I've never been able to find comfort in the idea of God, or the personification of the universe, but what I do appreciate is the root of my grandmothers name & how it reflected her completely. Panagiota, after panagiah, her name meaning all that is holy and good.
She was kind, loving, understanding and she was strong.
A word that comes to mind, when I think of my grandmother is: virago. Virago is a Latin word for a warrior woman, exemplary strength, even that stronger than a man's. I don't agree with that last bit, she was stronger and braver than anyone I have ever known.
When she was 14 years old, she had to have her papers changed, making her 16 in the eyes of the law, so she could come to a country where she did not speak the language. She came here and not only lived here, but she came and made a home, that created the family that stands here today. She may not have had the opportunity to go to school, and get an education like I am fortunate to have, but my grandmother was accomplished and we are proof of that. In my eyes, accomplishment is the amount in which one loves, and one is loved, in which case my grandmother was accomplished.
The last words my grandmother spoke to me, were two small words that I'll hold with me forever. On the Monday before she passed, my grandmother was taken to the emergency. This morning did not go like my usual mornings. I woke up late, I was going to miss my bus for school and a whole lot of things happened in between but it ultimately ended with me having to go to the hospital to get my cellphone. I remember being so pissed and annoyed that i was having such a bad day. It turned out to be a day I will cherish. I got to speak to my grandmother that day. And although she mostly mumbled and it was hard to make out what she was saying, clear as day she called me, "αγάπη μου" my love. I held her hand and stayed until I was about to pass out from exhaustion. I am so thankful for that day.
One thing she used to say, she used to call us, was "μάτια μου" - meaning my eyes. I always thought that to be an odd expression, but now I understand. My grandmother will live on through the eyes of my grandfather who will continue to watch her grandchildren grow, through her daughters. She will see through the eyes of my brother, my cousin Argi, and the her twin terror namesakes. She will live on through my eyes. She will see what I see and be part of my journey forever. She is not gone for I am her eyes.