Monday, October 16, 2006

Maia

I never knew what it feels like to have a piece of your flesh, of your heart ripped right out of your being and taken away until Maia died, one grim April morning! I thought the world stopped, and I just suffered a lobotomy, since I would never, ever be the same without her! I was so maimed!
Maia is my mom’s mother. I say “is” because she will always be here! Always, she is just a step away from me. I ask her for advice, I talk to her, I kiss her good night, and I ask for her advice and help almost every day of my life. She’s here when I fall asleep, she’s here when I go in for surgery, she’s there when I fly, and when I have “milestone” moments in my life!
I talked to her, in real life, last on my 29th birthday! I was in New Orleans, and she was on my cell phone, crying up a storm, and telling me I was the love of her life, along with my sister, and why did we leave her. She died 5 days later, without another word!
She passed away as dignified as she lived! She never lost her physical might, and never her mind’s power! She was strong and nothing could subdue her! Not the loss of a husband, not the abuse of a second one (God rest his soul in peace), not the lack of money and food, not the Communists, not the loss of her health and her independence. She was standing up straight until the next minute of her life! She was plagued by osteoporosis and polio arthritis, and also from heart congestion and heart failure, and yet, right before mom took her into the hospital, she said she will give herself a bath! She didn’t allow mom or anyone else to help. It was her job, to go to the doc “clean” and she managed to take care of that! She got ready for the hospital, and determined as she always was, she said “this is the last time I see this house with these eyes” – and it was. She died several hours later. Her big heart stopped and the doctor broked her sternum trying to revive her, with no luck! She passed in a fraction of a moment. It was the biggest gift God could have given her and us: a quick death! – if there is such a gift!
She was my heart! She was my love! She was my rock. She raised me, she said, since I was 3 days old, till I went to High School! I was a college baby – mom and dad were still in college; so Maia raised me! She took me to work, she fell asleep rocking me, she changed me, and fed me, she watched my first steps, and she taught me everything I know today, in my daily routine: how to brush my teeth, how to fold my clean clothes, how to clean my house, how to cook, how to be grateful to others who help me, how to say “thank you”, how to be humble, how to be proud and stand for what I believe in, how to fight for what’s mine; she taught me the importance of school, and of continuous learning, of bettering yourself, no matter how old you are; she taught me how to be a “lady”: how to look clean, and elegant, even when I am having a bad day! She taught me how to match clothes, and shoes to clothes; how to never go to a wedding without nails done, or hair done properly!
She taught me how to listen for God: “when its thundering, God is walking madly through Heaven. Listen!”. She took me to my first communion! And my first funeral …
She always, always taught by example: she always helped the less fortunate, and she always said good people are here to be used by all – because they’re good! She taught me how to work hard and never, ever to say no to any kind of work, because work is not demeaning; only laziness! People tell me I have her eyes, and her hair, and her lips – and I can’t think of a greater compliment!
One day, when I was in 3rd or 2nd grade, I looked at her fingers, and I saw her biggest ring, and I asked her if I could have it. She said: “sure. When I die, it’ll be yours”. I wear it today and she is right here with me. I never thought that moment would be this soon! I would give that ring back, and the 2 years of my life since she’s been gone, to have her here with me, to hold her tightly one more time, and tell her just how much I love her and how much she means to me. But I am not that lucky. And she also taught me that you cannot be against God’s will, which overrides all wishes!
What do you give someone who is your whole life on their birthday?! When they give you SO MUCH? How can you ever say “you’re loved” or “ thank you?! How do you ever repay?! Somehow, I know that she would not expect anything in return, and even if she did, it would not be much! Because she was happy to just be and to see us happy. One thing I know for sure, though: she would not have liked me crying on her birthday, or being sad, probably, but then again, as much as I loved her, I didn’t always listen! 
Happy birthday, Maia, and know, always, that you are loved!

Romanian version/ Versiunea in romaneste:

