September 10, 2010

The Best Years

Posted in Breast Cancer, Cancer, Family, Women tagged , , , , , , , , , at 6:33 am by Liliana

The birthday girl

The birthday girl

My grandmother lived to be ninety five years old. Throughout the years, whenever she talked about people who happened to be her age at that particular moment, she would make a comment – “they are enjoying the best year of their lives!”

For my grandmother, every year of one’s life was the very best year.

It took me a long time to understand what she meant, but I think that I am getting there.

Many years of my life were painful and difficult and did not seem enjoyable at the time. My mother suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. My sister almost died from pulmonary embolism. My family in Yugoslavia  lived through tragedy, violence and hardships. I was sick with cancer.

But when I look back on all this, all these misfortunes, together with all the joys, construct a picture of my life. I would not be who I am without them. I hope that I have learned from them to be a better person.

One thing I do know – I am much more compassionate, accepting and kind. To my family, friends, strangers, the world around me. And to myself.

Today I am fifty one years old. Happy birthday to me!



  1. Jelena said,

    Happy birthday!!! And the year ahead WILL be one of the best.
    Love you,

    • Liliana said,

      It’s friends like you who make every day great!

  2. Sonya said,

    Happy Birthday! I can’t even remember how I found my way to your blog but I’m so glad I did. I enjoy your perspective and stories so much! Completely coincidentally my husband has found great information on for two different appliances 🙂

  3. Sandra said,

    Happy Birthday to you! Finding you and your stories through this blog has been a daily treasure for me. Thank you so much for sharing your life and wonderful perspective on everything from rainy days to a simple recipe.

    May you have many more beautiful experiences and stories to share with all of us!

    all the best,

  4. Happy Birthday! Don’t comment ofen here, but read all your posts, and enjoyed them. Have a great day today, and the day after, after…

    • Liliana said,

      I read your posts too, Karl. Thanks for all you do for the reputation of that little country in the Balkans. Best.

  5. Janice said,

    Happy Belated Birthday, Liliana! Wishing you many more enjoyable years to come.

    • Liliana said,

      Thanks, dear Janice. I hope to see you soon.

  6. Robin said,

    Happy birthday, Liliana! You have a wonderful blog/website, and I’ve enjoyed reading your posts. You sound like a truly gracious person–God bless you always!

  7. Lillian said,

    Dear Liliana,
    compassionate, accepting, kind and loving…the clues to the best sense
    of well-being. Easier to achieve when you get older, but still a bit of a struggle. Eli’s birthday was on 9/11, a day after yours. He would have been
    80. And Owen was a clue in Saturday’s NY Times 9/11 crossword puzzle “film
    critic gleiberman” numbered 59 across, the year he was born. We are all
    thinking about Eli smiling down on us, holding Brutus, the cat., seeing all of this.

    jDear Liliana, a very happy belated birthday wish for you: May only good things come into your life and your family’s lives. You have a most wonderful family, and I love to read about them.

    We will get together soon. Owen will be here for a week, and then again in
    October, so I can’t plan right now. Baby is due November 10, and I will
    go to New York immediately.


    • Liliana said,

      Dear Lillian, you are going to be a grandma! Congratulations to you, dear friend. We’ll have so much to talk about. Best thoughts and wishes to you and your family. Love, Liliana

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