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Deconstructing Ellas, Deconstructing Bloodlines

Discovered two quotes that brought into focus, what I have been struggling with since Mama’s passing last November. How is it that now that Mama is gone that I feel disconnected from being Greek? My DNA remains the same but the intangible connection to my extended family - especially family that lives overseas or across Canada - has weakened. With Mama gone, the phone has stopped ringing and the only Greek I hear is at Church on Sunday or on the CD’s we brought home with us from our trip last May.

Something to think about as I revise the chapters that deal with Magda’s physical journey to Greece.

I was family. But I was more than that. I was family from across the ocean. I was stranger family. I was unGreek family. In me, to them, lay mysteries covered over by my silence. I was as mysterious as an idiot or as a child before he can speak.

- Daphne Atlas, Greece by Prejudice

The only Greece I could believe in was the Greece I knew. Greece was downstairs in our house in Rye, as I sat by the banister on the second floor, watching the people in our living room, listening to their babel of words and laughter. Greece was downstairs on a Sunday night, while upstairs in America, I answered questions in my workbook before going to bed.

- Elias Kulukundis, The Feasts of Memory: A Journey to a Greek Island

As with many writers of the diaspora, my understanding of Greece comes from excavating and recreating my family’s past.

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Tho I'm not Greek, I can totally relate to this post. It really SPOKE to me. And granted my grandmother was second or third generation Irish-American, she and her parents and grandparents were born here, I felt Irish when I was with her. And now that she's gone, that connection is gone, too.

Additionally, my grandmother was the glue which kept all the connections together, distant relatives and cousins would visit her, reunions would be organized... and once she died, and her last sibling alive passed a few short years later, the nucleus of our universe as a family was gone.

I have found, though, through the internet, it is easy/easier to maintain the connections you already have (via email, photo blogs, etc), it isn't the same.

My heart goes out to you regarding this. We're not alone.

When my aunt died, there is something in the connection with my family and hers that change... The link that was always there was not strong like before... I understand you.

It's amazing, isn't it, how someone else's observations can suddenly make something click inside us? I think that's one of the reason I love reading so much.

I am happy these quotes have given you some perspective. I know what it is like when the phone stops ringing because the person who connected you with the rest of your family is gone. It is very difficult. Thanks for sharing.

Beautiful entry . . .romantic and poignant and all I can do is sigh! =)