On a regular Monday, when everyone goes to work, I am at home, with my elder kid, as we both caught a cold. But that’s fine, we’ll survive.

As kids need their (beauty) noon sleep, we made no exception. By the time I’m writing this, my kid is still sleeping. But I woke up. With the following scene rolling in front of me, a sensitive question in my head and drops of rain in the corner of my eyes…

“Where’s grandma?” I was asking
“She’s getting ready.”
“What is she doing?”
“She’s working.”
“With the Bible.”
“The big call.”

Instant burst into tears and a killer feeling of missing took me over. Both in my dream and in real life.

This question… “Where’s grandma?” and the answer “Getting ready for the big call.” shook my entire body. And the best reaction I had was to wake up. She passed away a few days before I turned 18. And I still miss her…

I used to spend most of my summer vacations there. In a resort, north-west, right near the border with Hungary. I would be crossing the entire country to get there. (11 hours of train ride: the railway cuts the Carpathian Mountains and the view is spectacular, while the air instantly freshens up.) By the time I turned 17, I could take the trip by myself. My first trip alone was, at the same time, the last time I saw grandma.

But when one’s so young of age, there’s no real notion of death and what’s left for the ones who stay. Because it’s us that suffer. The one who goes, changes worlds. And surely goes for the better. The called soul has the chance to touch the stars and play with their dust; can touch the sun, without getting burnt; can see the entire human world from above and whisper into someone’s mind for support; or act like that “inner voice”, that can prevent a tragedy.

How come we can’t realize the true value of people while they’re still around? My grandfather died when I was 7, so I didn’t really get to know him, but I remember him being a soft man and still miss him.

But grandma? I had her around for another 10 years and I clearly remember how she would gently take care of me, while easily scolding me if I was mean. She would only make sure I was well fed, clean, safe and taken to the church in the evening and every Sunday. (Catholics have a great way of praising God: they sing most of the time, during the mess. And I loved that!) Other than that, she never asked for anything. Not to help her with the household, not to do any hard work… She would carry everything on her tiny shoulders, yet never blamed me or any other kid for a single deed. She would let us all live our childhood, as she had a sad one. And a hard life…

I remember the last time I saw her… Me and my cousin (5 years younger) spent our bus returning ticket money to buy her mint candies. But we never regretted that for one second (even though we had to walk 10 km back!). As she would always repay us with tons of unconditional love, care and great words. And a little “Here, buy yourself a chocolate!” part of her tiny pension. And she would always wave to us when we were leaving, standing in front of the rusty gate, until she couldn’t see us anymore. Until she would be left in her solitude, crying and missing the people who have been filling her yard for a short while…

Today’s dream made me understand, once again, how short life is; and the importance people should give one another; that regret never brings anything back; and that the heavy feeling of loss will chase us our entire lives, but no second chance is given to straighten things up (especially if we mess up with life, big time).

So, where is grandma?

Living in my memories… She never left me and we’ll meet again, one day. She holds my head up high through heavy rain and rejoices my good times. She would have loved to meet my kids, but I know she guides us all from beyond the sky.

Cherish your loved ones and tell them how much they mean to you. Don’t wait for the moment to ask “Where is grandma?” to come. Kiss those mild eyes and help those shaky hands… At least you’ll know you’ve done your best to be there for them!


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