You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.
A few weeks ago I shared with you a very special request that I saw on one of my favorite Facebook Travel Groups and I simply couldn’t just let it go by and simply forget about it.
You may or may not this but I am a supporter of good causes and decided to share with you Postcards for Nana Del
In that post you learned about a grand-daughter who shared a very personal and emotional situation that Nana Del, is currently going through and that touched the hearts of many including me.
She asked the group members if it was possible for us to send her postcards from around the world as she wanted to surprise her beloved grandma for her birthday which happens to be on November 25th.
I already shared with you another initiative that I participated in, which was to encourage students to travel around the world through postcards which I found super cool and let them know that with hard work, faith and dedication, they can make their dream come true. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, if you focus and commit, anything can happen right?
Anyhow, back to Nana Del‘s story
Why did it hit home or struck some chords or pulled my heart-strings?
Well, you may or may not know this but someone I loved dearly passed away from cancer a few years ago (read why I support Movember & the special dedication to this angel gone too soon here).
Hence, when I learn that sadly Nana Del is in the terminal stage, she is putting up a good fight and being a warrior until the very end.
Allow me to share the update that grand-daughter Shannen posted this week and I asked for her permission to copy + paste it here to share it with you 🙂
🌸🌸 Update on postcards for Nanny Del 🌸🌸
Some of you may remember that a few weeks ago, I posted in this wonderful group seeking a big favor from you all. For those who didn’t see the post, my grandmother (who I affectionately refer to as my Nanny), was diagnosed with a terminal cancer in August.
My world has been turned upside down, and the last few months following that diagnosis have been the hardest months of my life, and hers. I have had a lot of grief to work through, as she has, and it has taken time to come to terms with something so permanent and unchanging as a terminal cancer diagnosis.
My nanny has never left Australia and whilst it pains me that this is the case, she has more than done her fair share of travelling throughout Australia and has always relished the opportunity to watch travel documentaries on TV and comment on all the places she would like to see. After learning that she had terminal cancer, I realized that travelling abroad with her (something I held tight to) would never become reality. Learning that things weren’t going to be the way I pictured was probably the hardest and most tragic part of her diagnosis.
I sat down one day and thought of what I could do. How could I bring her happiness? I realized that if I couldn’t bring her out to see the world, I’d bring the world to see her. I devised a plan – to ask complete strangers to send my nanny a single postcard to brighten her day. I was flooded with responses and I couldn’t believe that there were so many people in this world and that so many of you wanted to help two complete strangers on the opposite side of the world.
I never told nanny about my plans. I was afraid that no one would respond and I was terrified of letting her down. When the first postcards trickled in and arrived in the PO box, I wept. I was so overcome with emotion, that I honestly can not put into words here.
I felt like there were people who cared – people who wanted to make my nanny happy, just as I do. I went out and bought a beautiful big gift box covered in flowers and tied it up with a purple satin ribbon. I filled the box with the postcards and decided it was time to surprise her.
I gathered my family and we sat down one evening. I presented the box to nanny and she smiled and shook her head saying, “you shouldn’t buy me things, Shan!”
She opened the box and saw some postcards and looked very confused but continued smiling. I wrote the following speech out onto paper to convey exactly what I was doing and why I was doing it.
“Traveling is not just about buying a plane ticket and going somewhere you haven’t gone before. It’s more than stamps in a passport or ticks on my bucket list. It’s about people. It’s about spreading myself throughout the world.
It’s the fact that there are people in all corners of the globe who know me, who remember me and who won’t forget me. That is why I travel. So that I am not forgotten. So that people will remember me for the rest of their lives. That in some strange sense, I may live all over the world in the hearts of those I have influenced.
And here is that for you. In every postcard, there is a piece of you that has traveled to every corner of the globe. The writer of the card was influenced by you and the incredible human being that you are and took the time out of their lives to acknowledge how wonderful you are. All of these people will remember you, just as they will remember me in my travels.
They will adore you in just a fraction of what I do. This box holds travels that you can live over and over again. You can hold this box and know that I love you so much, I wanted the world to know how great you really are, and how much you have influenced me beyond compare.
The world is such an incredible place and travelling is my utmost greatest love, second only to you. Ever since I started travelling, I desperately wanted to travel with you. But I decided that if I couldn’t take you with me to see the world, I would bring the world to you.
I love and adore you beyond measure. Happy travels, Nanny.”
This has been an incredibly long post so to those of you who have stayed with me so far, I am enormously grateful. I guess it goes without saying, that a terminal cancer diagnosis is one of the very worst things to happen to a family. And the last few months have been so consumed by grief. Nanny is unwell and doesn’t leave the house much anymore.
I just wanted you all to know that what you have done for my nanny and I has been the greatest gift that we have ever received. We sit down as a family and read through the postcards together. I tell her about the different countries and she always tells me how beautiful they look.
Every time without fail, she gets a new postcard and turns to me and says: “there are so many good people in this world. The world sometimes seems so full of evil, but it’s so full of goodness.”
Her postcards are absolutely cherished. They have given her hope, something to look forward to and something to brighten her day. For me, I have something to share with her and for that, I can never adequately thank you all. In the saddest chapter of my life, I have something to be happy about.
I have had so much on my plate lately, but it’s nanny’s wish that we try and respond to each and every sender with a message or a photo of her with her postcards, so I promise that I will do that. This post is just an update and a collective “thank you” for having faith in a random Facebook post and spending your own time and money on a complete stranger. It’s something I couldn’t have done on my own and these postcards have given me something to hold onto and memories to cherish for a lifetime.
Best of everything to you,
Wow, if this story and update didn’t go straight to your heart, I don’t know what would.
To be completely honest, it touched the very depths of my soul and how I wish I could do something more for her.
Why isn’t there something like Make a Wish foundation but for adults or people with terminal illnesses who would like to see their wildest dreams come true?
Our time on this planet is limited and we must live each day as if it was the last right?
Let me tell you a little bit about my own grandmother. Nana Olivia never left her country or traveled locally as she and grandpa Greg raised 6 kids in very humble conditions.
If I could have just one chance to speak to her and tell her that I feel her presence every single day of my life, how much I miss her and even cry of laughter of the times I called upon her to get me out of trouble during my many (mis) adventures around the globe.
Boy did she come through for me honey! Gee, I gave her so much work (I’m a little rebel remember?) that she sent angels in human form to perform Random Acts of Kindness
I’m certain she made a plea with my guardian angels and the King of kings because if it wasn’t for their intervention, I sure would not be here writing these lines to you!
Her anniversary is coming up on November 25th which coincides with Nana Del’s birthday, so you see why I took so much interest and it’s a SIGN from above?
Ok enough blah blah blah with my little story.
In conclusion I wanted to ask you, dear reader and follower…
Would you like to send her a postcard or any present?
It’s never too late and it will brighten her day 🙂
Here is her info:
PO Box 816
Australia – ZIP 4507
If you do send one or a few, again I thank you in advance and if you can’t well, can you please share this post? Thanks!
I’ll return soon with an update on what’s happening in my neck of woods and if it turns out to be a book chapter or two, you’ve been warned 🙂
Until next time! Hasta la próxima.
Tashi Delek, All the best always, todo lo mejor