"Hurry, they are coming".
She ran. Looking behind her only once, at her home, her animals, her life. Word had spread fast through the village that they were coming. Coming to kill all the women and children. The only ones left. They had taken their men, weeks, some even months before, and they had not heard from them since. Most assumed they were dead, while others held out hope. There was no hope for her. Her true love was dead and she knew it in her soul.
"Quickly, we have to run". Her two sons, a one year old on her hip and a three year old running as fast as his little legs would carry him. Their only chance for survival was to make it into the cover of the mountains and hide. She could almost hear the sounds of hundreds of heavy boots, men coming to kill them as brutally as their minds could imagine.
She followed the other women, hoping they were right in the path they chose to escape. She could not help but notice old women on their knees on the side of the road, crying out not to be left behind. She wanted to help them, but knew that she couldn't. Emptying her mind was all she could do to stop the images of what was to come for these women, these lost souls. Her friends. They disappeared into the dust, but never from her heart.
She knew the hard road that was ahead of them in the mountains. They had no food, no extra clothing, and no way of knowing exactly where they were going. They had to make it across the summit and down the other side. The soldiers were not stupid. They would know that the women had taken their children and run to the mountains, and they would be coming after them. Thankfully the journey was only a few days. A hard journey, but she had faith she could do it. She looked down at her sons and knew she would do it for them.
Many people were lost in that journey. Some went the wrong direction and died of starvation, some were too old to survive the journey. Some too young. Some just gave up and laid down to die. To let the mountains take them, forever swallowing them up with the elements. Years would pass and bodies would turn to dust, but her memory of them would never fade.
But some made it. My grandmother forged through, never giving up and never letting her sons think she was anywhere close to doing so. She did it for them. My father and uncle were able to grow up and flourish because of her. Without her I wouldn't be here, and because of that I thank her with all the love in my heart.
I love you Baba. I miss you.
August 14 1922- January 24 2002