Little Life Stories

7. The Woman Now for the Woman Then

I would have lent Mărioara my body for a year. 

I would have given her my eyes, so she could still see to read and write. 

There are 40 years between Mărioara and me. That’s almost enough time to fit another life like the one I’ve lived already. 

If I am to live that long, I hope that I too will carry a small book in my purse. Maybe even my own. I don’t know if my clothes will be black, like the tradition Mărioara keeps, which says old age wears black as it matches the colour of the earth. Perhaps wherever I will be, I will have no regrets, but the joy of a life well lived, the one and only, too short for all the stories that could be written. I hope I will be serene, with wrinkles on my face, and that the pen will still carry me on pages filled with small stories. 

At a delicate moment in her life, in order to defend her husband and her honour, Mărioara gave some so-called people of letters a pocket scale as a gift. She wrote on the note: Weigh your words and deeds carefully! I won’t forget this!

Instead of an epilogue: 

Children are the life of the parents. 

We’ve been at each other’s throats for years, 

We didn’t win, they have defeated us, 

But still, our heads high we hold. 

Good health to you, Mărioara and all you other grannies. 

Photo credit: Diana Bilec

English translation: Cristina Chira