A granddaughter's desire to take her beloved Nana home resulted in more than she expected and the discovery that the destination WAS the Journey!
Published : Friday, March 27, 2015 | 4:12 PM
On Thursday, April 30, at 7:00 p.m., Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse hosts a talk and book signing for author Carol Wawrychuk, longtime resident of La Cañada Flintridge and retired teacher from the city’s Paradise Canyon Elementary School. Her book, Taking Nana Home, is the true account of her search for her grandmother’s grave decades after Nana’s death.
In 2004, thirty-five years after she died while a patient in the mental hospital at Las Vegas, New Mexico, Nana came to her granddaughter in a vision. “Take me home, Carol. Take me home”. Little did Carol know, Nana was apparently speaking for over 2,000 souls in need of a final resting place.
Ducking under barbed wire fencing to enter the cemetery grounds, Carol combed through sagebrush and knee high weeds in search of clues to Nana’s burial place. Instead of serene surroundings with beautiful headstones, she found cement slabs with dates and names crudely etched by hand, mangled metal markers stamped with patient numbers, and human remains that had eroded to the surface. Carol was standing in a throwaway cemetery. Thus began the two-year journey to find Nana.
From confronting the bureaucracy of a state government, to interviews with news media, to doggedly pursuing the hospital administration, Carol’s search pushed her out of the safety net of her comfortable life as a wife, mother and teacher.
Taking Nana Home is not only the story of a cemetery clean-up, it is a love story of a granddaughter looking back at her family and especially her Nana, with a new set of lenses, and it is a story of faith. It is in reclaiming her past that Carol finds the destination WAS the journey.
Carol has a passion for Spiritual Formation. She facilitates small group spiritual direction, leads silent retreats, and does individual spiritual mentoring. She is currently involved as a group leader in the Vocation & Formation Program at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California.
Carol Wawrychuk has over thirty years of classroom experience, sixteen of which were in the La Cañada Flintridge community. In addition to Taking Nana Home, she has authored Miracles Happened There and Tsunami in the Desert. Carol and her husband Bill have lived in La Cañada Flintridge for thirty-four years.
For more information, contact Gail Mishkin at (818) 790-0717. Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse is located at 1010 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada Flintridge, at the intersection of Foothill Blvd. and the Angeles Crest Hwy. Take the Angeles Crest exit off the 210, turn south, make a right onto Foothill Blvd., and turn left onto Chevy Chase. Parking is in the rear of the store.