March 16, 2013

Grandma's Hands

Tomorrow marks two years since the woman who taught me a lot about life and love left this world - in the physical sense.

Travelling and being exposed to the way many people live their day to day around the world - something always struck true - the importance of family and never to take people's love for granted. I have never had to live through war, famine, and prejudice like so many of my generation whose stories i have come across in Europe. For this I am grateful. I have met 4 generations of family living under 1 roof in a small villages in remote island of Greece - and they still eat dinner most nights and talk. They discuss dreams, what is important to them, what makes them happy. And they listen!

Not everyone is blessed with the perfect family. In fact, I am confident no family is perfect. You only need 1 person to understand you for the 'idea' of a family bond to be true. What you miss out on from perhaps one parent or family member can be substituted by another - even a person who is not connected to you by blood.

Family is what matters. However the idea of relates to each person and their life. I always knew this but 5 years abroad, this is one lesson I have learnt that has sunk in. They are the ones who will always be there and their love is never judgemental - even if in the day-to-day they can be frustrating! Travelling, I have adopted many family members to my little bubble, always letting them know they are appreciated.

This beautiful woman left her country of Greece at 16 and did the best she knew how for her new life in Australia and taught me about the respect of family. I remember her this week with a road trip north to light her candle. Her magic and energy surpasses any church. She deserves warm sunshine, and an endless horizon.

There are too many things I miss, but what I miss most are our greek coffee sludge catchups with flowers in our hair and the smell of her cooking coming from the kitchen. She would always read my coffee cup with an optimistic vision of my future.

Someone I met last year around the this time gave me a live album by Bill Withers. His heart felt introduction to this song and honest lyrics would resonate with anyone who had a close relationship to their grandmother.