Tow My older sister or Why I love Berlin winter.
A little back story: my brother got married to a gorgeous woman, Cristina. And they will have a baby girl soon. I'm so so so happy!!!! Cristina has three sisters, all gorgeous (I might have told them on several occasions how I'm a tiny bit jealous because they all have curly hair. Sorry. But I am. You're so beautiful.) OK, so it's Simona, Elena, Cristina and Ioana.
Simona has an adorable boy (you've guessed it, he has curly hair!) who refers to me as "Ioana Oprita". He's 6 yo now and I had the opportunity to watch him grow up. As he was a little boy (he's so big now and so handsome!), he couldn't understand why there are two "Ioana" in his life. So her aunt was "Ioana noastra" (our Ioana) and I was "Ioana Oprita or Luci's sister".
And two years ago, a couple of days before moving to Berlin, I was saying goodbye to the parents of my sister in law. Everyone was around and Simona was knitting the beanie I'm wearing, saying that she already gave one to Cristina. And I found it so amazing - she'll always be the older sister who protects the other three. "Yes, I'm doing it for Ioana noastra." Simona smiled. I smiled back, without realising what she meant. The whole evening she was in a hurry to finish it, but I didn't pay too much attention to that. I was playing with her son and he kept telling me that he loves me - so...that was all I could hear.
But just before saying goodbye, Simona hugged me and gave me the hat. "I don't want you to get cold in Berlin. You need to take good care of yourself because you will be between strangers. And we are gonna miss you so." I didn't expect this back then. Yes, Simona is kind and loving and thoughtful, but when I asked "what about the other Ioana?" she smiled and added "you're also Ioana noastra, you know that, right?". I couldn't say anything more than "Thank you very much". I took the beanie and wore it on my way home.
Winter is coming, in windy and grey Berlin. And while some people complain on how depressing this season is, I put on my beanie and I face the cold. Because the love I took from Romania keeps me warm everyday.
I have the most beautiful family one can have. I'm so lucky. And I'm gonna be an aunt soon! I'm oh-so-happy.