Posted in family, Inspirations, life, Travel, Uncategorized, writing

Extra-Ordinary Love

I witnessed something a couple of weeks ago and have been thinking about it ever since.  While a parents love is unconditional, many of the things they do go unnoticed or unacknowledged .  I asked my brother if he’d mind me sharing a story about him and he agreed.  Thank goodness.

JJ’s road to recovery has been at a slow and steady pace.  A couple of weeks ago, he started having some pretty intense pain in his right hip.  Which happened to coincide with a visit from his two sons.  We knew it was going to be tough, especially since one of the boys was sick.  But, to him, a parent, it didn’t matter.  There was nothing that was going to stop him from seeing them.  So, one night after I got out of work, we headed out to meet their mom halfway.  I didn’t realize that the route lead us through the white mountains.

Every curve of the road, hill and bump made JJ exhale in pain.  And then, when we were at the highest elevation, the snow started and the wind began to strengthen.  I was a mess.  Trying to avoid divots in the road, while staying on it, in a new vehicle.  I’m not a huge fan a driving in bad weather, but when other people are with me, like JJ or the boys, it adds a whole other layer of worry.

When we made it to the meeting place, pure relief came over me.  I told JJ that we needed to find a different route home.  We went to greet the kids and it was clear that his oldest was not feeling well.  He had a terrible stomach ache.  I got them loaded up with the help of their mom and we were on the road to home.  With a different route all set it google maps.

Our trip home was even worse.  We drove in some of the worst conditions, on some of the worst roads I had ever been on.  This new route took us through a national forest, with steep inclines and declines, and black ice everywhere.  We really should have been more thorough in our search earlier.

So, this is where the love story comes into play.  Ten minutes into the trip we hear “Daddy, my tummy hurts, can you rub it?”  JJ had already been huffing and puffing from pain.  The toll the trip there took on JJ was immense.  You could see it on his face and how he moved.  So slowly, so cautiously.   I looked at him, and he started wiggling and maneuvering his body as best as he could to face the back seat, and rub his sons tummy.  And that’s how he sat for the entire 2 hour trip back.  He fought through the pain, nausea and discomfort, so he could comfort his little boy.

While this act may be nothing remarkable for any parent.  They will do anything for their kids.  It was something I was in awe of.  It was beautiful.  To witness a love like that is just something I wanted to share.

I don’t care much for country music, but this post is for my brother.

“I know you have mountains to climb, but always stay humble and kind”

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in blogging, family, Food, Inspirations, Interview, Maine, Recipe, Travel

Macedonians in Maine: An Interview

I met my husband, Krunoslav on Match.com.  He worked 7 days a week and I worked at a busy Irish Pub.  We both had odd schedules that didn’t afford either of us many opportunities to meet a potential girlfriend/boyfriend.  He sent the first message, I noticed his name was not an American one.  He said he was from Macedonia and that he liked soccer.  I made up a story about needing some info about soccer for something I was working on for the pub. And within only a couple of messages our first date was arranged.  It went well.  So well in fact, we met again the next night.  He watched “Glee” with me and I helped him deliver papers at midnight.  And as they say, the rest is history.

The first time I met his parents was when they made the long trip from Macedonia to Denver for our wedding. Their names spelled phonetically are Nikola and Kruno’s mom is Blageetsa. His mother speaks english “little bit” as she says.  She speaks it better than she thinks.  And his dad can say a few words.  It’s amazing what you can tell about someone without speaking.  Just by observing a single moment.  As I walked towards them coming out of the international arrivals gate, I knew that they were lovely people.

Well, the In-Laws have arrived for another visit.  We have been looking forward to it for months.  For the last few days I have been thinking about what to post.  And this morning it came to me.  An interview with my in-laws.  I wasn’t sure how the request was going to translate.  But, they agreed and thanks so my wonderful husband and his translation services, it went very well.

Q: How did you meet?

B: We met at a party at a restaurant.  We were introduced by friends.

Q: Do you remember your first date?

N: Not the specifics, but it lasted awhile.  It was the next day after the party and we had our first kiss.

Q:What is Skopje, Macedonia like?

N: It’s very historical (dates back to 4000 b.c.) . Similar to the Old Port portion of Portland.  Our house is in the Suburbs of the capital, Skopje. It’s a very tight-knit community.  Learn more about Skopje, Macedonia Here.

Q: What are some customs or traditions of Macedonia during the holidays?

B: On Christmas Eve (usually on or around January 7th as they use the orthodox calendar), we make a loaf a bread and put a coin in it.  When we sit down to dinner we each take a piece, and also have a piece for family afar and Jesus.  Whoever gets the piece with the coin, it will be their lucky year.  For us Christmas isn’t about presents, it’s about family and emphasis is on the meal with family.  On August 2nd, we celebrate our Independence from Turkey. It’s like your 4th of July.

Q: What is the biggest difference between your country and the US?

B & N: How friendly people are here.  Whenever you go into a shop or store.  People greet you.  They say “hello” and “how are you”.  People don’t do that in Skopje.  The other thing, is that people seem so busy here.  We work either the same or more hours per week back home, but aren’t always in a hurry.  We have time to spend with family and friends.  Back home, families only have 1 car.  Here, everyone has a car to get where they need to go quickly.

Q: What is your favorite thing about Macedonia?

N:  Family.  Not just the family as in people but the sense of family and community.  Kruno added – Our country was recently in a way.  It went though a very hard time and what got people through that, was family.  It’s very important there.

What is the hardest part of international travel?

B: Being bored on the long flight.

N: Blageetsa being bored on the flight.  She kept getting up and moving around.

~ They did add, that being in the last row was nice.  It seemed a little less cramped then the other flight.  I asked if they minded the long wait to disembark the plane.  They both agreed that it wasn’t a big deal.  They are far more patient than I.

What has been your favorite thing you’ve eaten while in the US?

B:  Yummy Chicken (A family recipe of mine, find it here)


 

It’s interesting how a short visit with someone can give you so much perspective.  How different families and different cultures go through life.  I always thought that my family was an affectionate group.  We pale in comparison.  The love my in-laws have to give is immeasurable.  When they said during the interview how important family is, it was an understatement.  They love with their whole hearts, their whole being.  I can’t count how many times I’ve been told “I love you” Or “Kristinia (kruno’s sister) says she loves you”. And it’s not just me.  It’s to all members of my family, and friends.  People they have only met one, maybe two times.  Their second day here, they asked to go see my brother in the hospital.  They talk about him everynight.  They’ll ask how he is doing today, if I’ve talked to him. They’ll tell me how much they love him and that they pray for him. They share memories of their first trip here and the people they met.  How our friends are lovely people, and how nice they were, how much love they have for them because they are our friends. The language barrier is tricky to navigate, but when sharing a feeling they are able to communicate with ease.

I knew it the first time I met them and I know it now.  They are some of the most kind, generous and loving people I have ever met.  And I am so very lucky to have the Petrov family as my in-laws.  I couldn’t have asked for better.

 

 

 

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The Petrov’s First Thanksgiving!