Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Rippling Impact a Life Can Make

Official papers indicate she died at 89 years of age, but who is to say? At the time of her birth, the government took records just about as seriously as a dandelion seed's path in the wind. No one really knew, or really cared for that matter. You only did a handful of things in the little village from where she made a lifetime: you were born, you died, and in between you worked. Glimpses of happiness and joy were scattered throughout her passing days, but the penetrating shine of pure bliss never blinded any one part of her life. It was a steady, dim beam guiding her life's path, the only intensity of light she knew. Can you ever know the brightness of the sun if you never gaze into its core?

Her village was small, filled with loving, hard-working people in the former Yugoslavia. She resided in her tiny, 2-room adobe very comfortably during the spring and fall seasons. The other two seasons were grueling at best, for reasons opposite each other. I'd call her home a cabin or a hut if it wasn't for the fact those terms would have given too much credit. She had no running water, no indoor plumbing. The sink, the bath, the washer were all down by the river. Only the past decade of her life was electricity introduced to her world. The wood-burning stove did double-duty, providing heat during the winter months, as well as cooked food, what little there was of it. She lived a lifetime, never learning how to read or write, but knew how to work the land to survive.

With the exception of one son, her children fled the village for better opportunity. One even came to America. That son would only see his mother once, maybe twice more, in her lifetime, but his dedication was always strong, sending her money as often as the rain falls in Ireland. Her end came, as it will for us all. But her end did not come hundreds of years ago, as indicated by her living conditions. No, her end came earlier this week.

I only met my paternal grandmother once, face-to-face, on a trip to Europe when I was 16 years old. She made me popcorn on that wood stove of her's and it was the best. She did not know English, I only knew a little of her language. Despite the language barrier, we had bloodlines between us that bonded us from the start. My father is the son that made it to America, but that's a whole 'nother story.

Goodbye my Baba. Your life was long and hard but now you can finally rest in the arms of heaven where a softer, more gentler journey awaits you. Love you, always.



Suzan Wood-Young said...

So sorry for your loss Lily. What a lovely, lovely tribute to her.

Barry R. Silver said...

Sorry for your loss. What a great lesson for all of us, going forward. No one ever knows where the path leads, who the path touches or the effects of their actions generations forward.

Michelle said...

Sorry to hear about your grandma. That was a beautiful article written in her memory. Makes me wish I would have gotten to meet her too.

Anonymous said...

Peace to you and your family, Lilly.

xoxo michele

Christa said...

Such a lovely tribute to your Grandmother. I am so sorry for your loss. I was never able to meet my paternal grandmother. She passed away when my father was a teenager, but I always wished that I could have met her.

Melanie said...

this is beautifully written. i am so sorry :(

Lefty said...

What a beautiful and amazing tribute to her! We are SO sorry for your loss! Thoughts and prayers to your family.

Christina said...

My Darling Lilly,
Your words in memory of your grandmother are truly moving and beautiful. They remind me of my own grandmothers, one who lived with me and one who I once visited in Greece. Thank you so much for sharing Baba with us. You have my deepest condolences.

Pam said...


Sorry to hear about the loss of your Grandmother. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. That was such a nice tribute you wrote in her honor. I am sure she is smiling down upon you!!


Jennifer {Studio JRU} said...

What a wonderful tribute to your sweet grandmother. What a story she has. I am so sorry for your loss.

I am glad to find your blog in the blog hop... love it! I am your newest follower! :)

Craftberry Bush said...

Beautiful words Lil...blessings and condolences...xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

Big prayers, friend. What a wonderful tribute to a clearly wonderful woman.


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