Canterbury Bells

Canterbury Bells
Canterbury Bells represent Gratitude in the Language of Flowers

Friday, March 23, 2012

Two Bulgarian Ladies and One Blonde Boy

Serendipity comes full circle as it spans the globe and 3 generations.  When my son Tim was born in ’64, his baby-sitter was often my Bulgarian mother. Being the first grandchild he was, of course, adored. You may say worshipped.  He was often called zlaten ,meaning golden, a reference both to his status and his blonde hair.

When Tim’s son Kevin was born in October, 2001, I was sorry that my mother was no longer alive to enjoy this precious great- grandson who was the image of the Tim she knew as a baby.

Fate intervenes.  In the same year, 2001, halfway across the world...Bulgaria to be exact...a lady named Dima wins the lottery.  The prize:  A green card to America.  She comes to Chicago and becomes a family caretaker for a friend who works with my son Tim.  Although well educated as a construction consultant in Bulgaria, she now works at any menial job in America as her family struggles to support themselves while learning a new language.

With no immediate family in the Chicago area at that time, Tim and Bette Anne hire Dima to baby sit occasionally.  Although Dima does not carry a carpet bag nor fly above Chicago with her umbrella, it doesn’t take the Duffy’s long to realize she is the Bulgarian Mary Poppins. Truly, she casts a magical spell on children of all ages, plays with them joyfully, and can quiet a crying baby simply by holding them. 

So begins her 10- year love affair with this little blonde boy named Kevin. The first time I heard her singing him a Bulgarian lullaby I realized he would get the benefit of his ancestral culture – what were the odds of that?

Since then Dima has become an American citizen and bought a home in the Chicago area and educated her children while continuing to be a vital part of Kevin’s life on a daily basis.

But there’s more to the story.  In May of 2013 all of our family are planning a trip to Bulgaria to attend Dima’s daughter’s (Rosita) wedding at a beautiful resort on the Black Sea. It will be my first trip to my mother’s homeland and it will be wonderful to have a native escort.

After the wedding, Dima will also take me to neighboring Macedonia to see my father’s birthplace and family home. 

Although Dima won the lottery, I think all of us came out winners in this serendipitous event.


  1. Vy, you're choking me up! Such a gift you all are to each other. I know your visits to Bulgaria and Macedonia will be such a thrill.

  2. This is great. It is absolutely bizarre/surreal/uncanny how Tim and Kevin were exposed to the same things as children. I can't wait to see Bulgaria, too!