I haven’t written in a while and this will be something very personal.
My grandmother would be 86 years old today. She died about three years ago. I was very close to her and the last few days I kept reminiscing about the times we spent together.
She was a very strong woman who had a lot of challenges in her life. The last time I saw her was at Christmas three years ago, and I remember talking about one of the biggest disappointments of her life: not being able to attend university. History was cruel to her, she lost her mother at the age of 10, was a teenager during the Second World War and became an adult in communist Hungary. She was a devout Catholic and when the university interview committee asked her about her views she didn’t conceal it. She was never accepted and she never forgot her disappointment about this.
She and my grandfather soon started a family, but their first three children died in the course of four years. So, by the time she was 25, she had buried three young children and was denied to follow her calling and become the next Madame Curie.
She got through the challenges of life by keeping a diary and channelling her emotions into poems. She also made beautiful little paintings as a young woman and I never quite understood how such an artistic woman could ever be interested in chemistry… =)
During my early teenage years I saw my grandparents on my own on a weekly basis and had a lot of personal time with her in particular. She was my latin tutor, which mainly meant she did my latin homework for me, but that provided a wonderful pretext for seeing her and my grandfather regularly.
One of my last memories with her is a big laugh. Her hearing deteriorated over the years and she always had the funniest misunderstandings. We were all together for Christmas eve, my husband and I had just announced that we would get married and I can’t exactly recall what was the misunderstanding that took place in the following moments, but it was hilarious. I even have a photo of the two of us, falling off the chair laughing.
She was a great grandmother, very family centric, always organising reunions and producing photo albums. She loved good food and red wine, the colours of autumn and decorating the dinner table for special occasions. She tried to keep up with technology and had a a mobile phone and an email address, but Skype just freaked her out.
I am so happy to think back how much time I spent with her.
So, yesterday, when I realised it would be her birthday, I thought I will give her something she always wanted. I will make her the next Madame Curie.
Isten éltessen Nagymama!