Even aliens have grandmothers, and I ‘m not an exception from the rules. With my ticket to Earth I’ve got two of them. And before you ask: no, there is no “B” in the word “grandmother “. But I didn’t call them so either.
BABUSHKA…I said Babushka to them.
Babushka Ljuba …My mum’s mum.
She lived quite a way from where I lived, but we visited her often: 2-3 times a month.I loved being there: big flat, where I could play “hide and seek” with my two cousins; my aunt, who shared my passion for music. When I was tired of running around the flat, we sat down, put a needle on a vinyl and listened, listened, listened…Jazz, Rock, Pop, Gipsy music…Everything was thrown in. We listened, we singed, we danced…
Babushka Ljuba cooked some tasty meal, we ate, watched a bit of TV …A hug, a kiss on the cheek and “till the next time. I love you, Babushka Ljuba” ….
When I was about 10 years old, she hanged herself in the room, where once the music played…Nobody was there to stop her, and we never got to understand, why she left us…I just hope, that she found the peace, whatever was it, that ate her from inside.
Babushka Anja. My dad’s mum. She lived only a few minutes away , and , when my parents were at work, and the nursery was closed for some reason, she looked after me.
“Don’t call me babushka. I’m not that old”- she laughed at me.
“How should I call you then? “
“Anja?”- suggested she
“Nee, you are not Anja. You are BABA Anja! Are you going to bake me a cake today? “
She baked, cooked and, in between , knitted wool pullovers and socks for the whole family and for the neighbours. She told me stories: how she was fleeing the Nazis during WW2, just the seconds away from being caught and sent to a Work Camp somewhere in Germany… She told me the stories about her family lost somewhere in the deep forests of Russia during that war (later we found her sister living in Leningrad) …
Babushka Anja was there looking after me every day. She cared about all and everything. Running chores for the people she hardly knew. Cooking, baking, knitting….
Last time I saw her when I was revisiting my memories in Latvia couple of years ago. Small, thin, tired…Fragile. Wonderfully clear mind for an 80something old woman. The life was not too kind to her, but she never gave up.
When it was time to catch my plane back to Munich, we said our farewells, knowing, that it might be the last time we ever met……….