I had a very eccentric, strong grandmother who walked from Antwerp to Lisbon with her entire family. They took the first boat
they could get on and went to Brazil, they made a life there.
Once I visited her there. I remembered her as an opinionated slightly harsh woman, my cousin was a lawyer, she took care of her. They had a nice life, at some point my grandmother was placed into an assisted living situation; her best friend had just died. When I arrived, first she looked at me, asked me what I do, teach I reply “ah teach… you are not wearing rings why not wear many rings, this is foolish… Instead of replying I asked her to tell me about her friend.
What else can you expect she was polish; she took care of her children, that was the shape of her life. Her husband was a thinker,
They had 8 children, each stupider to the other, except for your father, he helped me. My husband was wise and handsome she would say..
A little while ago I met the American consul in Rio, “I’ tell you a story” he said, “about an old woman who refused to live in a country whose poetry she did not know, so she studied Portuguese to be able to read Brazilian poems.It was of course my grandmother.