Our Girls

June 18, 2012

Gracious Living Day by DayA few weeks ago my daughter Nena, sister Branka and I went to pick up Branka’s daughter Nicole from college. On the way back, we stopped at our cottage on Lake Michigan and spent a few lazy days together. Just the four of us girls.

The weather was bad. It was unseasonably cold and it rained endlessly, the kind of tenacious, November rain that shows no intention of ever ceasing. We tried to take walks along the shore, but the rain pelted us and the wind harassed us. Our feet got wet and cold.

Most of the time we stayed indoors, read, cooked and talked. We watched movies (Liar, Liar for the millionth time, if you haven’t seen it, then you must.)

And talked some more.

And I was struck again (as though I didn’t know it already!) at how different Branka and I are. And how similar each daughter is to her own mother and different from each other.

Nena and Nikki Nena and Nikki

Start with the looks. Branka and Nikki have very fair, rosy skin, hazel eyes and thick chestnut hair. They have the look of Europe about them, while Nena and I carry traces of Asia in our olive skin, large black eyes and black hair.

Branka and I Branka and I

And then there are our personalities. Branka and Nikki are talkative, extrovert, outgoing, fun loving. Nena and I are mostly quiet, subdued, introspective and shy.

Most mornings Nena and I woke up early and spent hours huddled under a warm blanket on the front porch, sipping coffee and reading. Hardly a word passed between us. We were blissfully contented sitting close to each other while enclosed in our separate worlds.

The moment Branka and Nikki woke up the atmosphere changed. Both craved human contact and exchange of information as though they had returned from long, far away journeys. They pealed with laughter while discussing each other’s dreams. Their need to share their thoughts and feelings with each other and with us was so great, that no force of nature could stand in the way.

Nena and I put our books away and joined in the conversation. We too had dreams to narrate, stories to tell. And those two energized us and filled us with fun and mischief. They made us laugh.

We knew we’d have plenty of time to read quietly again the following morning. Lucky for us, both Branka and Nikki love to sleep late.

Today is Nena’s birthday. I wish her all the love, beauty, happiness and courage that this world has to offer. Happy birthday, dear angel!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jelena June 19, 2012 at 8:24 am

A lovely post. I’m so glad you had that time together. And, yes, all FOUR of you are very different, but also the same in important ways. What a priviledge to be able to watch our young ladies evolve over the years into the beautiful individuals they are. And how fascinating when we older folk manage to surprise earch other by revealing something new about ourselves.


Liliana June 19, 2012 at 8:36 am

You’ve been there every step of the way!


Loi Thai June 18, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Wishing Nena a Wonderful Birthday!! Your time together at the lake cottage sounds very relaxing and lovely. Sorry the weather was bad ๐Ÿ™ But, you had each other and that is special. I will rent Liar, Liar and, think you you, Liliana ๐Ÿ™‚


Liliana June 18, 2012 at 8:29 pm

The movie will make you laugh, Loi.

Once, when my kids were young we drove to St. Louis from Michigan to visit family. They watched Liar, Liar the entire trip – there and back. Alas, for better or worse, every sentence was engraved in their brains.

We joke that our oldest son Mike (who bears a remarkable resemblance to Jim Carey) decided to go to law school as a result of his love for this movie. Fortunately Mike is going into international and not personal injury law!


Loi Thai June 19, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Ok, don’t tell me anymore. I will rent it soon, and report back ๐Ÿ™‚


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