Mama Mia

A farewell to the woman who sabotaged Communism by knitting sweaters.

(Source: SME)

My grandmother died at the beginning of April. She was 91 years old. I could not attend her funeral in Romania as I would have landed in a quarantine facility for two weeks when entering the country. So I had to say good-bye from a distance.

I used to call her “Mama Mia”, trying to find a shortcut when as a young child it got too complicated to remember who was who in a family full of aunts, uncles, cousins and their own cousins.

My grandma was born in a relatively well-to-do family in a village in a famous vineyard region in Romania, at a time when the country was entering a period of modernisation and prosperity. The only girl among two boys in the family of the general manager of a vast vineyard owned by a rich minister, she was not interested in the modernisation of the country or…in art. I remember how she told me quite amused that as a child she thought that there must be something wrong with the daughter of the rich landowner - Bianca - who spent her time painting the vineyards on the hills and a few portraits of people.

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