Friday, June 12, 2009

"Jessica, You're My Favorite Granddaughter"

Nana never played favorites. She loved and doted on each of her four grandchildren equally.

I was the first grandchild, born June 16, 1971. For almost 3 1/2 years, I was the only grandchild. Mom says that Nana was the second person to hold me when I was born. My dad was the first.

My brother David was next and born on October 5, 1974. Dave could do no wrong in her eyes and she was incredibly proud of both of his artistic and athletic abilities.

Because we lived in Florida until 1975, Nana got to see us regularly for the first few years of our lives. In my memory, Nana was either always in Ft. Myers with us or we were in Crystal Beach, although I'm sure that's not quite how it was.

My cousin Jesse was born on November 30, 1981 and named for our late grandfather, Jesse Paulk. Last, but not least, Jesse's younger brother, Ryan, was born on May 15, 1985. For a few years in the 80s, Jesse and Ryan, along with my Uncle Ryan and Aunt Maureen, lived in Crystal Beach, Florida and Nana loved having them in her life on a daily basis.

Dave and I great up in Chicago and didn't have the same daily relationship with Nana, but we spoke to her at least weekly, visited with her at least twice a year in person, and shared almost weekly letters back and forth.

Although she didn't ever play favorites, she never ended a phone call with me without telling me that I was her favorite granddaughter. Of course, I was also her only granddaughter, but I never let that cheapen the compliment.

No comments: