When we arrived at the popular warmly lit African restaurant the dinning room was exploding with the sounds of conversation, clinking glasses, rich aromatic smells, and I was aware of it all. My mind however was captivated on her. It was the first time I’d seen her since her two-year battle with breast cancer. She, and her husband sat across from my husband, and I. She was talking about joining us on our trip to Greece next year. Her father, and my mother are siblings.
Our parents are Greek, it’s a powerful bond something that would be difficult to explain to you if you are not Greek. Our bond goes deeper than just our ethnic genetics because we are the only members of our family who do not live in Greece. Our relationships with our fathers were difficult, and we have both lost our mothers to cancer. We were both raised in the states, but never met until the summer of 1983 while we were both on vacation in Athens.
She is petite, smart, and extremely private. I think she looks exactly like our Grandmother. She is beautiful. Even after her most difficult battle with breast cancer she remains exquisite almost untouched by all she has endured. Being with her is like going home after being gone for many years. I was filled with a sense of relief. She didn’t tell me about her cancer until she knew she would be okay. That is her way, she doesn’t share her thoughts easily. This fascinates me, and I think she is fascinated by me because I am the exact opposite.
As we sat there together eating, and talking I found myself searching her eyes as a way of assuring myself that she was really okay. She looked directly back into my eyes, letting me know without words that she was. The entire restaurant had emptied as I sat there laughing with her completely unaware of the fact that all the other tables had been cleared. Then my husband gently said I think the waiters would like to go home.
I had been completely lost in that moment. Completely unaware of everything else. I was at home with her. 😉