Remembering Eugenia Polimeris – My Mum

Dusty Springfield singing – You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me
Eugenia Polimeris
20.12.1920-22.02.2013
92
photo of Eugenia and Pepi

here with Pepi who visited

Eugenia’s story by Celebrant: Affie
Eugenia dedicated her life to her intellectually
developmentally disabled son Apollon and
she was also dedicated to any children in need of attention
her other love was rescuing/caring for animals
when Eugenia was younger

a beauty resembling Rita Hayworth in her
youth and a talented singer in a family
restaurant where my father, a
businessman, found her and fell instantly
in love with her, the love of his life until the
day he died even though she later married
Lazaro Markaris who loved her too,
her talent included art and crafts so that she could
sew designer clothes out of Vogue magazines, no
pattern, so whatever the shape of a woman when
Eugenia finished it was as though her body
matched the model in Vogue absolutely magically,
all agreed and paid well, at one stage my wedding
and bridesmaids’ dresses were divinely put together
in the last few days before the special day
as well as her own dress, the mother of the bride,
that’s the way it happened, everyone stressed out!
another time her talent extended to the then
trend of rendering the internal walls with a shining
plaster of a duck egg colour in a swirling pattern –
amazing, or glass flowers in different colours –
another trend millinery – beautiful fancy hats of
wondrous fantasy yet Eugenia did nothing to follow
through with her talent because of her disabled
son, Apollon, who was the centre/love of her life!
Apollon with Eugenia

her love of cooking showed another talent which
she may have had from her ancestors – her father
was Hungarian and her mother Russian and she
was born in Vatra Dornei a Romanian city which
had a large Jewish population and as Mum spoke
Hebrew and Yiddish as well as participating in
the Shabbat lighting the candles in the ceremony as a
young person, we came to the conclusion that
perhaps she was in fact Jewish before she married
Dad then became Greek Orthodox which was the
custom and as Germans occupied Romania at the
time it would have been safer for her family to be
quiet about being Jewish and for her to do the same
nevertheless she was full of fun and as eccentric as
Auntie Mame and to know and experience her was
at times heaven and at times madness but truly
not to be forgotten and always remembered  fondly,
once Apollon passed away on 1st November 2011
she spiralled down into full dementia and lost her
language and recognition of me and anyone else,
spontaneously out of the blue on one visit – I
remembered the doctor said she had an untreated
mental illness and realising why we had conflicted
so much during our times together  I said to her
“you’ve been a good mother to Apollon Mum and
you’ve been a good mother to me too, I was difficult
sorry sorry sorry – forgive me,
sihorese me (Greek), yiarta ma (Romanian)”
it was an attempt, on my part, at closure,
I didn’t know if it would register or not but to my
amazement her eyes opened wide and tears poured
out and with that I softly burst out crying too and
held her hand, Pepi my Chihuahua moved in and
licked both our hands trying to console us both,
and on the last day when I visited, the doctor had
said Mum was not eating and she was on the way
out, I kissed her on the forehead saying again
“sorry sorry sorry Mum, much I love you, bye” as I
left to go to the chemist to pick up my medicine, and
as I arrived  20 minutes later the sister told me she
had just died and that she must have been just
waiting for me to arrive in the first instance for her
to go.

now at last she has passed away and found peace
she will be missed and always remembered

Talia Nicolitsis
Mum’s singing talent has been inherited by one
person in our family and that is her great
granddaughter Talia Nicolitsis
(my daughter Tina’s daughter) who has won an
award for 2013 potential young singer. So for that
reason we have asked Talia to sing 4 songs for us
here today the first one will be Hallelujah for the
spiritual members here:

Talia

Talia sings Halleluja…

Affie read: Psalm 23 King James Version (KJV)
23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth
me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of
righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of
death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and
thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine
enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth
over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of
my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Paul to share his experience with his grandmother
(Paul related the experience when his grandmother (Nona)
babysat him at age 4 and Tina at age 3 and she had black
plastic spiders and snakes on her wall and would take them to
the local park at 2 a.m. in the morning to play because they
wanted to, and it was such fun)

Talia to sing The Prayer (moving on to more
modern/ethnic) Mum loved Italian songs
Tina to share her experience with her grandmother
(Tina related her experience with Nona when having found
out that Tina at age 3 wished, on a hot day, that her
grandmother had an indoor swimming pool, Nona sealed the
bottom of her kitchen doors, turned the sink tap on and
running over eventually created an indoor swimming pool in
her kitchen, for the children causing them to have great fun –
(swearing them to secrecy!)

Talia to sing Somewhere over the Rainbow after Affie
explains that Eugenia used to sing this song often because it
represented  achieving a person’s dreams.

Affie Asking people to share about their experiences with
Eugenia.

(Eugenia’ great great grandchildren Gaby and Sabrina
(Paul’s daughters) related their experiences with Nona’s
huge personalised  chocolate Easter egg gifts for them)

After this part.

Talia to lead us with Eugenia and Apollon’s favourite song

You are my Sunshine
(all to join in)

YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You’ll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away

The other night dear, as I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you in my arms
But when I awoke, dear, I was mistaken
So I hung my head and I cried.

[Chorus]
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You’ll never know dear, how much I love you
Please don’t take my sunshine away

Affie: Thank you for being here with us
to remember Eugenia Polimeris
and also Apollon Polimeris

and please join us at Humanist House
10 Shepherd St. Cnr Grafton St
Chippendale (Broadway)
lunch will be served there`

Also  the donation envelopes are available for
UNAANSW
HumSocNSW
RSPCA

One thought on “Remembering Eugenia Polimeris – My Mum”

  1. That is one of the best article i have read Affie it is so good . After so many years finding out that you are some part Jewish wow. We can all wonder whats in us?

    Regards
    Avo

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