and just like that: strangers

“From strangers to acquaintances to friends to lovers to trying to be friends to the in-between to strangers once more,” she said.

Her voice hollow, short, lost.

It didn’t seem fair that upon seeing him her body would shake, her mind would lose its focus, and her heart would hang there heavy. Reminded of the cruel reality this world sometimes offers as moving on.

It’s a haphazard – this thing they call a relationship.

Once she jumped in the only escape was falling and drowning. Whether it be from having to jump out or stay in. No option kept her from losing part of herself. Forever reminded of the feel of his hands upon her skin. Forever marked by his lips on hers.

Forever touched.

“Strangers,” she repeated. Hoping that if she said it one more time the truth wouldn’t hurt so much anymore, “Strangers.”

writing letters to the ones i miss

Processed with VSCO with t1 presetYou’d sit cross-legged and keep your foot up like a hook. Each of us took turns sitting on your hook-held foot as you swung us back and forth, holding our hands in yours. All the while singing…

Κούνια, μπέλα, έπεσ’ η κοπέλα. Έσπασαν τα πίατα, τα ‘καναν κομάτια… (and then slowly:) ένα, δύο, τρία — 

ΌΠΑ! you’d say a little louder, as you popped your foot up and pulled us into your lap. You must’ve done this a thousand times in your lifetime. I must’ve watched you do it to my sisters and cousins too many times to count. It was a sad day when I was too big to let you rock me and then pull me up to your embrace.

Oh Pappou, it’s been a year. And somehow, I thought goodbye would be easier. Somehow I thought, that surely in a year, I would somehow not feel you still lost. I think you were this stronghold in my life that I felt would never change. You would always be home when I came to visit. Always sitting on your couch and waiting for a kiss on your cheek.

You were the only person who ever called me Christina (as a nickname) and I was okay with it because that’s how it was. I mean, I knew without a fault that when mom put you on the phone for me to say hi to, you’d ask me two things: 1) how are you, and 2) βρήκες σκορδόσπιτο? With me always answering good, then with a roll of my eyes and laugh, not yet.

Or what about that time last summer when you weren’t doing too well and I was with you? I was literally sitting in the chair right beside you and then, OUT OF NOWHERE, you stood up and rushed over to the table across from us. Apparently looking for your watch! You scared the life out of me because I was sure I wasn’t going to get you back in your chair without falling. Yet, we managed and then later, when you asked for your shaving machine… You told me in humor, “I promise I won’t get up and scare you again.”

Despite your quiet self, you knew how to get in a good tease. Oh gosh, you loved to tell your Greek jokes to visiting Americas! Bless their hearts because the jokes were never funny in English but they tried. And we all loved hearing you share them.

It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been a whole year since I’ve been able to give you a hug, kiss your cheek, sit in your living room with you.

So many things have changed.

I want to go back to December 31, 2015 when we all sat in our dark (the power was out in our neighborhood in Thessaloniki, on New Years Eve!) living room together. I think we had the fire going, maybe. As darkness filled the house and the new year approached, with many challenges in store… I don’t know, there was a peace in my heart that night. With no interruption from any sort of technology we sat in darkness and sang old hymns with you in the lead.

I can still picture your brows knitting together as you would sing. Always so concentrated. Always so faithful. Always so loving.

It may be a year and almost two days since you passed away, but… you are not forgotten. I think about you so very often. Though, I am thankful that you are no longer in pain – nor missing yiayia either. Gosh, this missing I feel for you really puts into perspective how much you must have missed her after you lost her. Thank you for being such a good pappou to your kids and grandkids.

We all miss you dearly.

you can’t keep chasing what doesn’t want to be caught

The sound of her heart pounding rang through her ears. She halted, sweaty palms resting against her knees, as she took in a few deep breaths. She’d been chasing after it for months now. An endless game of tug-a-war. If she were lucky, she’d catch the end of its heel long enough to hold it for a little while. But alas, it grew clever and slick, and slipping out of her grasp was easy. She squinted her eyes, its shadow too far to see, and she realized then: “You can’t keep chasing what doesn’t want to be caught.”

trying to be the millennial I am

I decided to sign up for a social dating app today. Just try it out. Cause why not?

Surprises:
It’s weird having a random person I don’t know like my picture
All prospects recommended either got an ugh or no response from me, instantly
I got overwhelmed super fast
I don’t get why people share pictures with other random people in them
Someone actually liked my photo… now I either like one of theirs or start a chat?
…feels weird.
Apparently, my social anxiety levels are HIGH

Uhm pretty sure this will not end with a date anytime soon. Cool.

as the song goes: would you lie with me and just forget the world? (maybe this post is all over the place but it’s kay)

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetMom and I traveled down to Athens this week to stay with my great aunt for a few days. She’s 84 and life isn’t really too kind to those whose age is a high number.

