Monthly Archives: February 2014

Dear Yia Yia

I want to write this letter to you to express how grateful I am that you are my grandmother.  I had a grandmother growing up, my Mama Julia, but she died when I was seven years old.  From what I can remember, I know that she was very loving and affectionate and thought the world of her grandkids. I have fond memories of her, but unfortunately our time was cut short.

I officially became your granddaughter on February 6th, 2010 when I married your grandson Alexander, but I feel that I really became part of your family the moment we first met.  I can remember it like it was yesterday. I walked into your kitchen, not really knowing what to expect when meeting older people (as I didn’t have much experience with them), but I was pleasantly surprised when I saw your beautiful face.  Your face lit up like we’ve known each other for years.  You walked up towards me, arms outstretched, smile open wide, looking like you would just die if you couldn’t kiss me right then and there.   With two soft hands you cupped my face, turning my face side by side so you could kiss both of my cheeks.  I knew right then and there that I already loved you.

meandyiayiaAs you lived up north and I lived in Orange County, I couldn’t spend as much time with you as I would have liked. As fate would have it, we both ended up living with each other in May 2013. Your husband had just passed and you were going to stay with your daughter Doreen. Alexander and I were trying to figure out our living situation, and your daughter was kind enough to let us stay in her Greek pad at the Vineyard. It was during this time that I really got to know you and experience life with a grandmother. Although you didn’t really remember my name when you first saw me, after some time you had it down.  We had a couple days when I was the “girl who worked here” or “the girl who types a lot”, but with a few reminders of who I was it was back to normal.

Living with you, I was able to learn a lot more about my big fat Greek family. There were familiar patterns of behavior I could see from generation to generation.  Yes, with a smile, I can say that my husband and his mother both got their A.D.D from you, and their endless amount of energy. ( I am talking about an 83 year old woman who walked up a steep hill to take out the trash and was hardly out of breath!) But what really stood out to me is something I love most dearly about your family, and that is their staggering capacity to love.  Now having spent some time with you, I know that this is where it originated. I know that your life was far from easy and that your love and patience was tried many times in your life. And yet, despite it all, you have this almost supernatural ability to love every single person you meet, no questions asked. It could be a stranger on the street, or someone your grandson just introduced you to, and you would be there, arms out wide, ready to outpour your love.  There was never a shortage of love and affection, never a bad day, never a “I don’t feel like loving today.” If their cheeks weren’t on your lips in five seconds there would be trouble.

I want to end this letter thanking you. I want to thank you for being you. For being someone who loves unconditionally, who wears Jesus glasses and sees everyone as He would, in need of love.  Because of you, my mother-in-law carries this same pattern of love. I have hardly met people in life who could love so freely as the members of your family. This is not easy to find, and I feel as if I hit the jackpot. Because of your unconditional love, your daughter shares that same love to her son and daughters, and like you, anyone else fortunate enough to meet her. It’s powerful indeed when you can meet someone in five minutes and already feel secure, love and cared for. Because of your love, my husband is the person he is today.  With you and his mom in his life, he learned how to love the right way. He learned how to respect women and how to treat them like a queen. He continues to baffle me with how much love he has for me and the people he loves. He never wants to give up on us, he loves me even though I feel so unworthy of his love.  Thank you for constantly reminding me of Christ’s own love for me. Thank you for loving me so fiercely, even though you hardly knew me.  Thank you for being a wonderful mother to my mother in law and her family, and thank you for being the best Yia Yia to your grandkids. I’m so grateful that I was able to know you and live with you for 4 months.  I will always remember your capacity to love others, and I aspire to be exactly like you. I definitely won’t be half as cute as you, but I want to wear your same Jesus glasses and if I was able to love even half the amount you were able to, I would be a very happy person.  You are always on my heart. Words can’t really express how grateful I am to you and all you have done for my family.

Love you always and forever.

The typing girl