As Long As You Live I Will Continue to Live

‘Yes grandma’ I would reply every time my grandma told this to me. She would smile, happy and content. My grandma and I were born on the same day. May 6. Just that her birthday was 50 years earlier than mine. I was apparently very much in a hurry to arrive and everyone was trying hard to get my mom to the hospital in time. Nobody, not even my  grandma herself, realized that it was her birthday that day.

We always celebrated our birthdays together. Two cakes, hers with 1 more candle than mine. And she would say ‘as long as you live I will continue to live’. ‘Yes grandma’. I can no longer see her smile. My grandma and I were one. She was our home, and my country and my roots. She was strong, beautiful and full of life.

My grandma always said that on the day she passed away we should not be sad nor cry, but we should celebrate. Celebrate the fact that she lived the life she wanted to live. She wanted us to drink raki and cheer for her. My grandma always told me whenever I felt sad, I should wear my best clothes, wear my best make up and jewellery, look at the mirror and tell myself how beautiful I am. Then go out so that everybody can see me. My grandma never went outside without being at her best. Never. And how beautiful she was.

She would look at you directly at your face, right into your eyes, and would tell you what she wants. She would walk into the restaurants by herself, no matter how empty or crowded they were, nor if there were only men inside, and would lunch or dine the food she liked. How self confident, yet humble she was.

She liked the chocolate cake, I liked the strawberries. July 17 2015. It has been eleven days now, you continue to live.

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