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A banana sliced in round pieces, and smothered in brown sugar with a splash of milk. We Strassers call this magnificent breakfast/lunch/lazy dinner concoction a Nana Banana. Named after my Nana, after whom I received my middle name, Paula.

My Nana passed away on Friday, December 16 after an 8 year battle with cancer. She’s been such a fighter. So have we.

I remember when I was in grade 12 math class one morning. My eyes were puffy from crying myself to sleep the night before. There was a discussion that night about whether or not Nana should be taken off life support and I couldn’t believe the doctors wanted to give up on her already. My math teacher asked the class ”who let in the one-eyed monster?” and pointed right at me. I grabbed my things and fled the classroom before I began crying again. I didn’t go back to school that day. Or the day after.

Nana wasn’t taken off life support. She had 5 different types of cancer (to my knowledge anyways), a super bug, a 4 month stay in the intensive care unit, and multiple surgeries. My mom wrote a diary throughout. Some day I hope my folks will let me read it. I’m not ready yet.

The wound of Nana’s passing is still fresh. It’s tough to even wrap my head around the fact that we will never talk again. Never hug. Never say I love you.

This loss has hit me hard. What could I have done differently with each moment we had together? I have no regrets. Every chance I got to go home from the city, I’d make sure I visited both Nana and Papa. But it’s also making me think about how other things in my life could’ve gone differently.

What if I never went to Hamilton for school? I could have spent more time with my Nana. What if…

Sic vita est. The days go on. The wheel of life turns again.

Of course I will miss my Nana. She was one of my best friends. It’s so hard to say goodbye, but it’s not really goodbye. I know she will always be with me and I’ll love her always.

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