No More Pushkin or Dostoevsky After You Turn 100

Russian-Centenarians-03-634x634I came across an interesting page covering six Russian women over 100 years old in their own words. In particular, a 103 year old woman named Goarik Artemyevna Balasanyan (pictured right) caught my attention.

She’s a woman after my own heart. In just a few words of hers I hear the echoes of pain and wisdom from having lived through a century of turmoil. But really, she is mostly just concerned with the practical matters of no longer being able to enjoy the things she did when she was a young girl: reading Pushkin.

“There is nothing funny about being that old. The most terrible thing is that my eyesight is worse and worse and can’t read Pushkin. I love him, his portrait hangs over my head. I also like Byron, Goethe, Dostoevsky.”

grandma-babanyaI grew up with my grandma (on my mom’s side) and miss her terribly. I often wrote letters to her when I was in high school, but I stopped, and if I regret anything in life it’s this. And as I write these words now, I realize that 10 years from now, the same will be true. So I’ll stop writing this silly blog now, and sit down to write her, for the first time in over 10 years. My Russian is that of a 12 year old and is rusty, especially when I try to write in it. But while Mrs. Balasanyan above might miss her Pushkin, I hope my grandma will have slightly lower standards 😉 She is pictured left, looking great, with her 85th birthday coming up on October 28.

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