Friday, September 16, 2011

Thomai and Zisis are back!

Tuesday, 06 September

They had gone to their village for a week to attend a wedding or something, but now they are back and we stopped in to see them this evening. Zisis, our building’s Mostly Wise and Nearly Fearless Leader, was gone to some meeting, but Thomai was there.

Their daughter, Aspasia, is getting married in November to a man in Constantinople. He works there, in the Patriarchate if I’ve understood correctly, and she works here, so unfortunately it will be a commuter marriage for the time being, jobs being so scarce.

Thomai quickly brought the subject around to Christos. She of course already knew about the rift between Christos and Demetrios, but she wanted to hear Demetrios’ side of it. She was simply concerned, because, as she put it, “I realize you’re in the right, but he is your brother, after all.” Then she added, “And he’s going to die, Demetri, he has gotten much worse and he’s going to die.”

But Demetrios simply doesn’t know what else to do. Although he knows he’s in the right, he has already asked forgiveness several times, by phone and by letter, and is unwilling to subject himself to any more of the recriminations he has received so far in response. “And if he dies when I’m not here,” he said, “I won’t be at the funeral.” Shrug. That’s not as terrible as it sounds (though terrible enough), because funerals in Greece are held within 24 hours or so of the death. As bodies are not embalmed, they are buried with all due haste. It would be difficult or impossible to get to a Greek funeral from abroad within the short time.

Christos is Thomai’s favorite subject with us; always has been. She has, of course, long since forgiven him for all her own grievances with him, but that doesn’t stop her from describing them in some detail.

Her priest recently told her never mind trying to make up with him as long as she still loves him, so the last time she saw him, she said, “Come here!” in a voice that commanded obedience, and when he approached, she threw her arms around him in her ample embrace, gave him a peck on the cheek, and said, “There!” One can only imagine how startled, not to say perplexed, Christos must have been.

Anyway, after half an hour or so of this subject, Thomai apologized for bringing up painful stuff; it’s just that she’s concerned; having known them all these many years, she feels like their sister. Let’s talk about something else now, she suggested.

We love her, and upon leaving, we assured her of that.