Her name was Emma. Her name is Emma.

FEW THINGS GET ON MY NERVES. Those few however make me crazy. Lack of will is the first by far. To watch people staying standstill in soft situations. Ensconced in their trivial problems. Sheltered in an easy way of life. Incapable.  Resigned. Criticizing the others. Growling about the weather. Gossiping their next to them. In the dark, not openly. Not acting, only talking. Wasting their life.

We had tried to meet up with Eleni for weeks, months I dare to say. Once I was not available, the next time she was not. Once I was not answering the phone, the next she wasn’t. From the beginning her vision shook me. Eleni went through the worst a year ago. She lost her daughter, aged 24, of cancer.  Regretfully I never met Emma. She was a full of life, beautiful, charismatic creature, full of confidence and eager for life up to her last minute. Emma was dreaming for a better life for cancer patients. To be visited in hospitals by musicians, painters, writers and all sorts of talented people, sharing their talents with them. To organize games, movie time, talks. To share with them their skills in order to assist them to live their lives even stronger, even more confident. Better psychology means better immune system, better immune system means better results. As simple as that.

Eleni had asked me to talk to those people. We got together recently. I had no difficulty to recognize her. Full of dignity, refined, dressed in black. Shade of a smile, in so far Emma’s loss allows. A person overwhelmed by quality, strength and tenacity for her child’s dream.

We talked for an hour. Her eyes were sparkling. Even if the fire inside her had burned out. Eleni got together her remaining tinder sticks, mixed them up and blew at them and it was fired up again. One cannot recognize if this is Emma’s fire or hers. They are mingled now.

“We started” she tells me “at a hospital that embraced our initiative”.

“We were granted space and we were incorporated in the hospital’s everyday life. They supported our activities quickly and everybody, from the security personnel to every doctor and nurse, knew PAMEMMAZI within a couple of weeks.”.  Great people are constantly in action, even if they may have every reason not to be. «Our vision, Stefanos, cannot wait. We started.”. Great people have hundreds of reasons not to do something, however they choose one to do it.

Our meeting lasted for an hour. I left shaken and determined to assist to fire up the flames that burn in her soul for Emma. Equally determined to help fellow human beings who need it so much.

Determined to get to know myself this unique girl through this sacred work. This girl that I had not been honored to meet.

Her name was Emma.

Her name is Emma.

From Stefanos Xenakis book, “The Gift”, Key Books Publications

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