This week's Finish the Sentence Friday prompt is "If I could go back and do something over it would be..."
There is probably at least a handful of things I would do differently if given the chance, but the one that I think about all the time is, in fact, time … time I could/should have spent with my maternal grandmother.
My grandfather passed away when I was 13, and my grandmother lived on her own for a while after that, but there came a time when she finally moved in with us, and I seriously regret not spending more time with her – for a LOT of reasons.
Back then, I pretty much did whatever I could to not be home, but that's really no excuse, since I could have taken her out with me if I thought of it. It just never occurred to me. There are so many things I would want to ask her about her childhood and her family, about her memories of living in Armenia, her early relationship with my grandfather (I've heard it was an arranged marriage, but I'm not quite sure.), and her love for the theatre that we shared but I never knew about until she was gone.
As meek and gentle a soul as she was, it still amazes me that she even managed to survive the genocide in Armenia and the passing of her father at such a young age (his death was through illness, not related - just bad timing), to then be separated from her family and placed in an orphanage until she could be reunited with family again and relocate to the U.S., only to then lose her mother as well. Just a blink away were the Great Depression and WWII … Maybe that was all training her for the wicked witch of a mother-in-law she was about to be saddled with. As much as I loved my grandfather, I was petrified of his mother! His father must have been the joker in the family, because my grandfather was a big goofball with a touch of a nasty streak. He definitely got that streak from her, so I'm guessing his infectious smile, boyish charm, and mischievous nature were inherited from his Dad.
I would give anything for one more day with my grandmother. Just to spend time in her presence would be enough, but it would be even more special if we spent the day in the kitchen together since we really never did that. By the time I developed much of an interest in cooking/baking, she was already gone. It would be especially helpful to have that one day in the kitchen with her so I could get her to translate her recipes into English!! I have two notebooks she wrote recipes in, but some are in English, others in Armenian, and some appear to have a little French thrown in for good measure. I know a bunch of people who speak Armenian, but not read it, and it's especially difficult to read someone else's handwriting in another language. Then there are all those recipes she had in her head that were never written down at all.
If I couldn't go back for a do-over to spend the time with my grandmother that I should have when I had the opportunity, the other thing I would turn back to is a friend's wedding. The reason that came up was that I was baking a tray of Almond-Chocolate-Toffee Paklava yesterday for a bridal shower tomorrow, and the Paklava reminded me of that wedding. In addition to the desserts that were to be provided at the venue, the bride (Armenian) had asked that I bake Paklava for the occasion, so there could be a platter on every table. Well, one thing lead to another, and we were so involved with pre-wedding errands (I was the maid of honor) that we were up until oh, I think it was 5 am on the morning of the wedding day baking tray after tray after tray. Finally done, we sent someone to deliver it to the venue. So what happened?? They refrigerated it! All that work, and it basically turned to cement. But for the fact that most of the people there were Armenian and know good Paklava when they eat it, we might have tried to thaw it out and pass it off, but there was no way. I could definitely use a do-over for that one!
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