Eleanor Dupont, or simply mom, Grelliss, and Nana, was a lovely “witch” and someone who touched everyone’s heart and left a legacy. She was the ‘leader’ of the families, and I was fortunate enough out of all of the cousins to have the honor of spending my summers with her. Born on Halloween on 1938, in Lynn Massachusetts, she was an adventurer, a quality I believe was given to her by her father who fought in the military, for she loved to travel, has the ability to speak Spanish and French as well as knowing the diction of shorthand, and when she was in her twenties when she was even offered a position by the CIA to be a spy, a position that she declined because her family came first.
During the dark days of her failing and abusive marriage to her now ex-husband, she and her three young children constantly moved back and forth from New Jersey and Massachusetts, though despite the circumstance, she found light in the situation. One would think that going through a tremulous marriage would knock off one’s spirit, but it was feasibly impossible for Nana. She still maintained her infectious smile and love for an exploration, some things that were passed down to her own granddaughter. She was there for me and my entire family when we were in the face of death or divorce, holding our hands and promising that everything would be okay, a sentiment that everyone would always take heart when being with such a strong women. Her strength as a warrior was highlighted when diagnosed with lung cancer in 2006, then she used all of the magic that she could must to fight it and making the best of every situation along the way, whether it was going shopping for a wig and instead creating a game with my mother, sister, and me by buying bunches of turbans in a multitude of colors that represented her sisters, nieces, and daughters’ colorful personalities or singing her favorite song, “Black Horse In A Cherry Tree” and cheering on the the Red Sox whenever she can. Years later after her passing in 2007, her legacy still lives on whether its through her dog Cooper, her grandchildren, and even a picture of her on her sister’s stove gazing upon her family in Massachusetts.