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I Thought Of My Nana Today

girl with her grandmother being silly

I tried on a shirt this morning, something cable-knit and thick, something that reminded me of winter afternoons and drinking hot chocolate on the porch of the house I grew up in. As I pulled it over my shoulders, I was reminded, suddenly, of my late grandmother. One whom I can only remember from pictures. One who slipped away from our family, away from our lives, away away from this earth all too soon.

I’m not sure what made me think of her. It’s been a few years now since her passing. I guess, really, I’m still not sure if she loved me. She was only a part of our lives when I was young.

Maybe the feeling I had was guilt, fresh and biting on a cold, silent morning. Maybe it was longing for a relationship I’d never really known. Or maybe it was the way a sweater feels on warm skin, somehow unconsciously bringing me back to being a one-year-old again, those wrinkled hands pulling me in close for a hug.

People come to us in memories – in places, in thoughts, in things. I didn’t really know my Nana. Not in the way my boyfriend’s son knows his, a closeness I was never lucky enough to feel, to hold onto. She was gone before my mother really had a chance to say goodbye too, years of unpatched holes between them.

I don’t know why she came to me in the form of a sweater, in the form of warmth I can’t quite identify. But if this is her, and she’s listening somehow, I hope she’s proud. I hope she’s joyful. And I hope she knows she’s missed. My Nana. A label that will never change, no matter how much time has passed.

Featured Image Credit: Marisa Donnelly

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Marisa Donnelly, M.Ed., is a writer/editor, credentialed teacher, proud bonus mama, and CEO of Be A Light Collective, a coaching and content creation business and digital marketplace. She is the Director of Donnelly’s Daily Apple, a flexible learning/tutoring and educational resource platform, and the lead voice for Momish Moments and Step by Step Parents, verticals dedicated to sharing and advocating for non-traditional parenting journeys. Marisa currently resides in San Diego, California, with her fiancé, kiddo, and their two rambunctious Pitbulls. ❤️


  1. I love your writing! In this story about your Nana…please correct this sentence “Or maybe it was the was a sweater”. Sorry for picking!

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