Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lillian Martha Casteel Osborn Feb. 21 1914-2011


I’ve been meaning to make this post for a month now but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. It’s been a month now that my Nana passed. It’s really just now settling in and there are moments when it doesn’t seem real, as there are when anyone dies. She left this earth on the same day she entered it 97 years later! When she took a turn for the worst I just knew she’d die on her birthday and she made it almost 2 hrs in. She lived a long beautiful life and was loved by many.

Nana lived in Kansas all her life. She was born in Pittsburg, went to high school in Cherryvale, lived a short time in Lawrence while Papa finished Pharmacy school and settled down in Independence where she raised her children. She lived in the same house for almost exactly 65 years. She was a true southern Lady to me and an excellent hostess & housewife. She took lots of pride in her home. She loved the color celery green as her entire house (and I mean ENTIRE) was painted that color so it would be a good accent to her favorite color of yellow. Her favorite flower was Carnations. She said because they were sturdy flowers and lasted a long time.  She thought the greatest invention of her lifetime was the Polio vaccination as she recalled the fear she had over her children possibly contracting the disease. She was a depression era child so always practical, at least her thoughts were practical to her! Her & her mother Maude lived with Maude’s sister Hattie and her husband Onty & Maude’s two children by her first husband, Virginia & Pete, in a small apartment in Pittsburg. Uncle Onty worked at the movie theater as a projectionist and so Nana got to see many films and recalled seeing the first ‘talkie’, The Jazz Singer, with her school class.  Papa & her started dating in junior high. They were both only-children being raised by single parents. They only broke up once & eloped in secret. The news of their marriage beat them back to Kansas though and they had to come clean. This secret marrying has become a theme in my family.  Nana’s chicken salad recipe is still the same recipe that the drugstore serves daily. DeFever Osborn Drug is now called Independence Pharmacy but their spirit lives on there. Nana gave birth to a boy Robert and after several miscarriages and a tubal pregnancy her & papa adopted Virginia who was named after Nana’s cousin (Side note: Virginia & Pete both moved to California just like me. A story I heard about often once I told her I was moving).  One of my favorite stories Nana used to tell was of Papa & his friends stealing the food from the girls sleepovers & how they used to hide the food in the piano so the boys wouldn’t find it.

I have tons of fabulous memories of times I spent with Nana & Papa growing up. Being the first grandchild I was a little spoiled Smile. Nothing could compare to these last 4.5 years with her. I’ll be ever so grateful for them, and her. So many things that are ingrained in me are from her.  I love you dearly Nana. May you rest in peace.

The picture above is Nana on her 96th birthday a year ago. Eating chocolate of course!