Hours after posting my lament about the invisibility of the elderly here on The Henry Chronicles, I was moved by this Facebook post, shared by my friend Nada Stojadinovic:
A few weeks ago, I had the blessing of participating in one of my most proud moments as a granddaughter. Many of you know that my sweet Baba Boja is in a nursing home. Every Friday, residents have the opportunity to showcase something about themselves, so their friends can have a glimpse of the life they once led. To help my Baba do this – my mom worked day and night for weeks to create the most beautiful display honoring her life, and showcasing her incredible skills and achievements. My sis Dana and I were there to see her proudly sitting next to her display to show everyone, “this is who I was.” My nephew, Ilija, was there too – who is named after my grandfather, Djedo Ilija. Baba Boja was over the moon.
My Baba’s quiet, sweet exterior doesn’t even come close to illustrating her tough-as-nails interior. She is a lady who wouldn’t hurt a fly, but on the flip side, was part of the world’s Greatest Generation, where she faced evil in WWII. She came to the U.S. and was determined to have a beautiful life, and the display my mom created proved that she achieved the American dream. She has taught me lessons about perseverance, kindness and work ethic that I will never forget. While I know she feels so blessed to have seen so many great-grandchildren born, it has actually been our blessing that she is our grandmother. For without her, all of our family memories would not be possible. I love you Baba Boja – thank you for all that you’ve done for all of your family over a lifetime, and continue to do, even at 89.