I'm sure you've heard people say "I'll always be with you" when saying their last goodbyes. You know, I had never understood what they meant and how that was possible. For me it was simply like that: we were either here or we weren't. Until my Grandma passed away. Her death was so final, so irrevocable that there was nothing to be done. She was gone and that was that. That absence has left a hole in my soul that cannot be filled.
As the time passed, I missed her more and more. Now, you need to understand that I had gotten used to not seeing her every week long before she left us, but we met every two years or so and kept in touch on the phone all the time. I can still recall how the tone of her voice changed from a tentative "Prosim?" to a loving and excited "Dianko!" once she realized it was me calling. It felt as if a warm wave was flooding me just by hearing that one word, my name uttered by her. She was always so glad to hear me!
But after she passed away, my life has never been the same. Whenever I do something that does not require my conscious attention, that is when I'm not doing something at work or with my boys, my mind and my soul are in my village, in her house, in the past when I was growing up, when she was alive, when she created all that my village and that house meant for me. When I take a mixer into my hand to beat a batter for some cake, or when I peel potatoes or roast chicken legs, it feels like every such action is permeated by my memory of all these things done there and with her. It's as if I was doing it in the past somehow.
When I think about my village now, when I walk the fields and the roads in my mind, it's not the same village anymore. Without her, all is gone for me. She was the anchor, she was my village.