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I Admire My Nana Because .... I admire my nana because, well, because she's my nana! But there's more to it than that. I've always thought she was amazing because of her past, how strong she is, and how she handles things now!
My nana was born into a family of 13. She had eight brothers, one twin sister, and three other sisters, plus her mom and dad. They lived on a farm in a small community in Cape ... click to read moreI admire my nana because, well, because she's my nana! But there's more to it than that. I've always thought she was amazing because of her past, how strong she is, and how she handles things now!
My nana was born into a family of 13. She had eight brothers, one twin sister, and three other sisters, plus her mom and dad. They lived on a farm in a small community in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, called Inverness. On the farm she had a lot of chores, but at least they were more fun than folding laundry, or cleaning up your bedroom. She had to milk the cows and give water to her horses. She also helped harvest hay, gather eggs, and sometimes she would help clean out the horse's stables!
When she was 13, she lost her dad and four months later, she lost her mom. After her parents died, one of her sisters came home to take care of the rest of the family. Her sister took care of the family for three years. In 1949 my nana and her twin sister went away to a boarding school. After her graduation she moved to Toronto, where she met her true love, my papa.
When my nana was 22 she got married to a pilot named Edward Penwell. Two years later they had their first of six children, my Aunt Lynn, next came my Uncle Jim then my Aunt Sandra, my Aunt Cyndi and my Aunt Joanne. My mom clued up the family. In Gander my papa flew helicopters. One day while he was flying, something happened to his helicopter and he lost control. He landed on a snow covered rock. The helicopter burst into flames and my papa was burned. He was admitted to the hospital in Corner Brook. While he was in the hospital his kidneys failed, so he was transferred to a different hospital in Halifax. Sadly, the nurses and doctors couldn't save him. On January 17, 1967, ten days after his accident, he passed away. My mom was only 3 months old. Meanwhile, my nana was left all alone; her closest relative lived in Ontario, while she had just moved to Gander, Newfoundland.
Just imagine, you get married, have children, then your husband or wife dies and you are left to raise the family all alone. That's what my nana had to do. She had to raise six children, the oldest being 10, and the youngest a new born baby, only three months old.
Even though my nana has had some rough times in her life, she has made the most of what she had. My nana has always put other people and their needs ahead of her own, and she is so generous. She would give you her last penny in her pocket if you needed it.
My mom has told me that, just because her dad was gone, she doesn't feel like they missed out on anything. She always remembers having really fun birthday parties, great Christmases, and going on vacations with her family. She has said that her mom worked really hard to make sure they had everything they needed. When my mom was growing up, she said everything my nana did, she did without a fuss. She went about her business doing the best she could under her circumstances. Even to this day, my nana loves to do things for other people and expects nothing in return. Now that my mom is older she realizes the best thing my nana gave her children was her love. Through her strong will and determination she has taught her family that nothing is impossible, even though it may seem that way.
Fourteen years ago, my nana had a big heart attack, and had to have emergency open heart surgery. Thank goodness she recovered, because if she didn't I never would have gotten to know her. I am so glad she is still here today, and such a big part of my life. I love you nana!