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

Fear of rejection

Midnight BooWe pretend to be strong and yet fear of rejection can keep us apart. So many people recoil when they face a criticism. This can be because as a child their parents and or teachers impacted on them in a negative way, whether real or perceived the damage was done. As an adult they are left with scars from those experiences which affect their relationships badly. Others behave in the opposite way – they enjoy the challenge when they are rejected and keeping coming back. Both reactions can be perceived as attractive or unattractive depending on how your needs are met. Nevertheless, we can choose to deal with rejection in a way that makes our lives fulfilled or doomed, it’s all a choice.

Alison had been screaming at her daughter Suzie
for at least half an hour and it felt no better
Suzie quietly got up and said to her mother
that as she was middle aged she chose not to
feel this distress anymore, so she was leaving
Alison screamed out “stay and fight you coward”
and Suzie replied “yes I am a coward and am going”
leaving her mother with her own dysfunctional state
which meant that Alison had to take responsibility
for the insane behaviour she had shown because
there was no one there to blame anything on

(So Sorry after 7yrs and although he had been thanked then, I had to remove the great photo now because the owner asked it be removed so my adorable fear ridden 14 yr Bombay cat Midnight is the replacement photo…Affie 25/9/14)

Trust is vital

Lovers, photo by Ovlachi Gyrgy, Budapest, Hungary, intimacy, loveFor a relationship to grow, trust is vital. Whether the relationship is one between you and your lover, parents, children, colleagues, and/or your friends, without trust you have major problems. Trust creates closeness, otherwise known as intimacy and this fuels a relationship. So when you have relationship difficulties, look at what has happened to the trust between you and rescue the relationship by building the trust once more. Sometimes you need the assistance of a therapist for this.

he kept telling her that she needed
to lift her game for him to trust her again!
and then he was surprised that she
didn’t want to have sex or that
she wanted to leave him
we spoke about the impact his
criticisms had on her self esteem
and that she couldn’t trust him now
because his remarks had hurt her so much
in time as they spent more quality time
their friendship strengthened and
they were able to express their needs
much more appropriately than
attacking each other or expecting
that the trust be earned before
love could be rekindled between them
now they are enjoying their relationship
as the trust grows stronger

Belonging to your community

Figures earth, photo by Sanja Gjenero, Zagreb, Croatia, community activitiesA natural need of a human being is to belong to another and to a community. Belonging to your community is far more important than people realise. Without that we can be tempted into isolation. The community can be your family and friends sharing similar interests, or your church group, or your self help group. Some of the those interests can be doing voluntary work for charitable and benevolent projects, or hobbies and sports. The learning community is another powerful area involvement. Even if your community is not a church group, belonging to a community is another form of spirituality.

how wonderful a project to see schools promoting
a marathon walk or something similar where the students
collect sponsor signatures to raise money for a charity
the excitement experienced by
the participant and the supporters
with the outcome of raising funds
or other donations which benefit
people, animals or the environment
ultimately the process rippling out globally
such a simple beginning with a profound ending
which can be duplicated over and over everywhere

Role models

Dad's Shoulder, photo by Joseph Zlomek, Pottstown, United States, loving parentSome people have had abusive parents as role models. Others have had one parent functional and the other dysfunctional. Unfortunately, there are those who have been abused and become abusers, mainly because they experienced how powerful induced fear was. The promising thing is that as we grow most of us learn to appreciate the healthy role models and mimic them in adulthood.

Nina was surprised that her mother’s abusive behaviour
hadn’t made her an emotional cripple, but remembered
that her father was a gentle, loving parent and
whenever she was tempted by her mother’s words
to believe that she was ugly and worthless
Nina would recall her father’s unconditional love
which gave her the confidence to make healthy choices
at times it took a lot of work to raise her self esteem
because her mother’s words would creep into
Nina’s thoughts unexpectedly, however
that was short lived as she developed the skills
to diffuse such thoughts by sending them
off into the universe in imaginary balloons

Blueprint for your ideal relationship

Tourists checking a map, photo by Jorc Navarro, Barcelona, Spain, planning relationshipsBlueprints are commonly used for important productions, everything from buildings to machinery to gardens and so on. Otherwise known as plans and/or designs, it’s not unusual for people to expect this for successful outcomes. It is easy to have a fulfilling relationship if you are both willing to make a blueprint for your ideal relationship. It means planning at the beginning of the relationship what you want and what you don’t want in your life together. Then making an agreement to go to any lengths to resolve conflict early before it contaminates everything and to nurture your loving relationship. Maintenance is what we do to keep a beautiful garden, or home or car and it’s also what we need to do for our relationships.

they met through a mutual friend and
their relationship strengthened day by day
when he proposed she was not surprised
although they seemed in agreement about
the type of lifestyle they valued
they worked out what was
acceptable and what wasn’t
and how to sort out conflict
a blueprint for their ideal relationship
and it’s paid off because they’ve
had a healthy balance in their relationship
of being friends and lovers
and this has lasted many years
through the ups and downs of life

Butterfly Day

Butterfly, photo by Marco Michelini, Firenze, Italy, short lifeToday I heard on the car radio that it is Butterfly Day for kids suffering from E.B. It was the first time I had heard of this disease and so I looked at their website here and in the United States [be prepared for disturbing pictures]. I was appalled at what small children go through with Epidermolysis Bullosa as their skin blisters horrendously and causes them infections and tremendous pain.This is a rare genetic disorder and affects all nationalities.

