June 13, 2008

a bittersweet return....

Yesterday i baked some date & banana bread in preparation for my parents early flight arrival from Cyprus - the 3 months they've been away has been life as normal for us and I must admit although Ive missed them, the months sure went by fast...

i knew it would be hard for them to return especially for my mother as the main reason she was there was to spend time with her own mother who sadly has alzeihmers....my grandmother is still in early stages and Im thankful she can still recognise my voice when i call her every week (... I dont want to think about the time when she wont...) she still makes me laugh and I miss her so much!

so over our hot coffee and banana loaf we talked and caught up, shed some tears and lots of concern ...
my grandparents still have each other but his failing eyesight and her loss of memory will just get worse and their denial and refusal of outside help is worrying...what will happen to them?
What made my mother more upset was the whining from our relatives over there....
Im sure they care for my grandparents and mean no harm but they sure have let us know of how time poor they are and how obligated they feel... I wonder, is it really that hard to take time out in one's day to visit someone in need...to ask them how they are, if they need a hand...to give them a hug and let them know there is someone there that cares? I dont think it is... sigh...im just a little sad right now...off to have some more banana loaf...

*My grandparents, Evridiki and Kosta on their wedding day


  1. Sorry to hear of your worries. Hope you have many more laughs and chats with your grandmother...if you care for someone distance and time is not an obstacle. lovley wedding photo.

  2. Anonymous12:29 AM

    how nice that your mother had those three months with her parents! surely that is time she will treasure forever. and how nice that you call your gradnma each week. i bet she anxiously looks forward to those calls.

  3. dear anastasia- i feel your sadness. my 95 year old gram is going to an assisted living facility because it's just too hard for to cook and clean for herself. she's always been so independent... long story... i went out to eat the evening i heard the news and i cried like a baby. you are stronger than i, chardonnay was my order of business!
    i love old family photos, even if no one remembers the long lost souls. chin up girl!

  4. It's so hard when our loved ones have health issues. I'm sorry hon! What a wonderful, cherished photo of them.

  5. I'm so sorry about your Grandmother. I'm glad your Mum was able to have that time with her- and also that she still recognises your voice. My Grandma also had Alzeihmers. It's so sad. ((hugs)) to you and your family.

  6. Anonymous10:57 PM

    I'm sending you a big hug!
    I'm so sorry to hear about the difficult situation. I hope your folks enjoy their stay in Sydney.
    Laurence x

  7. anastastia, i am so sorry to hear this. i understand some of this anxiety because my dad's mother is also dealing with alzheimer's... she is in the last stages now and it's been really hard. she is in india living with my dad's brother and some of the issues you talked about sound very familiar. i am thinking of you lady-- xox

  8. Big hugs to all your kin. You're such a lucky duck to have such a close family. There's lots there to smile about ... and then there's banana and date bread.

  9. Ooh, I meant to ask, do you speak Greek (or is it Turkish) - to your grandparents and parents? Excuse my geographically challenged question? My grandmother's family is Greek, but she's never spoken Greek - none of them have, but the Greek connection has always been there for my mother, sister and I. My sister and cousin have even met our Greek relos.

  10. thanks everyone!!! your kind words mean so much...Im sure my mum will be over there again soon, we just cant forget/neglect the older generation and their needs!!

    Katie(crackernuts) we're Greek cypriot background and although I was born here in Sydney my Greek heritage means a lot...love the food, the greek music,loud family members haha and all the wonderful traditions...
    SL Greek & Sherrin - sorry to hear about your grandmothers too...

  11. oh, a! i so understand since my father and grandfather were ill for a long time. relationships change and people don't want to take the time to help sometimes and they make you feel so badly that you are not there...
    i am sending you a big hug, my friend!

  12. Anonymous9:36 PM

    Such an inspiring post, so nice of you to call your grandmother every week (it's sad when the young move on in their 'busy' lives and neglect the old) - it is a blessing to have close family relationships. Thinking of you.x

  13. Anastasia, my next door neighbor and most of the tight Greek community where I live are Cypriot, all from the same village and some from the same street. Most via London first.

    My dh and I are the oldest in our families so this is all the more poignant as we realize we are the ones who will most likely be at the receiving end of such difficult feelings as so many of you have described. But that is how life is.. Eventually there is no one ahead of you.


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