Adventures in Drool: Saying hello, saying goodbye

May 2, 2012

This week I had to help my Nana move from her apartment to an assisted living room.

It was difficult, to say the least. Nana will turn 95 this year. She is quite a firecracker, enjoying her privacy for most of those years. Her mind is still with her, as she recounts stories of dating and her early years of marriage to my grandfather, who passed before I was born 30 years ago.

Nana comes from a generation of hard-working, half-can-of-soup-saving, Depression survivors. Her stories and spirit amaze me. But, it is the small things that truly stick with me. She doesn't throw anything away. That became apparent while cleaning out her apartment.

Her success as a Depression-era wife and mother is still apparent. She never buys any luxury items for herself. She muses over the ridiculous cost of gas and remembers when she was dating that her future husband would not drive to pick her up because gas - at .$25 per gallon - was too expensive.

Getting old is hard for everyone, but some do it much more gracefully than others. While Nana can be difficult, her enduring spirit amazes me. I think that I would be much more depressed on a regular basis than she is every day living in a place she does not want to live in.

I am not sure I could handle being deaf or losing almost everyone I know to disease and death.

I am not even sure I could survive 30 years on my own after my husband's death.

But Nana soldiers on. Because that is how she has always been - one tough cookie.

She meets her new great-grandchildren with delight - saying hello every time and relishing when they learn to say 'Nana.'

Even this week when faced with parting with items she has collected over the past nine decades, Nana says to me, "This is only going to be what I make it, so I better make something good of it."

That's the spirit Nana. Here's to you.


  • Real Parents. Real Food. Real Fun.

    Welcome to Adventures in Drool! Talking about green living, getting rid of plastics and toxic chemicals in our homes and raising happy kids on a budget. Join the conversation ( and don't forget to Like us on Facebook!

    Rachel Swick Mavity, author of the blog, lives with a reformed drooler (Droolface), who at age 3 loves to get muddy, drink homemade smoothies, giggle and flirt with old ladies. Her current drooler (Birdy) enjoys spitting up on work clothes and leaving drool trails as a way of showing her love.

    Mavity previously worked as a journalist for seven years at newspapers from Pennsylvania to Maryland and Delaware. In Sussex County she worked for several newspapers, including the Cape Gazette. She lives in Lewes with her husband, Ryan Mavity, their son, "Droolface," and daughter, "Birdy."