I remembered today a great uncle and a great aunt of mine (brother and sister) still living in the mountainous north Greece. The great uncle was born with health problems, he is disfigured and he can’t control his body well. They are both in their 70s now. My aunt never got married. She dedicated her life in taking care of her brother. Sending him to an institute was not an option as not only these cost money, money that sheep herders don’t have to spend, but also because back in the day Greece didn’t even have such institutes, and the ones that appeared later were abysmal in living conditions. So she stayed with him. Never got married, never had a companion in her life. I am sure that there would have been some arranged marriage talks in her youth (that’s how it was done back then in the rural Greece), but by mentioning of also taking care of her brother probably cut these deals off. That’s true love, and even more importantly in this case, true responsibility, right there.


Brendan wrote on March 20th, 2008 at 1:15 AM PST:

Touching story.

I am so selfish in comparison. I wonder if modern life including education makes people selfish – or if lack of money (and life options) makes people more responsible?

I now live in a small village in rural england and I can imagine a few of the old timers round here doing that. From the private school I attended I can’t imagine anyone ‘giving up’ their life like this – infact we would have probably been told that we were ‘wasting’ our lives.

William Eggington wrote on March 20th, 2008 at 7:23 AM PST:

What an amazing selfless act.

Dave Rosky wrote on March 20th, 2008 at 9:40 AM PST:

It’s an amazing and touching story. Some people have commented that in today’s society (at least in first-world countries), most people would not be this selfless. I think that’s true, but I also think there is a silver lining here. The silver lining is that in today’s society, it might have actually been possible (though maybe not easy) for your Aunt to find a companion who was willing to accept her care burden.

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