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August 07, 2016
As I child I was blessed to know both of my grandmothers. I loved them both deeply… and each one has left its own imprint on my heart and my life.
I lived next door to my grandmother on the father’s side… She would bake the most delicious pastries and I remember, sitting on the couch and having many relaxed talks wrapped up in the aroma of the fresh baked goods. Happy I was. Always, before leaving, I would give her a big hug, and still to this day clearly remember the smell and feel of her scarf on my face.
My mom’s mom I did not see that often… She lived a few villages away and the best surprise was when she would come early in the morning by train to see us before we would head out to school. I simply loved her. She was a thin woman with severe curvature in her spine, knobby hands, and knees… yet when she would look up to hug me… she had the most beautiful blue eyes. Her eyes would tear up as she would kiss my cheeks and my hands, followed by swift attempts to tuck in a little cash in my palm to treat myself.
Both of them were scarred by the cruelty of life; they experienced difficult childhoods, drudgery and the loss of many of their dearest in the storming wars. The blind obedience they paid to their husbands was accepted as normal. I have heard, they lived through many painful moments leaving deep scars in their hearts. Both of them strolled into old age alone, their husbands having died years earlier. As life will have it, even in their old age, their lives were caught in the storms of the war and we were separated. For neither one of them I was able to say “goodbye” or be part of their life in the last minutes.
Fast forward… 25 years later. I still live a continent away… different country, blessed with 2 healthy kids, the cutest dog, supportive family, career …
Coffee.Yet frequently and unexpectedly sadness creeps up within me followed by thought, “What would be like to have had one, at least one, cup of coffee and heart to heart talk with each one of them through the eyes of a woman?”
What would they share about their happiest and saddest moments? What made them laugh? What are their lessons in this journey? Did they love? Who was their first love? What were their marriage and child raising best and worst moments? Who could they share their inner fears and experiences?
So many questions…. Hushing sadness gently, peace settles in… followed by deep sense of knowing, in the short time I spent with them, I was loved. And that is a gift
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