My most anticipated visit was to the village of my grandfather, my mom's dad, my mom's stepdad to be exact. I believe that the planning for this trip to Aghios Andreas, the small village in the eastern Peloponnese, started when I was a young girl, as I listened to my papou tell me stories of his village. I knew I would go there someday. This was the someday.
I don't remember when I found out that he was not my mom's biological father, in any case it didn't matter to me. Most importantly it didn't matter to him. He was my grandfather in every sense of the word. And although he passed away when I was 17 years old, his impression, his legacy and his connection to me remain very strong, and at many times throughout the recent past, gets stronger. He did not have his own biological children, so I learned early, that nurture was as important as nature. I thank him for teaching me by example, before I even knew I'd need to tap deep into that knowledge.
When I started writing this blog nearly three years ago, a good friend who had started her own blog, gave me some great advice on how to choose the "voice" in which I would write. She had said that in her blog she had chosen someone that she respected and loved, someone that she felt safe with, and who she could be herself with to "write to". I knew then, that the person that my blog would be written to would be my Papou.
Throughout the few years that I've been writing this blog, when I struggle as to how to express myself, I think how would I explain it to my Papou? When I find myself using words that are too complicated or sophisticated, I ask myself would Papou understand this? A natural tendency to be a bit sarcastic and dry, is tempered with him as my "editor", and a more humorous approach is chosen. Anger and frustration is softened as I try to express myself in a way that is not bitter, it doesn't always work, but overall, he is my trusted editor. The voice that I've found in this blog, is due in large part to him.
Arriving in the small village, it was as he described, with the town square and cafe's in the middle, a bit more romantic than the other villages of my other grandparents, but then so was he! Honoring him by going to his village, sitting in the town square, and in front of the church, was my way of letting him know he is remembered and loved. That his legacy lives on in me.