Live. Strong.

Today, my grandmother Dorothy Brule left us for good. She didn't "give up the fight" and God certainly didn't tell her it was her time to go. As always, she went on her terms.

"Nana" was a unique combination of smart, strong-minded, loving, opinionated, and caring. She lived an amazing life and had not a single regret. Like with the rest of her generation, it is unfathomable to think that she saw everything from indoor plumbing to the iPad get its start! (I'm glad it was the latter that I got a photo of though.)

When the fight with health issues squared her off against insurmountable odds, she battled back like only she could. She proved the doctors wrong so many times, even they started to joke about it. With her, when it was her fight to fight, she always won.

But this week it became clear to her that this fight was no longer just her's. When she realized that the difficulties of life as it had become for her would begin to truly impact the people she loved most, the people who cared for her day-in and day-out, that is where she drew the line. Like a soldier defending what she loved and believed in most without regard for herself, she told the doctors that she didn't want any more help. That is not lost on me.

Every year for the past 36 years, I got a phone call at the beginning of October. Every time, I knew before I answered it that it would be Nana and Grampa (when he was alive) singing, in two-part harmony nonetheless, happy birthday to me. True to form, I answered that phone call with a smile again this year. I thanked her and told her I was looking forward to that call - it made my day. It would be the last time I would hear her voice... and it is the perfect way for me to remember it too.

I thank her for all that she gave to me, especially the beginnings of a love of photography.

Rest in peace Nana Banana.

You can read more about her life and loves in her obituary.