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Christmas Bureau Snapshot: Lillian Gay

Wed., Dec. 10, 2008, 11:59 a.m.

Editor’s note: Christmas Bureau recipients come to the bureau for food vouchers, toys and candy. Every person has a story to tell. Reporter Rebecca Nappi is collecting some of those stories.

Age: 44.

Lives in: Medical Lake.

I was born in Orlando, Fla. You could say I was born into the Navy, because Dad took us all over the place. I have two older sisters and two younger brothers, and not one of us share the same birthplace, except my two sisters who were born in Puerto Rico. Dad moved us to the state of Washington in 1971 and died while in service in 1973.

I’ve lived in the Spokane area for over 22 years. It’s beautiful. I love the weather – most of the time.

I went to four or five different kindergarten classes before I graduated it. We met all kinds of new people all the time, and that was great. By moving so much as a young person I learned it’s really easy to make friends.

When I was about 5 or 6, I met a friend on the base in San Diego. Her name was Mariko. She was Japanese. Her mother was Japanese, and her father had met and married Mariko’s mother over there. Her mother taught us how to make egg flower soup. And to this day, I can remember Mariko’s mother standing there going, “No, no, no, you must let it blossom!” I actually liked the soup, which was good, because I was a finicky eater when I was a child, and Mom finally found something I’d eat on a regular basis. It made her happy.

I’ve worked as a nanny. But now I do it pretty much for free for nine children – Ryan, Cody, Anthony, Emma, Brook, Kiersten, Kylee, Dylan and Tyler. They call me Nana. I like best the laughter and the smiles. They always have something that just comes out of nowhere. We were driving down the road today and one truck was towing another, and Anthony, who is 9, said, “Are they making baby trucks?”

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