Bosnia and Herzegovina

18 | book and stamp collector | slavic

ɴᴏᴡ ᴘʟᴀʏɪɴɢ

[ dean - nonsense ]

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Message to Readers

This is the first time in a while that I tried writing in English. I wrote this in a pretty distressed state since the subject is very personal so I am afraid that I made some mistakes. If you have any advice/criticism please review this work!

You smelled of cakes and home

November 8, 2020

Dear grandma,

I must be the worst correspondent in the world. It has been almost five years since we talked to each other. My conscience burns because I do not visit often and I am sorry about that. The gloomy atmosphere of the graveyard makes my stomach turn so I hope you understand. I wish we could replace tombstones with trees instead. They would represent your new life much better than a lifeless stone. 

Mum recently talked about how much you enjoyed school and how you wished you could continue with your education. Now it makes sense how you jokingly nagged me about going to university when I was a child. I wish you talked to me about that before. If I knew, I would bring books to your house more often so we could read and learn together. I am still studying well. I am not exactly sure where the academic path will take me, but it is worth taking that risk. Maybe I will end up studying medicine as you wished. 

I also started baking and cooking by myself. I remember sitting at your round dining table and watching you prepare lunch in the kitchen. I cannot count on the fingers of both fingers and even my toes how many times you offered to teach me how to prepare some dishes. I always declined because I thought I had time to learn, but I was obviously wrong. A few months ago I made baklava and it took me ages to get it right. I wonder if you made it the same way mum and I do. 

I saw you for the last time in a shopping centre after school. I ran into you and you asked if I wanted to go home with you and grandpa. When you told me I would have to wait for a few hours, I decided to go home on a bus instead, since you were already supposed to have dinner with us in two days. I wish I took your offer. The next day you were feeling sick and the doctors said it will all be okay and that you should rest at home. It was not okay. 

When grandpa visited while you were at the hospital, he said the same thing. I was laying on my younger brother’s bed. I squeezed his stuffed animals as much as I could so I would not cry. They squeezed my ribs even tighter back and I cried into the pillow. My face was sticky and baby hairs stuck to my forehead while I listened to conversations in the living room.

I did not cry nearly as much during the funeral. I tried to be strong for mum, for grandpa. There were so many people there grandma. They shook my hand and said their condolences while I blankly stared at their faces. I do not remember much from that day. They asked if I wanted to see your face for the last time and I said no because I was scared. Scared that you would look lifeless even though you were. Mum said you looked beautiful. I regret not saying goodbye to you properly. 

I am starting to forget grandma. I no longer see you when I think about you. It is blurry and I barely see the lines of your face. I only see your kind eyes and I am terrified that I will forget them too. Even the photographs do not help anymore. The moment I avert my eyes, your face vanishes from my memory. 

I am so scared grandma. I am scared of the future, death, strangers, and everything unknown. I wish I was still six and I wish I could come to your house and just watch you go about your day. I wish I could see your worn soft hands prepare the ingredients for dinner and how effortlessly you took care of the house. You always smelled of cakes and home and I never knew how to appreciate the present. 

Lately, I hope you forgive me. These words were supposed to be said years ago. I suppose it was always easier for me to run away from confrontation. 

I send all of my love to you,
Your granddaughter.
baklava - traditional sweet dessert made of layers of thin pastry with nuts and syrup


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  • sci-Fi

    heart wrenchingly beautiful.

    5 months ago
  • symphonyrain0812

    This piece is absolutely beautiful and really touches you. Your style is so refined and the emotions genuinely just fly out. Good luck :)

    5 months ago
  • Anlee

    wonderful job with this letter! your writing style is beautiful and this piece really presents your conflicting emotions.
    1. Instead of" I cannot count on the fingers of both fingers and even my toes" I would rephrase it to "I cannot count with my fingers and my toes."
    2. Instead of "It is blurry and I barely see the lines of your face. I only see your kind eyes" I would suggest you to rewrite it as "My memory of you is blurry and I can barely see the lines of your face. I only remember your kind eyes"

    5 months ago
  • birthdaycandles

    so touching and heartwarming <3 good luck in the comp!

    5 months ago
  • asimic

    Thanks everyone for commenting! Your compliments made me feel so happy (:

    5 months ago
  • Dmoral

    this, i LOVED

    5 months ago
  • sunny.v

    lovely work. this is so personal and poignant, and for a first time writing in English, it’s so neat and polished. i’ll definitely give this a reread. welcome to wtw! i’m sunny, and if you ever need anything, don’t be afraid to come to me and ask! :) glad to have your talent here

    5 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    I feel weird just repeating how wonderful this is, but it just is. Oh, and I got super excited about the baklava lol bc my mom is from Israel. If you need any help with the site, feel free to comment on one of my pieces. <3

    5 months ago
  • outoftheblue

    this is just so poetic and personal and really heart-felt. if this is your first time writing in english- this is so well done, honestly. the flow is seamless and incredible.
    i can't wait to see what you write next. <3

    5 months ago
  • purplepanache

    oh, isn't this simply beautiful. so quiet, so subtle-i love the absence of jarring emotion, especially with a theme like this- but moving and painful still. it touches me that you have chosen to write out your sorrow, and i am sincerely sorry for your loss. can't wait to read more of your writing.

    5 months ago
  • Liu Zirong

    Omg this piece is so moving. I love how you portrayed deep and subtle feelings through pretty straightforward words. Sorry for your loss, and I hope writing this out can make you feel better.

    5 months ago
  • inanutshell

    this is absolutely incredible! if you hadnt said i would've never known this is your first time in a while writing in English, this flows so naturally. i can feel the love you have for your grandmother, it shines through in this piece. it's honest, heartbreaking, and poignant. my condolences for your loss, and all the best w the comp.

    5 months ago
  • happy butterfly

    Such a beautiful piece.Its so sweet but as the lovely Vinter said "painted gentle sadness".Its heartbreaking but in a delicate way.Well done.
    And welcome to wtw darling! If you ever need help,don't be shy to come say hello<3

    5 months ago
  • Deleted User

    Oh you did so well. I know full well how hard it can be to write in English, and when I first started here, my writing was so much simpler than it is right now, due to me not writing in English for some time too. This is so sweet, and sad, and I love the gentle sadness you paint here. So sorry for your loss xx.

    5 months ago