Three days, no wifi. Ooph, it was hard! My millennial self struggled. I can’t say I was missed but being online is a daily routine my habitual self didn’t know how to live without. I mean, obviously, I cheated a couple times! I went to a nearby coffee shop to check my social media and put in a couple job applications. Satisfying that compulsion to feel connected through the interwebs.

I discovered there are benefits to this disconnect though…

My great aunt, Irene, reminds me of my grandma. They’re sisters (after all), three years apart, both relatively short women who married tall men. They share a similar spunkiness, a tendency to keep their fridges full, and both very kind hearted. Their commonalities are strong, and sometimes I wonder if when I get older people will say the same for me and my sisters.

But, grandma passed away 10 years ago… and aunt Irene has been not a substitute but a nice reminder of her sister.

Anyways, yesterday, as aunt Irene woke up from her nap, I ended up getting in bed with her to snuggle. It was an action that ended up surprising us both. We enjoyed it a lot and each time I got up for a moment, she’d call for me to come back. We spent a good hour and half laying there as she shared stories about when she was my age, about her sister, and about her late husband, Harris.

It was so neat to feel the world drift away and hear her talk. She told me about Harris and how he wanted to marry her from the moment he set his eyes on her. She lost him over 20 years ago and her heart still aches for him.

Love is this wild thing that I don’t know much about it. At least, not the “in love” part. I know about loving people and I try very hard to love people well, even if I don’t always succeed. But lately, I’ve thought about love a lot and about loving someone deeply and losing that person… and then what’s left?

A heart that’s broken, lost, and confused?

How do you ever move forward

How do you let go

The Christian answer in my head is: God will heal those wounds. And the thing is, he does… sure, but sometimes, I don’t think the whole pain ever leaves. Not really. It’s a thorn that remains in your heart, right? Or so it feels. A thorn that stabs you every day, even if its hollow and faint.

I just don’t think such a pain can ever truly, completely stop.

Perhaps because hearts are made to break. They are fragile and marked by their ability to feel – everything. So, sometimes, when they are shattered… those pieces can only attempt to recreate what they once were. It’s like when you break your ribs, right? Those bones can never heal as they were before but mend within their brokenness. They will create something new of which you are forever reminded that they were once deformed and now changed.

I don’t know, loving is hard but as I laid there listening to my aunt tell me story after story and share her hurt, here’s one thing I know: I’d lay on a damn bed any day with a person I care for and love, just to spend a few moments forgetting about the world.

Maybe that’s selfish, but maybe it’s not… Yet, maybe it’s just savoring those quiet moments that tend to be far and wide apart.

i miss you tonight

It’s the type of miss I wish I could share.

Like back a few months when you’d say it and I felt my feelings get all giddy.

But no,
this one is the type of miss that bangs against my heart and scratches it to pieces. Why? Because it can’t be shared.

It stays hidden in my thoughts as tears fill my eyes and my nose gets all stuffy.

That’s the type of miss it is…
the one that hurts.

the way he looks at you

It ought to change things,

the way his eyes find yours and you stand a little uneasy, unsure. His look holds a small quiet promise that perhaps it’ll ignite something. That maybe, if he keeps looking at you and you keep catching his gaze, he’ll move toward you and say the things your heart longs for him to say.

But,

sometimes looks are just looks and they aren’t strong enough to move mountains.

you are good

in every season

when my heart breaks
when i can’t breathe because my chest feels tight
when the stars in the sky shine so bright
when the wind blows hard
when the rain pours down
when the storm is strong and i’m afraid i’ll get lost in the night
when the whispers of a man’s promise are broken
when i’m drowning in my own sorrow
when tomorrow seems so far away
when i say goodbye
when i won’t ever say hello to you again
when life doesn’t go as planned
when people steal, cheat, and lie
when people die
when people leave
when people break my heart
when people love me
when people hug me
when people remind me you are good
when the wait seems too long and too hard and too far away
when tears fill my eyes
when i lay awake at night and my thoughts flood my mind
when i’m happy
when i’m sad
when the sun shines through my window blinds
when the morning birds sing
when the train shares its loud deep try
when i lose what i want to keep
when i don’t get what i want
when he looks at me but nothing changes
when i feel alone and lost
when hopelessness pinches at my heart
when my mind can’t figure out how to let go
when my heart doesn’t want to let go of him
when i write and try to find my voice
when i find my voice
when i lose my voice
when the past haunts my mind and scares my future
when i don’t know who i am
when i don’t know what i want
when i don’t know how to move on
when i don’t love you well
when i’m mean, hurtful, hateful to those i love
when i don’t love well
when others don’t love me well
when i’m judgemental
when my insecurities take over
when the darkness falls around me and i decide i want to stay in its shadow
when you pull me out
when tomorrow’s promise is everything begins again but it all still feels the same
when i wake up and decide to be good, kind, loving to myself
when i learn how to love well
when i find the peace that passes all understanding
when i realize life may not be about being happy

but about your goodness.