I experienced an internal debate this week: how personal do I really want this blog to be? Obviously I write from my own point of view, and certainly don't feel like I shy away from inserting my perspective or experiences in each post. But this post is a little different. We recently said goodbye to my "Nana" at 99 1/2 years of age, and have been very focused on celebrating her life and legacy.
She was many things to many people, and her life belongs in an epic novel or Oscar-winning film -- romance, war, intrigue, pioneering career, and plenty of the proverbial plot twists.
She deserves particular mention in this forum because she had a true love of fashion and a terribly keen eye for style. Never would she appear in public or receive someone in her home without a complete outfit (often a suit), makeup (Chanel), and coiffure (permanently hairsprayed). And her accessories... I would swear that I inherited many traits from this admirable woman, with her obsession with shoes/bags/scarves/jewels chief among them.
Picture this graceful and dignified lady, and the picture must include her jewelry. Until a few days before she died, she wore her engagement ring, wedding band, right-hand ring, bracelet, and two necklaces. Daily. Aside from occasional removal for cleaning (and when I could coax her to let me inspect each piece with a loupe), these special pieces remained with her always. She did not believe that her "best" pieces were just for special occasions -- or, if she did, she believed that each day was special enough to warrant their wear.
Nana was a woman from another era, but she stood apart with her genteel feminine looks and bold assertions of gender equality in her career: she practiced law right alongside her husband, and only allowed her Bar membership to lapse at the youthful age of 90. No woman could serve as a better role model, and she maintained her fierce dedication to both beauty and success for her entire amazing life.
It's true that we remember our family members as much for the little things as anything else, and so I will try to remember that each day is worthy of my best.