Days 183 to 189 Full On Family – An Ode to Nana Verzone

Nana’s Antipasti

I thought I could dance. At least freestyle. But then I met my boyfriend’s almost 90-year-old grandma (aka Nana). We went to a wedding in

Her homemade ravioli

Vermont, and it was also a good reason for me to meet Nana since she wanted to suss me out after learning that Thai and I were “serious.” She was supposed to have died over a month ago, according to her doctors. They told her 8 months ago that she had 6 months to live due to a weakening heart valve and her poor candidacy for surgery. But, as she puts it, she showed up at her doctor’s office and said, “I’m still here!” Thank goodness for that!

Suffice it to say, she wasn’t supposed to be gardening or cooking. And she does both. Her garden is prolific with freshly picked flowers adorning the house. She cooks multi-course meals despite protestations with full Italian flair. And I mean homemade raviolis. Gluten shmuten – I had 3 servings.

Nana certainly isn’t supposed to dance. She has passed out a few times gardening (albeit that was before a few med adjustments). However, after watching Thai and I swirling on the dance floor at the wedding, she asked for me. I walked up to her, curious as to what she wanted and wondering if maybe my underwear was showing when Thai spun me around. To my delight, she came out on the dance floor and we danced and danced. She even swirled! (see video here – if the link isn’t active, come back as that means it is still uploading). After a bit of feistiness, she stopped and said she needed to stop. She was feeling

Thai and Nana after she almost passed out. Still table dancing!


Oh shit. I refused to be a partner in crime for Nana’s last dance. Not on my watch! With an eagle’s eye I tried to act nonchalant, noticing how she was

Homemade cannoli!

still smiling as she sat down. She was breathing hard. She was a little concerned in the brow…but then she started laughing. We all started laughing. See, it takes chi to laugh, and she still had lots of it.

Thank freakin’ God.

I thought about it later, how she had been told what not to do to stay alive longer. And how all these things – cooking, gardening, dancing – brought her such joy. I thought about what I could only imagine her thought process was – “Hmmm. That dancing sure looks fun. I really want to dance. I probably shouldn’t. But I really want to dance. And this wine feels good! Oh what the hell. Why not!? Just for a little bit.”

Would it have been worth it for her? I don’t know. I think maybe it would have been worth it, to be honest. For her, at least. To not stop living just to live. She wasn’t dumb about it. She just lived at her edge.

What’s your edge? What do you do to keep feeling alive? What do you do for pure FUN? Share below with the tribe – let’s LIVE!

Note: Ana Neff is a personal life coach, guide and Freedom Junkie™ She helps passionate people awaken their lives of freedom, adventure and purpose. Her monthly Freedom Junkie™ eZine goes out to hundreds of subscribers. Her “Full-On 365” blog posts stem from her commitment to living full-on, every day, for 365 days in a row. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can learn more about her coaching programs and download her FREE Getting Clear Guide by visiting (note: it’s new look will be up to rock your world soon)!