My father had an aunt named Olga, a teacher at the school in his town, Kotor. She was respected and loved by everybody because she cared for her pupils very much. The town suffered a lot during WWII. First, the Italian fascists occupied it and took my father as a prisoner.
They boarded him to a ship to send him to a concentration camp in Italy, but he escaped and swam back to shore. He hid and had to leave his town forever.
The fascists were expelled by the communists. Then it began the religious persecution against Catholics. My family lost everything. My grandmother had lost his husband and all his sons except my father during the war, and she had no means to make money. So the hunger and extreme poverty took aim at my family.
One of my aunts, Natalia, learned to sew and earn money making dresses. Still, when everything failed, My grandaunt Olga would go to the market with the last coins left, and the vendors should give her more than what she could pay without telling her, just to thank her because she had been her good teacher and the teacher of their children.
Near the Bay of Kotor, there was a little island with a Franciscan Monastery. The friars who were not in jail kept a little farm and an orchard. They used to sneak into the city and go to my family home with fresh vegetables hidden in their ample robes’ sleeves. And so little by little, they survived those difficult years
I was named after aunt Olga. And when I was going to graduate from high school, My mother gave me her ring. It’s not a valuable jewel. But it’s certainly antique because she had inherited it from her mom, and it has been in the family for generations. And now it has given to me. I’m proud to wear it