Nama

Almost 5 months to the day, Nama passed away, after her husband, Papa. Here’s what I wrote for her funeral:

When I was younger, I use to go over to Nama and Papa’s house before and after school. In the morning, Nama would greet us dressed in a housecoat with tousled hair, the smell of coffee wafting through the air. She’d be sure to ask me, ‘it’s freezing today, did you bring a coat?!’, I would usually try to explain that my jacket was fine and that it wasn’t that cold out and that I wasn’t cold, the way kids do. She’d usually follow that up with checking the temperature outside and decided that it was indeed cold. 

By the time school ended and I would walk back to Nama and Papa’s house, Nama would greet us in her ironed slacks and sweater with her perfectly combed hair. Interlocking her hands in front of her, she’d ask us how our day went and tell us how cold it was that day and that we definitely should have brought a coat. I’d usually appease her concerns and promise her that I would bring one tomorrow. Leaning heavily on the word ‘forgotten’ by the next day. 

Every fall, Nama and Papa would make a trip to Swiss days while we were at school, and they’d bring back the delightful Bratseli cookies which were my absolute favorite. Nama seemed to buy an endless supply of them as I’d eat them every day after school for a week. 

I also remember how much Nama loved Jay’s cooking, we’d all go up to the cabin as early as Father’s Day, if we were lucky enough to get in the cabin that early, and have brunch a few times every summer. We’d usually eat pancakes with an array of specialty syrups and occasionally Jay would make aebleskivers, danish pancake balls, just for Nama. After every meal she would always sit back in her chair holding her belly and compliment Jay on what an amazing job he did. I’ll always remember Nama’s love for food, especially Jay’s. 

Nama’s love for animals extended beyond just dogs. After breakfasts at the cabin, Nama would be sure to leave some leftover pancake bits for the blue jays out on the picnic table and we’d all watch as they would swoop in and snatch a piece, swerving around squirrels, chipmunks, and potguts. She’d be sure to leave bird seed out on the table for the rest of the wild birds and critters before she headed home for the day. 

Oh! And Nama, I almost forgot. I wore my coat today. 

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