Sunday, October 05, 2014

Another babushka

I know I've mentioned our landlady some. She spent the summer here with us, bustling around, fixing everything up, sorting things, and just generally working hard. She kept telling us that she was getting everything in order so that she could die here. Then she went back to Italy... and she died there.

This is the only photo I have of her, a stealth picture from when Bogdan and Asya were watching her doing brickwork:

Maybe this is strange, but I really enjoyed watching our neighborhood community come together to remember her. On the day of the funeral in Italy there was a big meal here. What was definitely a little strange was how much everyone wanted to do everything right--following all the traditions--but no one really knew exactly what that meant. It was our first time at a completely secular funeral, so we certianly didn't know what to do either. Still, it was good to sit there with our neighbors and other guests and get to know them a little better, while remembering Babushka Valya.

Actually, this summer was a little bit difficult. I won't say anything bad about Babushka Valya now, but apparently she had changed a lot, and with her confusion and bad health, it wasn't easy. But, since she's been gone, I've been remembering what a very funny person she was. Her stories about life in Italy, especially when she kept forgetting that we don't speak Italian, were hilarious. The amount of work she got done here and her care and concern for her children and grandchildren was remarkable.

Several people asked what this means for us, in the context of renting this house that I love. We don't really know. I thought her daughter owned the house officially, but that's questionable. Probably in the winter one of the daughters will come from Italy, and then we'll find out. Probably they'll just do whatever paperwork needs to be done, and we can continue renting. At least that's what we hope for.

Crocus that she planted this summer


Mom said...

Praying you will be able to stay. Love you deeply.

Baba Julie said...

A very nice tribute. We pray, along with you, that the ownership of the duplex will pass quietly into her daughter's hands and the you can indeed continue living there!

Carson and Jill said...

Praying for your precious family. Love to you guys.

Jill (Nikita's mom :) )