Nu am stiut ce inseamna sa ti se smulga o bucata de carne din tine, sau o bucata de inima, pana cand a murit Maia, intr-o zi trista de aprilie. Atunci am crezut ca intreaga omenire s-a oprit complet, iar eu am suferit o lobotomie, pentru ca ma simteam total transformata! Mutilata complet!
Maia a bunica mea de pe mama. Spun ca “e”, pentru ca e mereu cu mine inca! Dintotdeana, si mai ales de cand a murit, e mereu cu mine, in fiecare clipa. Ii cer mereu sfaturi, o sarut de noapte buna, ii cer mereu ajutorul in fiecare clipa din viata mea. E aici cu mine cand adorm, in fiecare seara, cand intru la vreo operatie, cand decolez cu fiecare avion, sau cand intampin un moment de cumpana!
In viata “reala”, am vorbit cu ea ultima data de ziua mea, cand am implinit 29 de ani! Eu eram la New Orleans, si ea imi vorbea la celular, plangand in hohote si spunandu-mi ca eu si sora mea am fost dragostea vietii ei, si de ce am parasit-o! Apoi a inchis ochii pe veci, dupa 5 zile de la acea convorbire, si nu am mai auzit un cuvant de la ea.
A murit la fel de demn cum a trait! Niciodata nu si-a pierdut demnitatea fizica, si niciodata nu si-a pierdut acuitatea mintala! A fost o femeie puternica, si nu s-a lasat supusa de orice alta greautate din viata ei! Nici de pierderea unui sot, nici de abuzul celui de al doilea (Dumnezeu sa ii odihneasca in pace!), nici de lipsa de bani, nici de abuzurile comunistilor, nici de pierderea sanatatii proprii, sau a proprii independente. A stat dreapta, si mandra, pana in ultima clipa! A fost doborata aproape de tot de osteoporoza, si de poliartrita, si apoi de boala de inima, si in ciuda a tuturor acestor boli, in ultima clipa, chiar inainte de a pleca la spital, i-a zis mamei ca trebuie sa se spele “singura”. Trebuia sa fie “curata” inainte de a fi vazuta de un doctor. Si s-a spalat singura, demna cum a fost mereu! Hotarata cum a fost mereu, a spus inainte de a pleca din casa, ca atunci era “ultima data cand se uita la casa aceea, cu ochii aceia” – si asa a fost! A plecat la spital, si a murit cu cateva ore mai tarziu! Inima ei mare s-a oprit brusc, iar doctorul i-a rupt sternul incercand sa o reinvie, dar fara succes! A murit repede, si asta a fost darul ei de la Dumnezeu, daca exista asa un dar, de a muri repede!
Era inima mea intreaga! Dragostea mea de o viata! Era piatra mea de referinta, Gibraltarul meu! Spunea mereu ca m-a crescut de cand aveam 3 zile! Si m-a crescut pana am ajuns la liceu! Ma lua la servici cu ea; adormea cu mine in brate cand eram mica; ma schimba de scutece; mi-a supravegheat primii pasi, si m-a invatat tot ce stiu pana in ziua de azi, toata rutina mea de zi cu zi: cand si cum sa ma spal pe dinti, cum sa imi asez hainele si sa le pastrez; cum sa fac curat; cum sa gatesc, cum sa fiu recunoscatoare celor care ma ajuta; m-a invatat sa spun “multumesc”; m-a invatat cum sa fiu umila si modesta! M-a invatat, de asemenea, cum sa fiu mandra, si sa imi spun mereu punctul de vedere, si si sa vorbesc mereu raspicat daca am ceva de spus! M-a invatat sa lupt pentru dreptul meu si sa nu dau inapoi. M-a invatat mereu importanta educatiei si a invataturii! M-a invatat sa fiu “doamna” si sa am grija de mine, ca femeie; m-a invatat ca nu se merge niciodata la o ocazie cu unghiile nefacute sau cu parul necoafat!
M-a invatat sa Il acult pe Dumnezeu: “cand tuna, il auzi pe Dumnezeu mergand furios in Ceruri”. M-a dus la prima impartasanie, si la prima inmormantare.
Mereu ne-a invatat prin exemplul ei: era mereu buna cu cei neajutorati; si mereu ne spunea ca oamenii buni sunt mereu folositi de cei nevoiasi pentru ca de aceea sunt “oameni buni”! M-a invatat cum sa muncesc mult si neobosit, si ca munca nu e josnica, oricat de jos ar fi! Numai lenea e josnica!
Cateodata lumea zice ca seman cu ea, ca am parul ei, sau ochii sau buzele ei, si e cel mai frumos compliment pe care mi-l poate da cineva!!!
Mi-aduc aminte ca eram in clasa a doua sau a treia si ma uitam la mainile ei, si la inelul ei cel mai mare, si i-am zis ca il vreau eu; iar ea mi-a spus ca mi-l da mie cand moare! Azi am acel inel, si l-as da inapoi, si as da inapoi si cei doi ani din viata mea, cei doi ani de cand ea a plecat, as da totul inapoi, ca sa o mai vad doar odata, si sa ii spun cat mi-e de draga si cand de dor mi-e de ea! Sa o strang la piept si sa ii spun cat o iubesc! Dar nu am norocul asta! Si tot ea m-a invatat ca dorinta Domnului e mai presus de toate.
Ce poti sa dai cadou cuiva care iti este intreaga viata de ziua ei?! Cand ea ti-a dat atat de multe daruri, ce poti sa ii dai inapoi?! Cum poti sa ii spui “multumesc” cand ea ti-a dat toata viata ei?! Stiu, in sufletul meu, ca ea nu se asteapta la daruri prea mari din partea mea! Ea a fost mereu fericita doar sa ne stie pe noi fericiti! Si asta ar fi fost un cadou suficient! Stiu un lucru sigur: ca nu ar fi vrut sa ne vada plangand de ziua ei! Sau sa ne vada triste… dar asa cum am facut-o de multe ori, nu am ascultat-o intotdeauna! Si asa ca azi sunt trista!...
La multi ani, Maia, si stii ca mereu te vom iubi! …

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