There will be a 40 days Memorial Service at St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Hall immediately after Sunday mass on 4th October 2020. All welcome to attend.
Posted by Peter Caras 04/09/2020
Mum’s eulogies 010920
Her cooking and going there on Tuesday nights for dinner. She would always tell you how long it took and how much effort involved in making it!
The Hollywood style dressing room mirror in the bathroom with the lights around it. Classic.
The formal lounge room no one could use.
Her hidden stash of cash under the dining table cloth.
The massive pumpkins she used to grow off the vine.
Her payment plans with customers for the doillies.
Getting dropped off at her summer hill shop and watching days of our lives and bold and the beautiful from behind the counter. And having to pee in the bucket out the back.
Having sleep overs with yiayia, drinking hot milk with honey and her letting one go under the sheets (regularly) oops Ellet!
Getting bribed for church by offering McDonalds breakfast post mass.
Granddaughters Amy and Alena
From: Amelia Caras
Sent: Sunday, 30 August 2020 11:09 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: From Alena and I
Dear Yiayia, here are a few things you taught us. You taught us to never leave the house without making the bed.
You taught us to “clean the corners” of the home because it shows discipline — and we appreciated your weekly inspections and feedback!
You taught us to look after our possessions, as they were a reflection of hard work and pride. You taught us the value of money and the importance of saving, as one day we would have enough to buy a house.
You also taught us to hide our money, and where to secretly keep it around the house! You taught us to be well presented and polished, because “if you look good, you feel good.”
You taught us to “never kiss boys on a wall” but if he was good looking, to put on our best dress and lipstick and to go on a date!
You taught us many things, but most importantly, you taught us how to be strong, resilient and independent.
You showed us the importance of family, to love each other as we are sisters and to forgive each other when we fight.
You showed us how to enjoy life, to do things that make us smile, like going to the club as you did with your sister, hiding when the person you called to collect you arrives (because you were never ready to leave!)
You showed us the importance of making friends, so that we’ll always have a seat on the RSL bus so we can get home!
You showed us what orthodoxy means, the importance of fasting, going to church and asking for forgiveness.
And most of all, you taught us that a strong lady holds her own — no matter how tough things might get.
We love you so much and we promise to be as you taught us, hard working, successful, caring, and cheeky!
I don’t recall any lessons from mum. But maybe the lessons for me from her were always coming. I do recall that she led by example.
Her cooking – traditional Greek but not like any other. It had her stamp that was truelly original in both look and taste. And when it was good (which was most of the time) it was great.
Her energy. Her vibrancy.
She was a very social and friendly person. She loved life and the people in it. She had many friends because she was a compassionate person, but still a lonely person. She never knew anything but a hard life. So when it came to party, it was Mum dancing on the tables. Before anyone else and long after they had given up. Unstoppable. What life she had.
Her fierce independence.
Mum was a handful.
She never stopped. She worked day and night. 2,3,4 jobs all in one day! Sewing aprons early in the morning and very late at night. Before and after her ETA factory food processing work, selling clothing and Manchester whilst at work, then café work at night. Going from one job to another. All of which were very demanding.
I used to say 2 things about Mum. Firstly ‘that she was best loved from a distance.’ (Like Icarus, get too close at your own peril). She burned a brilliant light.
Secondly whenever she complained too much of ill health in any way as if it was going to kill her, I used to tell her that she doesn’t need to worry about it. She’s not going to die, she has plenty of time left in her life. Only the good die young! Boy would she get huffy when I would say that. A good tease. Always fun to watch Mum jump on any tease.
Teasing her about the way she pronounced gobernment (govt) and morgtage (mortgage)
A devout Christian. Attended church every Sunday and all the major Christian occasions at other times.
She loved her mother immensely. It was her wish to be buried with her mother.
She loved life and was full of life.
An extraordinarily high achiever not only considering the era in which she lived as a woman and the inequalities placed on women that she had to endure at that time, but also in the adverse conditions she was forced to live in the make those achievements. It was tough going but she never gave up.
A woman who also endured great hardship in her early life. The war years in Greece. Near starvation from little or no food, virtually no education which she had to contend with and was subsequently disadvantaged by then for rest of her life. The reliance on only her mother whilst her father was separated from her in Panama trying to make a living for them all, during those hard war years. She was but a child.
Her ingenious creativity with crafts. The intricate cushions, the colourful stylish aprons , the Jenny Kee style jumper knitting way before that woman’s time. She made them all. To give, to keep, to sell.
Her Gregarious nature. She made friends easy.
Her unwritten unsaid mantra of ‘Just Do It’. She always got it done. Even if I was doing it many a time. Her trust in me for the things she could not understand because of her limited education, that same trust in me to do the things she had no time for. I was but a child for much of this. It was never made a song and dance of. Just Do It. Get it done. Her ‘what’s next attitude.’
A slice of life in her death. (Myself in conversation with Divinity Funeral Directors.) “Thanks for the update. It is nice to hear that mum is resting peacefully, because none of the rest of the family is. Right now she has the rest of us in a dither. She is in death as she could be life.”
Her beautiful smile. From the heart. A lot of heart for that and for the strength that was needed to overcome any obstacle set to her path. She showed a lot of character. A gentle but also tough woman. She had to be.
Even in the most serious of extraordinary ill health she defied medical diagnosis and the prognosis. Till she could no more.
And in the last years of her life, stricken with dementia and Alzheimer’s and confused so much because of it, some things still remained. She loved her garden. Both vegetable, specimen and ornamental. With all our walks she was constantly picking flowers from people’s garden. She loved the beauty of nature.
Like no other person, yet like every other person. Nobody particularly special, but a very special person in her own right.
24/2/1934 - 27/8/2020
God bless you. Now you can rest in peace.
Posted by Peter Caras 03/09/2020
For many, a funeral is a ritual of loss and connection where we remember our loved ones who have passed and comfort the living. The corona-virus outbreak has altered that ritual and changed the way we say goodbye: the loss remains, the connections change.
The new relaxing of restrictions allows 100 mourners inside the church as long as social distancing rules are followed.
Following the burial, a family photo tribute as well as the service will be able to view from the link also.
Posted by Denne Cruz 31/08/2020