(photo of my YiaYia with my son ~ 2006}
On a whim, I decided it is time to go to New York to visit my family there. I was born in Orchard Park, New York and moved to Arizona when I was 11. The entire family on my dad's side (the Greek side) live in upstate New York. This includes my YiaYia (my beloved grandmother), as well as my aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, third cousins, etc, etc. Good think I got married in Arizona, or else my wedding would have had 800 guests!
My family there hasn't met my daughter yet, and last time I visited with my son, he was only one year old. I can't wait for everyone to see how sweet my babies are! My YiaYia is one of the strongest women I know, and tells me the greatest stories about her life growing up, living in a small village in the "old country", sneaking out of her village to bring my grandfather food while he hid out in the mountains during war, coming over on "the ship" with three little kids and how horrible it was. Although my YiaYia and Papou's marriage was arranged (can you believe that?), my YiaYia loved her husband with all of her heart. When he had a stroke many years ago, she nursed him back to health and re-taught him everything he needed to know. My Papou passed away several years ago, and she is alone. She has family nearby, of course, but still lives in the same house that they have owned for (30?) years and takes care of herself. She won't have it any other way.
I can't wait for her to hug and hold my children so they can feel the love that she has given me all of my life.
If I have time to get a few posts together before I leave, you may hear from me this week! However, I am going to try to stay "unplugged" so I can enjoy every minute that we have there!
I'll be back soon,