Tiffany

  5. Your Nanz sounds like she was a fabulous lady! How special you had such a close bond. I’ve lost both sets of grandparents and my father most recently. Loss is never easy and the passing of my father was by far the most devastating. I try to remember all the good times we shared and live my life the way he would want me to. He didn’t get to meet my daughter as I was still pregnant when he died this past February but each day I try to be the best parent and guide her like he guided my sister and I, with humor and a solid foundation. I surround myself with little reminders of my grandparents, I literally have an oil painting of them in my dining room which also has their dining table in it. I like to think I can carry on the tradition of being a great hostess and making people feel like they are home.

  6. Lauryn this is such a beautiful post and remembrance of Nanz. I don’t comment on your blog often but I do read and I remember your grandmother’s present here and on your podcast once too! Your relationship with your Grandmother is so beautiful. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been (and still is) to lose her. Sending you lots of virtual love and hoping you are surrounded by family and friends who are willing to be there for you <3

  7. Beautiful tribute post, Lauryn. Cherish those memories and lessons, for sure. I lost my grandfather this past June – 2 weeks shy of his 100th birthday. It’s very difficult, since I was super close to him (we chatted on the phone daily and I visited him at least 5 days a week – he lived about 2 blocks over from me); but knowing that he lived a full, awesome life, and died peacefully, is what makes it all so much easier. The amazing memories of him outweigh the grief, if that makes sense.

  8. Loved this post. thank you for sharing. forgot how much i loved the name slipper for a dog haha. what happened to slipper?

  9. Love the post!Lost my,”Gram”;some years ago.I find that when you lose someone so EXTREMELY close to you;a part of them lives on in ones heart.All things shared,memories,advice,their wisdom.Being a 56 year old Mom to 4 grown daughters,this is supremely important.In that a legacy of goodness,kindness,perseverence,Love… never stop learning,nor PLAYING!Fitness tip of the day?Play as children do!Bike,kickball,swing on a swing.Enjoy life!??

  10. Lauryn I lost my mom in May, one of my sisters in June and another sister in August this year. I too tend to compartmentalize the pain and sadness. I haven’t fully mourned yet, it’s simply too much. I did not even know that your Nanz passed away and when I saw this post this morning my hurt for you. Sending you love. ❤️

  11. I’m glad you decided to post on the blog. My grandma and I were super close too and it was awesome to read about your relationship. Made me smile and think about the lessons she would give me:)

  12. My grandma passed away on October 9 of last year, and her birthday is this Monday, October 16. We were so close, closer than anyone else in our family. I still have not dealt with it. Hugs to you, Lauryn. xo

  13. Beautiful words and advice. I had a special relationship with my grandmother also and know how you are feeling. I like to surround my self with some of her things; her tea cups, a vase she liked, a scarf of hers. It makes me think of her almost daily if even for a minute. ❤️
    P.s what happened to Slipper?

  14. I absolutely looved her egg salad recipe!!! I remember when you posted it I made it right away and it was so freakin’ delicious. I love her words of wisdom. Thank you for sharing Lauryn!

  15. The timing of this post couldnt have been better. I just read her advice twice and sent it to my sisters too. You are carrying on her spirit so beautifully.

  16. I had the same relationship with my Nanny. She lived in a guest house on our property my whole life. 21 years. It’s been a little over two years now and I have to say it’s gotten better (even though I told myself it never would). I think of her every single day. What advice she would give me, what she would think of my recent accomplishments, but those special days give us an opportunity to really grieve. I don’t think it’s a negative – as long as you’re honest with yourself xx

  17. This is beautiful! Such a nice tribute to her to share her life philosophies, and they sure are good ones! My heart goes out to you, I lost my grandma at 16 and didn’t get to say goodbye. She had dementia, and it was hard. I tend to compartmentalize everything a little too much, but how can u not? Life goes on and you have to move with it. Hopefully you are healing a little! The Nanz was a sweet and captivating woman!

  18. You have me crying, Lauryn! Such a sweet post that myself and I’m sure so many others can relate to <3

  19. Thank you for this post, Lauryn. I was thinking of your sweet Grandma recently – so hard to believe it’s already been a year. What a light she was in this world. Her spirit and vivaciousness live on in you and your family. Thank you so much for sharing her with all of us. <3

  20. I love this post, Lauryn! Such a beautiful tribute. One of my all time fave TSC posts was when you interviewed her and she went though the various decades of life and her advice. She was such a gem. I miss seeing her on the blog too, her spirit was so contagious! I’m currently dealing with tragedy in regards to the wine country fires & I wish I had advice because it’s been hard to cope. It all goes back to your advice that being there later is so necessary as immediately, I find you need to heal from within and let others in when you’re ready. Thanks again for this post & sending YOU a giant hug back. xx Shannon ||

  21. This brought me to tears ? I lost my Nana a couple months ago and her words of wisdom were always so similar to everything in this post. I miss her so much but remembering some of the things she would always say brings a smile to face xo

  22. I love when you share these more intimate thoughts. As someone with a social media presence myself (WAAAAAAAAAAY smaller in comparison haha,) I’m aware, believe, and agree that our audience is not entitled to know every little thing about us. However, as a reader of blogs that are written in a very passionate tone, I enjoy learning more about a person’s history.. why they are the way they are, how that shaped their actions, etc. I hope that you continue to be brave and share the posts that are much harder to share than the others because you are helping others by doing so. This post alone, it’s very clear you have inspired so many to reconnect with their grandparents. Kudos to you and your grandmother for being such strong forces in the world!

  23. I love that you shared this post! What a lovely way it was to honor her memory. Also, she has some great advice! Thinking of you!

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