It is that wonderful day of the week again- Friday where we join Lisa-Jo Baker and a community of wonderful writers at Five Minute Friday. We are given a word prompt each Friday and we just write freely, with no editing, just what is in our hearts. It doesn’t need to be perfect, it is just a wonderful way of letting go and expressing what is deep in your heart. This week’s prompt is: Hero
November 29, 1931, in a small house in a village in Peloponnese in Greece a little baby girl was born. She was the sixth child for the family of Panayiotis and Anastasia. They were a poor family cultivating the earth and living in very hard and difficult years. They had been through wars, famine, illnesses, which led to the loss of 3 of their children (2 twin boys and a daughter). They didn’t give up though and managed to raise a family of 7. Their little girl Vasiliki was the 6th child out of the seven.
Growing up she worked in the fields, tended the home, looked after the younger siblings. She had a kind and gentle spirit. An innocent heart and soul that was always willing to help and serve others around her.
She lacked a mother and father’s hug and kiss. She lacked a childhood filled with playing games. She had only one good dress for church and all important outings which were rare in those days, one good pair of shoes but she and the rest of the children never complained but were happy.
She loved school and was an “A” student in her class. She didn’t have money to buy books, so she would listen carefully to the teacher and learn each lesson in the classroom. She carried her books in her hands and walked miles to get to school but she didn’t mind. She would put newspaper in her shoes because they were torn and full of holes but she never asked for another pair because she knew that they couldn’t afford to buy one.
One day she heard sirens and saw everyone running to hide, she did the same too, it was the beginning of WW2. That was her final year of school. The years of war were difficult and harsh for everyone, everywhere. She saw people dying from famine, from illnesses, from shooting and bombs. She was a 10, 11, 12 years old. Cruel and harsh things for any child to witness at that age. In those difficult years of war her family experienced the loss of her eldest sister and brother in law who had a 6month old baby and the loss of her two twin baby brothers who just lived in this world for a few weeks. She also suffered a major health problem that lead her to surgery to remove her one kidney and an accident that caused her to have very little vision on her left eye.
In the year 1947 she went through another difficult and heart breaking ordeal, a forbidden love. The youngest son of the richest landowner in the village fell in love with her and so did she with him. She was a very naive village girl with a heart filled with innoscence. His family though did not even want to hear that their youngest son was inlove with one of the poorest girls in the village. They had other plans for their son. In 1948 an unexpected pregnancy came, his family wouldn’t accept the fact that the child she was carrying was their sons and would not allow him to marry her which was the honorable and noble thing to do especailly in those years. Honor and respect had significant meaning, but his family didn’t want to allow him just to marry her and then divorce her. Her parents and siblings despised her, were ashamed of her and sent her away to Athens to go through this pregnancy all alone. Her sister wouldn’t take her in because she was afraid what people might think about her. They would have her wear clothes and sheets on the inside of her clothing to press on her stomach and not show she was carrying a child. She went to live with a very sick aunt and would work in the day, tend and care for her aunt at night and be treated like rubbish from everyone around her. Heartbroken, alone, neglected and abandoned from everyone she gave birth to alittle baby boy whom she gave the name Constantinos in honor of her sister who died in WW2 of Leukemia. A few hours after birth she became very ill and was taken to another hospital in which she remained for many months. Her family after she gave birth took the child and gave it up for adoption without her consent or knowledge and told her the child had passed away. She couldn’t believe something like that happened and went to the hospital herself to ask and see the death certificate which they confirmed there. She still did not believe her baby boy had passed away.
In 1957, she got married to a young man named Nicholas whom she confessed her story about herself letting him and his family know she was not a virgin and had already given birth to a child that had passed away. She told him she would understand if he did not want to marry her after knwoing all this. He said he didn’t mind and in June of that year they got married. They had 2 beautiful daughters named Panagiota and Constantina (Constantina was named after her late son and sister).
In 1963, they decided to move to Australia since her husbands sister and mother were living there and told them it was a wonderful place to live in. That is were her next calvary was. She was verbally, physically and mentally abused by her husband and his family there.In those years she had 4 miscarriages and was told she would not be able to have any more children. She worked at a deli factory, and then at the little shop they had opened. She was a wonderful housewife, tending and caring for her home and family.
In 1973 she gave birth to her youngest daughter Anastasia. She was 41 years of age then. She had diabetes and high blood pressure. The abuse did not end. Her husband would beat her up, curse her and verbally abuse her. She didn’t leave him, she continued to love him and try to keep her family united.
In 1985 Nicholas decides that the family should move back to Greece leaving behind her 2 daughters and grandchildren. That tore her up. Her children and grandchildren meant everything to her.
The abuse did not end in Greece either. All the abuse through the years led to her becoming ill, losing her sight on her right eye aswell, and kidney failure. She was on the dialysis machine 3 times aweek. Even then when she was ill, she was continually abused especially verbally and physcologically.
In July 1993 she was blessed to see her youngest daughter get married and her other 2 daughters which came to Greece for the wedding.
In October 1993 she told her story to her youngest daughter and told her somewhere out there she believed she had a son and that his name was Constantinos. She had never believed that he had passed away but kept hoping that oneday they would be re- united as mother and son.
On the 29th of November that same year, 1993 the Lord decided to end her pain and journey here on earth and take her away to eternity. The same day she was born in this earth, that same day the Lord took her with Him.
20 years have gone by since that day and not a day goes by that I do not miss her. I miss her smile, her lovely singing voice, her gentle character. I even miss our little arguments, her touch, her hug, her kiss.
I am so grateful that the Lord blessed me with her as my mother. She taught me to be who I am, she gave me principals and morals and taught me to love the Lord. I owe part of who I am to her! She was and will always be my HERO!!!!
I Love You Mum!