Archive for January 9th, 2015


2015-01-09 08.04.32

Yesterday my (Daphne) mother-in-law died after a long sick-bed.
Margarita raised three children and eight grandchildren. When my kids were babies I would leave them with her with strict instructions about their diet and no matter how many hours I would be away she took care of them. There was never any complaint. She was always glad to see the children and would praise and admire them over and over again.The fact that her son married a foreign woman was never a problem. She accepted me from the start.
She was the strongest pillar of our family. She did not finish the elementary school but managed to learn to sew very well and this work brought in the extra money they needed in the family.

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When she got sick she moved into her eldest daughter’s house and there we took care of her. We would watch her in shifts until the eldest daughter would come home from work. When needed we would hire extra help.

The last few weeks we saw that the end was near and now that she is gone we are very sad but also feel thankful that she has been spared further suffering.

Here on Skopelos you have to order the coffin (one size) locally and because the man who has the coffins his truck broke down we had to get the coffin ourselves. A cousin with a truck went with us to pick it up.
To start preparations for the funeral my mother in law was bathed and dressed and placed in the coffin. The coffin stands on 2 chairs in the living room. The whole night people have visited and said goodbye to her. The wake will last until we bury her this afternoon. Margarita has her best clothes on which she selected by herself when she was still alive.

During the night her face was covered. In the morning we removed the cover. A lighted candle stands next to her. When that is finished we place a new candle and light the new candle with the old. The leftover from the candle is placed in the coffin.

Early this morning we went to a church and let the bells ring so people hear that somebody has died. For me this was a beautiful moment letting people know about our loss. A neighbour volunteered to ring the bell later on again. The bells serve their purpose. Times before the telephone were as efficient to let people know what was happening.

After we sorted the paperwork out we went to the grave yard to pick out a grave. As you probably know greek people stay buried for about 3 years and get dug up again and some bones are placed in a small box which is placed in a church or the bones house on the cemetery. We had a choice of 4 graves.

It will be difficult to move the coffin out of the house when the time comes so she will probably leave the house through a window. We will carry her to the church. She will go in through one door and will leave through the other door. A truck will pick her up somewhere in the village so we don’t have to carry her all the way to the cemetery.

Margarita was a fantastic greek mother, grandmother, sister and aunt. You can say a lot about greek mothers, that they are overbearing, spoiling and pampering children and grand children but a more unselfish person like Margarita I have never met. The only thing she wanted was that you were ok and she did not like to be alone. She was the most happy with company.

We hope she will be in great company where ever she is now.

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Deep and crisp and even

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A loud thud on the executive terrace on the 36th floor of the Skopelosnews Tower can only be a drone finding its way here with more photographic evidence of meteorological mayhem up Glossa way. Harald and Martina Dempf, who sent us photos of heavy snows around their home on the Vouno hill outside Glossa earlier this week, report persistent snows ever since, including heavy falls over Wednesday night and through much of Thursday. Temperatures are predicted to hit the mid-teens this weekend, and the goddess Athena willing we will be just a week or so away from the possibility of a spell of αλκυονίδες ημέρες, the ‘halcyon days’ that sometimes bring weeks of balmy weather in late January and early February.

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