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To The Greatest Woman Who Ever Lived

One day in therapy I was discussing with my therapist who I wanted to be. And then to my dismay I suddenly burst out crying, a rarity for me. In that moment I realized who I wanted to be, and felt the weight of all the emotion behind it. Who I wanted to be was someone who I had known once, a long time ago.


When I was a young child there was a woman who lived down the street. Her name was Anna, she was from Argentina. She had expressed interest in babysitting me while my parents were at work. From my earliest memories Anna was already well into her fifties, yet seemed much younger, she had a elegant beauty about her. She had cropped curly brown hair, green eyes, and wore long, flowing skirts. I spent a lot of time at Anna's house. I don't remember this, but my mother tells me I could count to ten in spanish before I could in english. Anna introduced me to a world that was radically different than my homelife; a safe environment where I could just be. Her english wasn't great, though she communicated very well. But that was Anna. She did everything well, and thoughtfully, and beautifully. Her house was decorated with incredible oil paintings she did herself. She could sing, play the piano and accordion, knit and crochet, and her cooking.... She didn't own a microwave which was unfathomable to me at the time. We made homemade empanadas from scratch, to this day I have never had anything so delicious. She was incredibly kind and smart. She was my babysitter, but that seems too informal, she was really more like a nanny with all the time I spent at her house, for years... until I grew into a hormonal, angsty, pre-teen brat.

When I was around twenty-three, and my angsty days were behind me, my mother called me to let me know Anna was in the hospital dying, and would I want to go visit her. We went to the hospital where we were met by Anna's adult children. We gathered around Anna, sleeping peacefully in the hospital bed. As we talked to eachother, Anna woke up, and looked around at her children. She looked a little medicated. I was doubtful she would know who I was, she was a little out of it and hadn't seen me in over a decade. But when her eyes fell on me, her sweet face contorted with emotion and she began quietly weeping. I took her hand and burst into tears too, and she fell back asleep.

That was the last time I saw her. But I will never forget her, in fact, now I love her more than ever because only through experiencing all the half-assed mediocre people and the underwhelming disappointments of life have I realized what a rare and precious gem Anna was. Her children too were incredibly wonderful. Her son, much to my surprise at her funeral, was sporting a nearly identical tattoo to mine in the same place on his arm. (I was delighted by this). Her daughter named her own daughter after me. Theyre great people raised by an amazing person.

Anna is who I strive to be... now and when I get older. I have struggled with this, with my desire for perfection. Women are so pressured to excel in their careers, the value of being domestic is undervalued and lost. But her life was beautifully simple, and I yearn for that. I like Anna, strive to do even the littlest things beautifully and thoughtfully. She has left a huge mark on me, and for the rest of my life I will carry with me Anna's spirit.
EpoxyMonoxide EpoxyMonoxide 26-30, F 14 Responses Nov 18, 2011

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Lovely story. We must certainly treasure those around us and remember the experiences they've shared. Seems that's among the most important parts of this life.

This is beautiful.

Your appreciation for kindness is most encourtaging. You will do well, Miss Epoxy. Epoxy? Rather sticky, eh?

Beautifully observed.

I envy you. To have personally known someone who could inspire you like that. That is a privilege. She sounds like she was quite a lady. That you have the wit to recognise what made her great gives you a good shot at developing those qualities yourself. Role models are something that was missing from my life and I am keenly aware of what profound and lasting impact someone like this can have.

What an inspiration to have in your life! I hope one day you can see Anna in yourself and feel proud.... angels are a bit thin on the ground xxx

This is a touching story, thank you for sharing it. Its hard to look back at wasted time lost with someone. Stay strong and be true to yourself and your beliefs.

I agree with Blu.......to have had someone in your life to inspire you to be a better person is a wonderful gift. To use that gift and give to others is a wonderful tribute to your friend.

this is so beautifully written and incredibly moving. thank you for imparting a little bit of that love to those of us who were lucky enough to bump into this beautiful dedication. i hope Anna's presence stays with you and that you become all you want to be.

I love your story. It is so great that you got to appreciate the wonderful woman she was.

Thank you for writing this. It reminded me of someone special to me. Your story will inspire everyone to be special for others.

Thanks, Halbert. It was only recently that I learned that I really have to appreciate the people in my life. Maybe I'm learning this a little late, but I am so glad I know now :)

Maybe later than you wished, but never too late.

Thanks for sharing this moment in your life....your replies are so genuine. : )

Wow, wonderful story! You write very well! I'm glad so glad that you were lucky enough to have her in your life, and she you! Beautiful!

thanks! I really was lucky to have her. There are a lot of really good people out there, and it's my new goal to let them know how I feel :)

What a wonderful and touching story. You're a very talented writer Epoxy. :-)

awww, thank you Nigel :D

You're quite welcome. It's actually Perry. Nigel was my beloved Russian Blue cat. :-)

hmph! woo hoo Anna!