A Tribute

Trisha Stefanou

I might stumble through this, as it is really hard to relive, but here goes. I am a 27 year old Greek Cypriot, born and raised in Southern Africa. My parents moved from Cyprus in their teens and settled in Zimbabwe. My brothers and I lived there all our lives, I have now married and live in Cyprus - I have a 2 month old daughter (Thea - a little angel and the splitting image of her grandpa).

My dad was diagnosed with lung cancer in Jan 2001.............my mom had been the one who was suspicious of his ill health and had asked him to get it checked out. In May 2001 I could hear from my mom's voice that she was terribly upset and not handling my dad's illness, so my fianc?e and I decided to travel to Zimbabwe to be with them - although my dad said he felt fine. We were home for a month, when my mom had a stroke and never recovered.

My mom and dad were a couple in every sense of the word - they never made a decision without consulting each other, had built a successful business together, and were the kindest and most caring parents anyone could ask for. Our home was a happy one, filled with love, laughter, visitors and friends - as they made everyone feel so welcome, and encouraged us in our friendships and relationships.

My mom, suffered from terrible cluster headaches, went from being a loving wife and mother, to someone who would not get out of bed and was sadly a slave to the pain. The day before she had her stroke we had a fight - I wanted my mom back so badly - I wanted her to fight this for all of us, but I also knew that deep down inside as she watched my dad get worse, she looked for anyway out - and withdrawing into herself numbed her. I was so angry, and when I say fight, I suppose it was more just anger, and cross words. I went grocery shopping with my fianc?e, and saw yellow roses - I bought them for my mom to say sorry, to tell her that I understood her sadness, but that we needed her, that she held our wonderful family together, and without her laughter and her strength our house was not a home. She was so happy with her flowers and I know she was glad we were friends - I said goodnight, to them and told them I loved them, and it was the last time I spoke to my mom. The next day she had a severe stroke and passed away one week later. 6 months later, my wonderful father - who cannot be described by mere words gave up the fight too - he died 2 weeks after my wedding and does not know my baby girl.

I think this is my biggest heartache - they would have been the best grandparents, just like I felt they were the best parents..........i will have to tell my baby of their warmth, and caring, and of how they would have no doubt adored her and spoiled her rotten.

They did leave us with so much - I have two amazing brothers, and we three form a very solid triangle, that this will not break - we need to fight for each other, they gave us stability, warmth, and a comfortable and secure childhood, I am so glad I appreciated it, and always told them what they were to me. I miss them to the point of a physical ache - it has been over a year since my mom died, but I still cry every day for her, for my dad, for a very rare and special relationship that they shared, but I realize one would be lost without the other - they could not exist alone - they were a team.

I will, one day, smile from the heart again, but the void they have left, seems insurmountable. I am so grateful for my husband - a mirror image of my dad, my baby and my brothers. My friends who supported, and loved me unconditionally. I just wish I could let myself feel again, but I am so scared - I am not through grieving yet, and I just wish this pain would go away.

My parents were not perfect, but they always did right by us ? and made us feel loved. I know what I have learned from this is to say how you feel, treasure love and friendship in whatever form you find it, and always take the time ? because it may not always be there.

Trisha Stefanou

No email address available
Anniversary date - 4-9-01 Mom 9
Date of post - 7-3-02

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