My Grandmother (or Bubi as we call her) turned 89 on the 6th of July and we had her over for dinner along with my mother and my sister on her birthday. It had been a while… Too long, actually, but I came to realize that I think 89 is the new 69 because she looks fantastic.
When setting up the table for dinner, my boys, Linus and Stewie each wanted to sit beside their “More Bubi” (my mother is their Bubi, so Linus when he was almost 2, started calling my Bubi “more Bubi”, because there were more than one. Oddly enough, that stayed with her until Berry began to talk and she would always correct me and refer to my Bubi as “White Bubi” because of her beautiful white hair. On Friday night she called her “More Bubi). Thankfully, Berry wanted to sit beside my sister because she simply adores my sister.
So no sooner than the meal started when my kids began the unplanned interrogation of my Bubi;
“How old are you?”
“When I’m 85-year-old, how old will you be?”
“Who is your mother?”
“Where is she?”
“How old is she now?”
“How did 3 people live on one onion a day for food?”
“What was Russia (Ukraine) like?”
“Why don’t you come visit more?”
… and so it went.
I actually learned a lot about my Bubi and my mother from this attack, to be honest, things I did not know, such as; they left the Ukraine after the war (WWII) when my mother was 7 months old, and they came to Canada via Halifax when my mother was 3-years-old (that I knew). What I did not know was for that period in between they were in a displaced persons camp in Germany.
Not sure how that gets missed in ALL the discussions we’ve had over our lifetime…
I also did not know that my Bubi peels her potatoes because back in Russia they were so poor that they would eat peels that others discarded and my Bubi said if she ever had enough money to buy whole potatoes she would never eat a peel again.
My kids heard this story and were shocked.
I think more conversations like this might help put in perspective how lucky they are and treat them to respect the food the get to eat and the toys and technologies they have to play with.
I left it in my mother’s hands to set up another dinner… Soon… So we can continue on with the questions and my kids can get to know my Bubi as well as I do (thought I did).