Segunda-feira, 6 de Dezembro de 2010
In Memoriam, Part 2

 26th June, 2010.


It was the most well kept secret.

Nobody told me anything. I still have no idea how they managed to endure this until the end. Instead, they began preparing me, slowly, for the inevitable truth.

I began suspecting something was wrong around May but they still kept the facts hidden. Even my coordinator learned the truth and vowed to not tell me a word during her trip to Trikala to see how we're doing. They didn't want to tell me because they knew I would either drop everything and return to Portugal, or lose what was left of my concentration and will to work on my dissertation without anybody to support me in that faraway land. 




I'm in the backseat while my mother is driving. An hour ago I was exiting the airplane that took me from Rome back to Portugal. My family brought me back home. And now I'm going somewhere else.

I think I already knew this would happen. In May I began doubting my family's words and I consulted with the folks from the IRC channel I occasionally visit. They told me this was, indeed, suspicious and considered the worst had probably happened. 

She stopped the car near the church. I looked around, making sure there was nobody in sight. I didn't want to be recognized, I didn't want to be bothered. I was going to visit someone, and I even had a flower to offer her.

The cemetery. No living soul in sight besides us. We went down the small street adorned with graves until the small little tomb. There are several of those distributed around the graveyard, built to keep an entire family's mortal remains.

My mother has a golden key with which she opened the glass door. The interior of the little tomb has seen better days and is decaying thanks to humidity. There are six coffins, three on the left, three on the right. Old candles decorate the marble floor.

My flower is used to decorate the one coffin sitting on the top of the left row. It's the latest coffin to make it to the tomb. 

After sharing a few words with me, my mother asks if I want to stay alone for a while. I said yes, and she left, leaving me alone inside the tomb with the past remains of ancients I never knew in my life. Except her.

They say she asked for me every day. She wanted me to return back to Portugal when I called my family almost crying after seeing the conditions of the apartment I was going to stay in for four months. She bugged my mother to not punish my cat. She wanted to make sure I would not starve or be forbidden of comfort while I was far away. She even asked if it was necessary to buy a new ring for my master degree like she did for my licentiate. 

The last time I saw her was through a webcam. She smiled and waved at me. I waved back. I was later told she praised God for the existence of such marvelous technology that allows us to see our dear ones while we're so far away. 


And then she departed on her own journey on the 29th of March, 2010.


I know. Neither this post nor the previous one are fitting for an academic platform where students post about their projects, not their lives. I apologize for that. But they say she was proud of me. They didn't tell me anything because of my dissertation. Because she would feel sad if she was to blame for delaying my projects. They knew I would stop everything to come back to my country. 

This is the least I can do. For you, for everyone who endured the pain while I was away.


Grandma, tomorrow, if the judges say so, I'll walk out of the building as a Master. 

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