Sometimes we write because we have something to say.
Sometimes we write because we have a story to tell.
For me, I wrote this story because I still had things to tell my Grandmother.
You see, I still had some unfinished conversations.
And for the sake of my peace of heart,
I had to find a way to complete what we started,
…. if it is ever possible to complete a love story.
As much as I have consciously engaged in my relationship with Almazesha;
As much as I loved and cherished each moment with her…
It was tough to learn to live without being able to visit or call her
as I always had throughout my life.
One would think that adults can manage loss.
One would think that adults can make sense of the cycle of life.
I have learned otherwise.
It took everything I had in me,
to find the courage to step up and continue living
in line with the legacy she left behind.
To say that I love Almazesha from the bottom of my heart;
Would be nothing short of an understatement
Can we ever express all of what love means in just three words?
She meant so much to me.
She always managed to bring the rainbow to color the sky;
Not just for me, but for all that crossed her path.
She was not just mine, of course, not.
She was the Mother and caretaker of hundreds
Maybe even thousands of people.
She was the ever loving Sage, Teacher, Mentor, Mother,
The Elder that we could all come home to.
The toughest thing, from here on, is not just living without her;
but living up to her expectations and
making good on all the sacrifices she made for the sake of our lives.
She held the flame passed on to her from her ancestors,
the Warriors of times long gone, and now she has left this flame with us.
On the last Salute the Warriors honored her with a new appellation ,
they called her: Ye Lewet Jegena; Ye Selam Jegena [Warrior of Change, Warrior of Peace].
Yes. Ye Lewet Jegena; Ye Selam Jegena is what she certain has always been,
and how she is to remain for us all, for now and forever.
I grew up under the tutelage of my Grandmother.
I am the person I am today because,
by chance, I benefited from all her teachings and mentorship.
As much as I love, Almazesha, the best Grandmother I could ever wish for,
I have to say that my love for her is also anchored
In the complicity I had with her and soaked in, each day of my life.
As much as, for all the times I failed to live up to her expectation,
I cringed to the thought of her disappointment.
For all the times I have done good, I feel a child-like-pride in knowing that
She will smile and say to me:
Gobez yene lej, Gobez yene lej [well done my child, well done my child].
“Forget not the Sparrows” is a labor of love.
It is a book that has allowed me to process,
Process much of my own life and
Sit with the wandering of what life is all about, after all.
As such, “Forget not the Sparrows” is my homage to Almazesha
An homage to all the beautiful Grandmothers and Grandfathers of this World,
and the love they have always given to their children and grandchildren.
I offer my stories of childhood,
The stories of my relationship with my Grandmother
Not so much as an Author per se, but more so as
Ye Woizero Almaz Haile-Mariam Ye Lej Lej
[The child of the child of Lady Almaz Haile-Mariam].
Mimi / (a.k.a. Yene)