My Nana

April 12, 2010
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The profound love for reading has been the focal point of my life for as long as I can remember. During quiet summer evenings, lazy winter breaks, or rainy spring days, I can be found in the corner of my sofa with a classic novel in my hands. When I received the topic questioning who impacted my life the most, the generic essay of “My parents are my role model” immediately poured from my fingertips. I had gotten half way through the essay before I came to the realization that it wasn’t my mother or my father who had impacted my life the most. Rather, it was the person who planted the seeds of literature early on in my life and cultivated them to grown tall and feed my soul to this very day.

I gave her the moniker of “Nana” because the title “Aunt Diana” never fluently left my lips. Plus, I was the first grandchild, and everything I said and did was accepted without question! I remember how we would build a tent inside her home from bedsheets and the kitchen chairs during thunderstorms. We’d turn off all the lights, and read Patricia Polacco’s Thunder Cake by flashlight with, of course, a chocolate cake in the oven. When I think of Nana, I think of all the various things she taught me by taking me to the museums, the library, and a number of other “educational” outings.

Today I can read complex books written by authors such as Goethe, Yeats, and even Checkhov and comprehend what they are saying because of her interest in my education at a very young age. She helped develop me into the writer I am today by nurturing my small bud of affection for literature to grow into the mighty oak of love for prose and poetry. In addition to all this, Nana taught me how to love. Nana loves me with all her heart; I can tell just by looking into her eyes. She endowed me with the capacity to show my love to others without the hesitation that culture sometimes imposes.
Nana has impacted my life the most and I take comfort in knowing that she credits me with doing the same. Nana maintains that her decision to become a teacher was reinforced by using me as her guinea pig. I believe the bond between Nana and me was strengthened by each of us learning from the other. She taught me virtues such as honor, humility, patience, and compassion. She encouraged my tenacious endeavors, and rewarded perseverance. I believe it was Nana who rescued me from being the quiet, reserved child I might have been, and encouraged me to be the outgoing, intelligent, self confident woman that I am today.

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