Aegina Home & Living - Living in Aegina

 

 

 


LIVING IN AEGINA

What is it REALLY like to live in Aegina?

 

                                                           LIVING
 

LIVING                                                                       JUNE/JULY 2011

LIFE AS USUAL

My mother-in-law recovered from the acute chest infection and was discharged home to her usual life which entailed cleaning the house and preparing food for her son, feeding a community of cats that loved her . The highlight of her life though would be an un-expected vist from any one of us.

During that first weekend home, except for her daughter who lives in the house next door, nobody visited. Effie would only ever receive a stream of visitors if she was in hospital, where we’d find her perched on top of the bed, sleeping or smiling her crinkled smile, well cared for and basking in the security provided by the local nurses who knew her well.

Feeling sick with guilt, I made time to visit her one day during the week when I spent a very enjoyable hour chatting over a cup of coffee(me) and as usual, she brought me a plate of biscuits, a glass of water and a napkin. She complained that God would not take her, despite her efforts to meet him and I explained that she was thankfully immortal, that we wanted her more. We discussed the current state of Greece, recipes and how well the children were studying towards their exams.

The following day, I sent one of my children around to see her with a bag of lemons and courgettes in hand and on Thursday, the day that I stay in Piraeus with our middle child, I quickly stopped by to giver her a breakfast cake that I had baked. I found her cooking in her kitchen, stooped over a task at the well worn wooden table, slight in her long button through cotton dress which sometimes gaped to reveal her woollen vest, her hair bound up in a scarf to prevent stray hairs falling into the food. She looked up and whooped with delight to see me  and excused the state of her house but she had been cleaning all morning. From now on, I vowed to myself, I will visit strictly on a weekly basis, a day which she would grow to learn as the day that Alison visits.

That Sunday, she felt unwell again, had a strange pain in her heart and wanted to go to hospital. I picked her up in my car, then drove to pick up her 73 year old daughter as the 71year old who lives next door, was also feeling unwell. The 73 year old complained that she was feeling tired and had pains in her legs so I jokingly suggested we book a line of beds in the same ward . Effie laughed and seemed to enjoy our jaunt to the hospital. I waited with her but the doctors and nurses were busy with other admissions and since her daughter and youngest son were with her, I excused myself so that I could rush home to cook the Sunday lunch. I blew her a kiss and said I’d be in to see her, probably toward the end of the week as I was going to spend most of the week in Piraeus with our middle child who had exams

During one of our converations that week, I suggested to George that perhaps the time had come for all of us to consider taking turns to have Effie live at home with us and I was prepared to kick off. The children would enjoy having her with us.

It was Thursday and she was due to be discharged home the next day Later that night when George and his sister sat at Effie’s bedside sharing  chicken souvlaki, he broached the subject of coming to stay with us. She laughed….”bahh!! I couldn’t do that!”. She exclaimed

 

On Friday morning I was returning to Aegina on the ferry boat. My to-do list was to nip into the office and then go to the hospital to see if I was needed to take Effie home.My Friday boat journey is one of my simple pleasures, a whole hour to myself to read the Athens News whilst sipping on a double expresso with hot milk.

My mobile phone rang; it was George and his usual 8.30 am call to me. “ Cancel what you have to do today”, he said,”” we have to go to a funeral”,”whose?”, I asked. “my mother’s”, he replied!


Alison Lorentzos                                                               copyright 2011



 

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