Thursday, March 29, 2018

Meeting a neighbour

I went to a shopping centre when somebody called my name and greeted me very warmly. It was my neighbour, fifteen years older then me, she is a cleaning lady there. I don't know her well, so I didn't know where she worked.

We started to chat and somewhere in the middle of conversation I asked her how are her granddaughters.  When we moved in -  fifteen years ago - I saw her very often with two little girls so I assumed they were her granddaughters.

When I asked her, her eyes became wet and told me that she didn't have any children because she couldn't have them. The girls are her husband's niece's daughters.

I apologized to her for my question. I added that I also couldn't have children.

It was as if she had been waiting all life for someone who would understand her pain, so she started to tell me all the story.

I was sad for her pain. You see, it was even much harder for her to survive the infertility as for me. In her times, most of women had children much younger which means it was more likely that they could have them. And she suffered infertility without being able to connect on internet with women who would understand her.

She told me that the two little girls loved them so much when they were little. They were always buying them the most expensive gifts, whatever they wished for. Now they are teenagers so they never come. Except when the uncle and aunt invite them for a shopping trip.

It is another confirmation for me that I want to remain auntie who never buys material things. I am auntie who takes kids for fun activities.  My latest activity with them is inviting them twice per month to my home to learn German. Main tool of learning: watching cartoons in German & listening to songs on youtube. I enjoy it a lot. 


  1. Dear Klara, this story really touched me. After all these years this woman finally found someone who understood. Since you are neighbours, she now knows that she has someone like her not far away. This can mean a lot when you have felt lonely in that grief.
    I am sure you are the perfect auntie. When I grow up I want to be like you :-).

  2. "It was as if she had been waiting all life for someone who would understand her pain ..." That is probably the truth. I'm glad you were there for here to listen. I hope the children will appreciate them again when they become adults.

  3. I am so glad that your neighbor now knows that she knows someone who understands her pain without explanation.

    And her husband's niece's daughters growing up and moving on without maintaining a relationship with her and her husband is exactly why I get so annoyed and frustrated when people suggest to infertile people to just get involved with other people's children. No, it doesn't work that way. I have had enough loss in my life. I don't need to get emotionally invested in someone else's kid when I am not going to get to remain in their life. It's too painful to love, spoil, and cultivate a relationship with a child when, as the child grows up, the child and her parents forget about you or stop making time for you. I have learned this from experience.

    I am glad you are an aunt that gives your nieces and nephews experiences instead of things. My niece and nephew are grown now, but they are still special to me (and me to them, thankfully!).

  4. I am glad you were able to connect with this woman. And I understand about the husband's nieces daughters. I adore our nephews and I know they love us and are grateful for what we've done for them -- but they are young men now, getting married and starting their adult lives and perhaps starting their own families soon... we are just not top of mind for them. I had hoped when we moved here two years ago that they might drop by once in a while, without their parents, but that hasn't happened yet, and I am not sure it ever will. :(