Zdravka Mandzic
Retired Seamstress
Jesenice, Slovenia

Illustration by
Pik-Tone Fung

Dear Zdravka!

I’m writing this letter to you, a young woman, because I would like to give you some advice. It’s just one thing, but I believe it’s really important: don’t worry and don’t take things to your heart so much. From my own experience I can tell you that worrying doesn’t change anything, it only hurts you. When you were barely 20 years old, you married, and four years later you moved away. You went to a place far from your loved ones, somewhere you didn’t even understand the language. And even today you don’t have it easy. Two kids, no job, far away from family and friends and an empty apartment. But as I’ve said already, there’s no need to worry. Very soon you will find a job, meet new friends, and slowly you’ll even learn to speak the language.

I know that right now you have so many wishes you long for, but don’t be disappointed when I tell you that not all of them will come true. Instead of them, you’ll get so many other things, which you don’t even expect at the moment. You are going to have a wonderful family and your healthy, diligent children will bring you joy and happiness. And on top of that, you’re going to have four beautiful grandsons. They will bring laughter and cheer into the house, and only then will you realize how rich you actually are. It’s the biggest treasure you can ever wish for. And then, young Zdravka, you will forget about every single one of all the wishes that didn’t come true.

All the best,

Grandma Zdravka

June 2013