Thursday, September 08, 2005


On Saturday, my grandmother is turning 85. So today I am jumping in a plane to the South of Spain, as for this very special occasion the three generations of mothers and daughters will spend a few days together in Rancho Chico. Yaya, my mother and I.
I have always said that my grandmother's life was fascinating and deserved to become a book... For lack of book, here’s a small summary: Yaya, which stands for grandmother in Russian, was born in 1920 in Ukraine. After her father's murder by the Bolsheviks, she had to flee the country with her mother and together they went to Switzerland. Her mother died a few years later, when my grandmother was 8 years old, but she had by then remarried and thus left her in the hands of a stepfather and his family. All in all she had a tough childhood. Not an easy life either. She worked very hard her entire life, went though a divorce with her first husband, raised her daughter alone, and was immensely deceived by her second husband, who additionally left her bankrupted. At the end, she buried both of her husbands, and my mother and I are everything she has left. She now lives alone in her flat, and suffers from an eye disease which is making her close to blind.

Yaya is a beautiful, fragile, and overly generous woman, suffering from many pains (all mentally generated if you ask me), who (as many old people tend to do) is slowly growing back into a child... So this long weekend is pretty much about babysitting ;-)


Anonymous said...

A really fascinating come that you all ended up in Spain?

V said...

Thanks. The role of Spain in my family's history is another long story... to come in a future post. For now, you just need to know that I am the only one living in Spain presently. Yaya and my mother are both in Switzerland.