Nana

Words of remembrance by Nana’s daughter-in-law, Elaine Malloy.

On Monday evening Dan, Ted, Paula, the grandchildren, and I reminisced.

The oldest memories of which we’ve been told date back to Nana’s childhood in Milford.

At three, she and Ollie became best friends.  The beauty of that friendship has lasted over eighty years.  In that time, they never fought – not even once.

They sat under the table and giggled while Nan’s father recited silly rhymes.  They dressed the cat.  They learned the Irish jig together.  Back then, Nana loved to ice skate.  Her father would clamp on the skates for her, and Nana would walk close to a mile to reach the pond.  That love of ice skating has been passed on to Lisa.

Nana and Grampa met on the “White Way” when they were nineteen.  (He worked for the electric company and was part of the crew putting up new streetlights on Main Street. In Milford, they had sort of adopted the NYC term for that; the White Way.)

On one date, they took June to the Ice Capades in Boston to see Sonya Hennie.  They got snowbound there.

Nana and Grampa got married when they were thirty-one.

Dan’s earliest memories go back to World War II, when Grampa was drafted.  Nana would shovel the coal.  She’d take Dan to Milford in the stroller, and then have him walk back up Water Street.  He thought it was a million miles.  Nana collected animal fats for one of the war efforts – Patrick’s, when delivering groceries, would collect them.

Dan remembers the vacation with the Ward family on Cooks Brook Road in North Eastham.

Dan remembers Nana talking about the terrible winter of 1947;  the year Ted was born.

Ted recalls a trip to Hampton Beach.  They were leaving the Avon Hotel, and somehow Dan got left behind.  Some distance down the road, Ted asked where his brother was.

Ted won a beagle, Snoopy, at the park.  Nana let him keep the dog.  Fifteen children had won before Ted, but all had turned down the prize.

Ted also ate sand in the back yard.  Nana, being a nutritionist, didn’t appreciate that.

My earliest memory of Nana occurred when I was in college.  I was bringing an article to Dan. Nana thought I was the paper girl. I had dressed up for Halloween that year. Nana didn’t recognize me and gave me candy.

I remember my first dinner with the Malloys.  I saw the devotion of the family towards her.  I decided than and there I wanted IN.

Nana and Mil took me to Lowell’s for ice cream, and they brought Cindy, the dog, her own cone.

For my wedding shower, Nana made the cake and decorated it with blossoms from her own garden.

Paula and I share common memories, many of them associated with cooking.  She taught Paula how to make pie crust.  She gave me a recipe for chocolate cake.  She showed us both how to make gravy.

Paula remembers how Nana took an eight-month old Lisa for the weekend so she could go to a wedding in New Hampshire.

Holidays have always been special, particularly the Thanksgivings, Christmases, and birthdays shared together.  Nana always made the mince and squash pies.

D. J, CeCe, Lisa, and Greg treasure the Halloweens and Easter egg hunts.

D. J. Remembers Nana sharing Nova Scotia stories of her family, being poor, eating fish and potatoes all the time.  Nana helped him with a family tree project.  He also remembers her at his graduation.

CeCe remembers going to Nana’s for lunch on her first day of kindergarten.  She recalls Nana and Grampa’s visits to her when she was in the hospital.  CeCe has fond memories of Nana’s “little girl” stories, and how much Nana loved the sweater she brought her from Greece.

Lisa remembers the fiftieth anniversary.  Nana hadn’t been well, but she rose to the occasion – she always did.  Lisa also recalls Saturday evenings with Nana and Grampa.

Greg remembers a recent visit to the nursing home.  He had just broken his wrist – his third broken bone.  Nana told him he had matched her record, and that was enough. Greg says Nana could always make him laugh.

Nana was a fun-loving person.  She loved music.  She loved square dancing.  She loved the board games with Betty and Tom.  Nana loved to travel.  Nana and Grampa went to Florida with my parents.  Nana was a talented person – she painted, and she decorated cakes.  Nana was kind – she cared for her own mother when she was ill.  Nana always had a smile and never spoke unkindly about anyone.

To be a part of this remarkable family has been an incredible experience – for Paula, for our children, and for me.  We salute Nana, Grampa and their wonderful sons.

Nana, we hold you in our minds and in our hearts, We will love you forever....

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Paintings done by Evelyn. She did them at the Community House, where Doris Cox was the painting teacher. Years later, Doris’s next-door-neighbor, Elaine Holt, became Evelyn’s daughter-in-law.