The wounds vary in severity and although they resemble burns, they don’t heal as burns do. The child with E.B. cannot ride a bike, skate, or participate in sports because normal play causes chronic sores which are sometimes covering 75 percent of the body and can be life threatening. These children are confined to a diet of only liquids or soft food to cope with blistering and scarring which occur in the mouth and esophagus.

Their fingers and toes can fuse due to scarring, leaving deformities affecting their ability to function. Their lives can involve being constantly admitted to hospitals for wound treatment, blood transfusions, biopsies and surgeries. They often have sight problems because their eyes blister. Chronic anemia is another symptom and this reduces energy and retards growth. Life beyond 30 years is not expected.

I found that in Australia there are attempts to raise money and support services for children who suffer with E.B. and for their families. So I hope that I can raise awareness about this devastating illness through my website to help their fundraising and make their plight easier.

I am sure that you too will find it as heartbreaking as I did when you visit the E.B. websites.

Maintain vigilance

Owl eyes, photo by Kristof Degreef, Nieuwerkerken, Belgium, nothing missedOne human weakness is the need to stop doing what works when things are going well. Usually people who have found their sanity by taking the relevant medication will, against medical advice, stop taking the medication when they feel well, with horrendous consequences. Others will find solutions to their problems through counselling and once the situation improves they stop doing what was necessary to achieve the results, again with horrendous consequences. We need to keep vigilant about unacceptable changes in our wellbeing and once we find solutions then also maintain vigilance to ensure that improvements are not lost.

the last time I saw them they had after a few sessions
resolved their difficulties and made a checklist of what
they had done to sort things out so that they could
continue what worked and maintain the improvement
intelligent, successful, people meant commitment to
the system for success, or so you’d think
why should they be any different to the rest of us
a human frailty is becoming overconfident
and stopping what works
it can happen to me too if I don’t maintain
the vigilance and even then I am prone!
a year later they were back almost ready to divorce and
full of resentment, anger, defensiveness and vengeance
they had time to each tell their version of the problem
having expressed themselves we looked at their checklist
maybe one or two items had been maintained
but the rest had been grossly neglected
although it seemed hopeless we began again
and bit by bit things got turned around
after a few sessions they were back on track
back to basics always works yet we have
a tendency to complicate things

Codependence and pets

My dogs 1, photo by Debbie Miller, Monroe United  States,  love a petWhen we want to live functional lives, a solution is to get a pet. A codependent flips between manipulation, attempts at controlling, and becoming an enabler causing the victim to remain dependent. Codependence and pets means that the need to overwhelm someone with love is then directed to a creature who thrives on such devotion. So the behaviour is diverted to a healthier end. When a mother wishes to avoid being over-protective towards her growing children, I as a therapist recommend that they get a pet. This way the pet will not suffer from too much affection and it will keep her busy looking after and training the pet.

my children were 11 and 12
it was time to let go in order to avoid
too much mothering, or so I thought
so I got a German Shepherd called Kara
who at 6 months couldn’t even walk,
due to an overwhelming fear,
so I taught her to walk and I
loved her and called her my baby
she just bloomed and so did
my kids who were learning
how to be confident and independent
childrearing was a success thanks to
Kara, who I still miss a lot
but now that I’m alone I have a cat, Midnight,
who’s my baby to coo over
much to my adult children’s relief
no doubt!

Codependence and addiction

ashamed 1, photo by Georgios M.W., Herley, Denmark,  misery, sacrificeCodepedence, sometimes a relief to admit and sometimes people resent the term. It is very simple in definition – when you totally sacrifice your needs for those of another and when you believe that your happiness can only come from outside of you (from people, places, and things) then your are in the clutches of codependence. You can commit yourself to being of service to another person, or a project, which can be worthwhile to everyone concerned. However, in such a case you need to be true to yourself first and then you can be useful in the service you give. Codependence is the undercurrent of addictions.

she sacrificed her talents and happiness
for the sake of her disabled son
saying he needed her love more than
the rest of the family did
as though there was insufficient for all
but in her dedication to caring for her son
she took away his independence and
he could not do anything without her
but this did not bring her happiness
for she often complained about the martyr
she had become and how miserable she was!
jealousy of her daughter’s achievements and
her own severe codependence caused
irreparable harm and loneliness to her