Stepping back a bit in time, I visited the Cathedral of St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church in Miami on October 19th - to attend the funeral of Marianthe "Mary" Dimakis, 109 yrs old. She was the oldest living Greek-American.
Mary was born in 1903, a year after my own grandmother Eugenia Sarris who died in 1984. I was not at my Yiayia's funeral for reasons that currently feel kinda lame, even if they were valid back then. So I am paying my respects to Mary.
Mary Dimakis was a founding member of St. Sophia's and there was a long article last week in the Miami Herald (which is how I found out about it). But there were just a handful of people at her funeral, maybe 40. Is that because all her friends are dead? Because it was 11 am? Because there is little respect for those who came before us and worked so hard to build Greek communities in the U.S.? Why?
(When my father died -- and he was a church stalwart for about 60 years -- I was shocked that the church was not full.)
Well, she came down down the aisle accompanied by friends and family nonetheless, and went to her final resting place as we all will some day. But Mary Dimakis left a pioneering legacy that sustains the Miami Greek-American community to this day, whether her descendents know it or not.
I zoi se mas (life to us)...