(Photo made by Costas Andreou)
It is really a coincidence that today I am writing about this incredible woman and it is International Woman’s Day. I personally think that every day should be a day that women are paid equal in the workplace, are treated with the same respect as men and have the same right to speak up about issues that they are dealing with. We don’t need a day for that and there is still a long way to go.
The woman I will speak about here was a wife, a mother, and a sister. She was not thinking about equal rights when she grew up, she just got on with it but oh boy she suffered quite a bit growing up. Working all day on the land, bearing children, trying to make a living with very little money. For her, family was everything and that was her right, just as it is a right that every woman has to choose how she wants to live and work. Nobody can say anything about that.
Last week one of the most gentle, generous people died on Skopelos.
Kyria Margarita Gripioti died after a stroke. Fortunately she did not suffer long. She reached the age of 87 years. I would have liked her around a couple of more years but it was not to be. She was tired.
For this woman many, many years nothing was too much. She helped the whole neighborhood and was always present when work needed to be done in the churches surrounding her house (there are about eight!) I am happy I saw her a couple of days before she died. She complained that her feet were hurting…
Many people said goodbye to her during the funeral and that must have been of some comfort to her relatives who are left behind. I will never forget her and her beautiful laugh. I have written about Margarita Gripioti before on skopelosnews and want to share this memory with you one more time. Her presence around Christos church will be missed very much.
This is Kyria Margarita Gripioti or auntie as I can call her. When I (Daphne) came to Skopelos for the first time I stayed in her best room with a wonderful view along Christos church to the sea. We could not understand each other at the time and she made it difficult for me to accept the room because she wanted more money than I could pay but in the end we closed the deal mainly because of the view the room had. On my bedroom wall were beautiful plates and a big mirror. I know for sure that this room was used for name days and parties. When I came down for a coffee later I found a young man in the kitchen having his supper. He was one of her sons and he is the best friend of my husband (much later)
Margarita is a widow and she has difficulty walking nowadays and a great part of her day is spend in the churches that surround the Christos church. There are about eight and she has the key for at least three. Candles have to be lit, the floors have to be clean and in general the churches need to be ready for any event.
I used to organize town walks and she was one of the few ladies I could count on to open a church for me and show it to my visitors. I never forget the evening when I arrived with a mixed group of Greeks and Spaniards and she told me it was too late to show the church. Many churches, mainly the smaller ones, don’t have electricity. I looked at her and begged her to open one. She took a look at the group and me and went to the nearest church. We waited outside and she came back with a handful of small lighted candles, everybody took one and in we went! One of the Greeks was the son of a priest and he started singing/chanting quietly when we were all inside. Margarita followed his song and after it was finished we all thanked her for her kindness. An unforgettable memory because of Kyria Margarita.
Kyria Margarita an actor and singer in one of the SIFFY films, KEFI. She starts singing from 2.50 minutes.
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