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Goodbye my precious Ninja. A fitting nickname, though Leo at times called us both Ninja. Cannot imagine why, or that all those nights we stayed up way too late, drank way too much, and cackled way too loud, had anything to do with it. (And why wasn’t I Frinja?) During the day I was Miss Jane to your Drysdale. I think that started in Africa, hence this photo.

Not that the world can ever have enough glamour shots of Nina, but this is Nina’s glamour in the bush, on our first trip there together. Nina’s first, my ?th. I so wanted her to love Africa as I did. We went with a small group of fabulous girls, “Cougars Without Borders,” someone’s cheeky son called us. And after 10 days of bewildering beauty, bumpy game drives, much wine, and many late nights of inappropriate everything (is there a theme here…?), Nina did love Africa. At safari’s end she allowed that she was ready to “get home, get out of this khaki and into some diamonds.” But she was hooked. So much so that she joined the board of our beloved @empowersafrica charity and served with loyalty and enthusiasm.

Nina was not a Believer-capital-B in the conventional sense, but then she was not always conventional, period. I believe part of what spoke to Nina about Africa is its way of putting you in your tiny place in the universe, a way of making you feel so small amid its majesty and vastness, and yet at the same time a part of it, down to its very source. It is a liminal experience, transcendent, and it never leaves you.

Nina also believed in love and in life. She believed in the love of her husband Leo, her daughter Lily, her late mother Liz, and her army of friends. She lived life with irrepressible vitality and verve, with wit and style, with attitude and gratitude, and with her gorgeous head held high. You couldn’t help but admire and be inspired by her.

Her charisma and spirit were unsinkable to the end, and that is how we remember her. Her body failed but her spirit did not. She died defiantly as she lived, with dignity, gumption, and grace. Go home now, my sister, and get into those diamonds. Your sparkle is eternal.
#ninagriscom #ninagriscomrip #whatafabulouswoman #greatchick

26 Jan 2020

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