Posted by: Diane | December 28, 2011

A Slice Of Nice

Apparently, my Nana kept a birthday book and I saw it for the first time this Christmas. My Nana died in 1985 but I’ve been told that she faithfully recorded all the family and friends’ birthdays and weddings in this little black book.

During Christmas  day dinner this year, my brothers and I were reminiscing about the houses that we grew up in and we started to talk about who had special furniture, pictures and collectables that once belonged to my grandparents and my mother. Out of the blue, my brother reached into an old desk that once belonged to my mother and brought out Nana’s birthday book.  It was clearly an item of great interest to my older brother and I and we carefully leafed through each page, telling stories about familiar names. It warmed my heart to see the same hand writing that’s on my Nana’s recipe card that I treasure,  explaining how to make her infamous shortbread cookies.  I don’t know if many people keep a birthday book now but this clearly is a keepsake in our family.

This particular page brought a flood of memories to my mind and my eyes got a little misty. Nana had recorded her husband’s death.

Alex – Born 1890

Sad to say, died Dec 30/67

My brothers and I lived with Nana and Pop for about five years when my biological father and my mother divorced in 1960. All three of us have such wonderful memories of those days on Burbank Ave. Life was so simple and delightful. We all remember wonderful Christmas celebrations with my cousins, who drove from Ottawa in a big brown station wagon, late nights of giggles and fun, gift exchanges, TV tables, delicious turkey dinners and homemade lemon pie.

On Christmas Day this year, I kept looking at Nana’s writing: “Sad to say, died Dec 30/67

Nana and Pop loved each other very much and I faintly remember the day when Pop died. What I don’t remember is how sad my Nana must have been. Three little words – sad to say – spoke volumes to me.

Nana’s life partner died almost 44 years ago but a little black birthday book birthed some marvelously rich memories for me, for which I am so thankful.

Thank you, God…for a slice of nice.


  1. Yes, good memories are truly “a slice of nice”. Love that phrase 🙂
    My mom always made Christmas a slice of nice- yes I remember her especially when I see her name under a serving bowl or platter, or her little notes in revamping her own recipes, or a new find… Her handwritten note of a song she sang to us as a lullaby, “mind tiiva all võta

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