Living in the united states we gain a large sense of diversity and different cultures all come into one community. However, when we are submerged into another society we learn the much about the rich cultural traditions and the historical values of different countries. I was fortunate enough to experience an amazing country and all it had to offer when presented with a fantastic yet bittersweet oppurtunity.
My mother is a nurse for terminally ill patients, and one of her patients was a young girl with lukiemia, named Irena, whose father was the police cheif in Athens greece. Over the months that my mother cared for her, our families became very close, we also shared an ethnic background because we were greek as well. When Irena passed away in 2005, the family wanted to go back to greece for the funeral, and asked me and my family to come with them to bury Irena, and spend the summer with them. We accepted the once in a life time oppurtunity to say goodbye to Irena an experience the place of our ancestors.
Although seeing the many tourist spots of greece was eye-opening and a very grand sight, the greatest sight that i have seen was at the cemetary. During a very sad and emotional service, we followed the greek tradition, Irena was burried in a convent cemetary on a hill in a small town off of Athens. A giant white cross illuminated the cemetary and white grave stones spotted the hillside. The green ground covered in a light misty dew, as if to cry for the loss of our loved one along with us. Looking down onto Athens, i had never before seen such a sight. And through the next months, Irena’s family showed me all the parts of greece that she loved and cherished. I learned so much from Irena’s home, and although the loss of a friend is something extremely difficult to handle, I beleive through greece, and through my experiences there, Irena’s heart and soul will permanently be imprinted into my memories.
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