Friday, April 13, 2007

A tribute to my grandmother

My maternal grandmother, Magdalina, was born in a small village in Transylvania in 1916, the second of seven siblings. A short time before World War II, she met my grandfather in Romania. They fled to USSR and got married there.
Their life wasn't easy. Stalin's repressions got them shipped off to Siberia, to live in a tiny settlement in the middle of nowhere. Both of them worked hard, but still they could barely get by. Often the only food on their table was what they managed to collect in the forest. After the war ended, they were allowed to move back south, but not out of USSR. For many years, Grandma couldn't contact her remaining family. It only happened in the '60-s (don't remember the exact year). Her parents and sister were slaughtered, but she still had five brothers. How joyful she must have been when she found out they were alive!

Grandma and Grandpa never had much money, or any of the things we usually regard as "average lifestyle". They couldn't afford a car, fancy clothes, or trips abroad. Or even as much food as they could have wanted. As a matter of fact, the variety of products was small, and often Grandma would stand in line for hours in order to buy milk or eggs. They only got their own phone line and TV in the 70-s. Health care was not what we have today, either, and one of their 4 children died as a baby.

But whatever happened, they knew how to stay together and true to each other, and how to treat each other with generosity and love. Mom told me she never heard Grandma or Grandpa raise their voices, or speak unkindly to each other or to any person. They didn't dwell on things they couldn't have, and tried to make most of what they had. In the evenings, Grandma and her two daughters would sew or crochet together. They had a garden, which supplied them with fresh fruit, vegetables and berries, and the whole family worked there together.

... Now Grandma is 91, and has been a widow for many years. However, she is still full of joy and life, and enjoyes cooking, knitting and watching football championships. She lives with us, and we feel blessed to have her.

Grandma was about 25 when this was taken (sorry it's a bit blurry):

Grandma (center) with me and Mom's cousin:


Tracy said...

What a story your grandmother has to tell. Make sure that you write every detail down so as to preserve the history!

Anna S said...

Tracy, I think that if I ever write a book, it will be about Grandma's life story. I'm never tired of hearing about it!

Anonymous said...

A true legacy of Godly provision and care, even in the most difficult of times.

Bless you.

Anna S said...

Haus Frau: indeed!

Candy said...

Again, another post I loved :) Thanks for sharing. Made me think of my grandmother...I'll think I'll go email her now..

Jordin said...

Thank you for sharing this story. God certainly provides for His children. 91 years old and still joyful! What a blessing!

Autumn said...

What a cool post! I especially loved the old picture of your grandmother. She is so beautiful!
My great-grandma lives with me, so I think that stories about grandparents are really special!

Robert said...

It sounds like your grandmother would have many interesting stories to tell.Even though they didn't have many things,they made sure their family had love which is the most important thing.

I just wanted to say that I found your blog when I saw you comment on Anna and Miriam's site.Their blog is one that I regularly read.

Anna S said...

Autumn: you are so blessed to know your great-grandmother! I wish I knew my great-grandparents. They died many years before I was born. By the way, I was named after my great-grandmother Anna.

Robert: welcome to my blog! Oh, I could share so many more stories about my grandparents. Like the one when they walked through a freezing forest, full of wolves, with nothing to protect them but a small axe. Perhaps I'll write more about it someday.

Cristina (a.k.a. "Stramenda") said...


Heather said...

What a wonderful example of gratitude your grandmother has set for you! My father's family fled Germany before WWI, never to have contact with family left behind again.