I is for Ira #AtoZchallenge

IDear Ira,

I was seven when we met for the first time. My grandpa found you and brought you to live with our family. It was a miracle. After all, the only information we had about your existence was the name of the nearest village where my dead uncle served his conscription.

You were 14 and beautiful. You looked like your dad. Charcoal black hair and dark eyelashes were the proof that you came from our family. Against your dark complexion, your ocean blue eyes captured my heart and imagination.

I remember how my family flocked around you when you just arrived. After all, they had finally reclaimed a living part of my dead uncle. 

With time, you became a ‘normal’ family member. My grandma started taking you to weddings so that people could see your beauty and the right suitor came along to marry you.

Then something changed.

You told grandma what your step-dad did to you.

She was devastated. She grieved your innocence, but she couldn’t keep you with us anymore. If anyone found out what had happened to you, it could bring shame on all of us.

So when your mum came asking to take you back a year later, no one held you back.

I was sad when you left. I was too young to ask the question, but I often wondered whether grandma told anything to your mum. Were you safe going back?

It feels too personal to ask now.

Anyway, I know we stay in touch a few times a year, but I just wanted to drop a line and say I love you. For that year you lived with us, you were a big sister I never had.

With much love,

Gulya xx

Thank you for reading. This post is a part of the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. My theme is ‘love letters’. And while you are here, let’s connect on Facebook and Twitter too.


31 thoughts on “I is for Ira #AtoZchallenge

  1. What a bitter-sweet letter. So wonderful to have a sister, but the mindset of that era is terrible. Ira definitely needed support. I sure hope her life was OK . I’m sad for her and for you is missing a sister. Lovely post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sadly we can’t help if we don’t know. We need to encourage all girls and women to find their voice when there is something important they need to tell. How horrible to send her back. How tragic to not protect the innocent. How dreadful that she should bear the blame. Great letter and post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree, Norah, and the person needs to be ready to accept help. She’s been married for 30 years with two grow up daughters and a grandson. I’m just scared to rock her boat. There are wounds which heal with difficulty and I don’t want to stir it up if she found a way to cope with it….

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree. Sometimes it is difficult to know what to do. Sometimes the pain is trapped so deep inside it is tortuous to try to remove it. If she reads your posts, she knows you are there, she knows you care, and how to find you if she needs you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad I’ve written about it and I’m glad you called me out on this one. Sometimes, we make unconscious conclusions what maybe the best for the other person without leaving an open space for anything else to emerge. I’m not going to probe her wounds, but from now on when I speak to her, I’ll set the intention to be open and receptive so that if she needs to share she could. Thank you, Norah, this conversation meant a lot to me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It has meant a lot to me too. It’s closer to home for me than I like to think. Thank you. Through your reflections I coming to understand some things that I may need to face and reflect upon. xx

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Again, indeed a beautiful letter. If the time is ready, she may will open up to you, but I agree with your response above this; if she found a way to cope with, let the past be the past 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ‘She grieved your innocence, but she couldn’t keep you with us anymore. If anyone found out what had happened to you, it could bring shame on all of us’.- how sad is that 😦 Wish we knew better how to help, but it is hard to rise beyond time and circumstance sometimes.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve discovered you via the A To Z Challenge. Your theme is wonderful, although this is a sad letter to have to write. Sometimes the limits society put on a girl can be almost too much to take. Have we moved forward from this? I hope so.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the limits that the society puts on girls (and then we take them on) can be tough. There are parts of the world where we haven’t moved far forward from this.
      I’m glad you like the theme. Thank you for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a heartwrenching story, Gulara. Again, despite the sadness and gravety of the situation I like how you manage to see the love. I smile because I welcome home a younger cousin once. I was seven when she was born and got to spend the whole week with us for several years while her parents worked. I was the big sister she never had. These shared moments remain forever etched in our memories. Lovely moving love letter. I hope that Ira is well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Evelyne. She is well, and her life is settled. It’s nice to revisit those memories which are etched into our being. Glad you could relate. Thank you for reading.


  7. Oh this is so heartbreaking. Even though we have come a long way, I have the feeling there is still a long road ahead of us so that women and girls in the whole world are respected as equals and that the mistakes of others aren’t seen as their mistakes.
    Many hugs, Solveig

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is devastating. And the mindset of HER bringing shame… Placing blame on the victim. It’s not uncommon to punish the victim in some way, whether physically or emotionally. I wish it was. I wish so many things for this broken world.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is heartbreaking—that poor girl. It’s hard to fathom the attitude of protecting the family from shame and not the child who’d been abused—makes me cross to read it! I hope she can talk about it with someone and doesn’t blame herself.

    Liked by 1 person

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