What a day it was, that 28th of October! Sunny and warm, glorious and . . . delicious! Memories of my youth flash by so fast . . .
October 28th is a national holiday for the Greek people, commemorating a very heroic day of the past on which a great OXI (NO!) was uttered. My mother would get a new outfit and shoes—it was autumn, after all—and my sister and I would dress up in those beautiful national costumes, Amalia for me and vlaxoula for my sister. The pride we felt that particular day was amazing as if we were the only people on the planet. We would parade down the street with our school, our parents and dear friends watching . . . Wow, what a high! Memories . . .
It’s the second time in my life that I’m in my place of birth, on that particular day, the 28th of October. The parade and the different costumes, the feeling of pride in the air . . . After the parade, no one wants to go home, especially if it’s a beautiful day like today. The wonderful pastry shops are full of children getting their favorite sweet treats.
After we took that long voyage to our new country, things changed. I had forgotten all that used to happen but, today, all of a sudden, the memories have surfaced and I feel good, not because of the national holiday—a very patriotic day when nationalistic feelings run wild—but because of the warm feeling that comes over me thinking about my father, my very special hero, the first man in my life who was my knight in shining armor. He would make every day a memorable day, a day to cherish forever. He was a simple man, with so much love for his little girls. His main concern in life was to make them happy, and he did just that—he made them really happy. Some people have that ability, and some people don’t, but he really was so good at it. For him, it was never about material things . . . never. His emphasis was on the human touch, the manner in which he did the little things, with joy and pleasure, and never because he had to.
That is the secret: When we do things for others, even for our children, the act should give us more pleasure than it should give the person who’s receiving the favor. And believe me—children, especially, are so smart that they can tell instantly if we mean it or not!
I think you can tell that I like to talk about my parents a lot!
On another note . . . I hate philosophies that divide people. A few major elements will always divide people: Religion, politics, race, and money are just a few. Many things have changed along the way for me. Growing up and knowing two different countries has taught me very much, and it’s especially taught me not to be nationalistic about any country, because I am a citizen of the planet Earth, and so is everyone else. Divisions are a way to isolate people and destroy them, but this is a topic for another article, don’t you think?
Litsa With Love!