From the Greek ευδοξος (eudoxos): ε
Eudosia is my grandmother.
She was born on August 10th 1921 in a tiny village close to the atlantic coast of Galicia.
She was the oldest of two daughters. She only went to school till the Civil war began. She always felt that her mother was harder on her, that she had preference for her sister. Her father died when she was little so she had to go to serve to a richer house at a young age, which was kind of common at that time and place.
She married Jose and had 5 children: 4 girls and the youngest, a boy. Jose, my grandfather, died when the boy was still a baby, falling into the well of the house and breaking his neck. We still use the water of that well.
Being already a poor family, the children had to work since a young age, but when Eudosia became a widow, she sent her daughters to Swizerland, like many others in the region, to make their living and to send money to rebuild the family house. One stormy night the roof of the house flew away, Eudosia and her son hide in a corner. Barely under cover, with the rain falling and the wind blowing, he asked her if the wolf would come to take them (at that time there were still wolves in that region). His son was always her favorite, and some of her daughters have never forgiven her for pushing them away.
When I was a baby my grandmother took care of me for a little while, as my mum had to go back to work. Every summer me and my cousins went to pass some time with her. I used to sleep next to her in her bed, and we would talk endlessly about things I can not remember, stories for children about a chicken and a fox, stories of her life, her views about life and death and what should be done and what should not.
She told me that when she was young she loved to dance, to play the tambourine and to sing traditional galician songs in the parties brought by the youngster of the village every week from one house to another. She told me about the scarcity of an already hard rural life that has shaped her soul to a survival mode, the lack of pleasure, the value of hard work, the community inter-dependency, as well as the need to be normal and keep living life like every body else. The over importance of food, a clean house, the looks of others, the constant comparison and competition with others, the ideal of material confort and the preference for quantity over quality. All of that is deep inside our collective psyche.
Now she is 96 and she is senile, she always asks : “where am I ? When am I going back home ?”, even if she is still living in the same home since whenever, with the same restlessness than the rest of her previous life.
Nahia is my daughter.
Nahia was born on August 8th 2011. Nahia means in Basque the shapes and moves made by the wind on the wheat grass. The first six months of her life she wouldn’t stop crying despite our attempt to live by the idea of attachment parenting (breastfeeding, baby wearing, bedding close to her…)
From my abuela to her there is a big jump and yet, there is a continuity. She is a métis made of mixed languages, cultures and differences; and at the same time she comes to resolve the same inner pain that has been repeated again and again: the lack of deeper connections, the lack of understanding of real love, the hunger beyond limits for tenderness and care from others and to others, the emotional cannibalism, the quest for meaning out of the automatism, the sense of it all.
We and our families are waves of energy crushing ones against each other to reach shore, to caress the warm soft sand of some sunny beaches somewhere in our dreams.