Grandma’s Secret Blessings” A Memoir with a Twist Written By JohnEGreek
Take a ride with me, JohnEgreek as I journey to the Old Country to fulfill a childhood promise made to my grandparents when I was six years old. Grandma, insightful and deeply spiritual guides me during her time while alive and after she is gone. She helps me to open to the reality of something higher than myself.
What happens along the way is a surreal journey and a deeply rooted experience? Travel with me and my pseudo family, as you will discover the avenue to my soul and the recipe to Grandma’s Secret Blessings.
This book is for anyone teetering on the edge of disbelief that there is something higher than their greatest expectations as to why things happen. Everyone at some time or another will lose a loved one, but death is not the end, it is the beginning and they do find a way to speak to you from beyond. Make no mistake, this book will open your eyes as you discover the magical recipe to Grandma’s Secret Blessings and you too can use them to heal your heart and find the avenue to your soul.
I never dreamed that writing a book would be so fulfilling, let alone find my purpose for life. Ever since I was a little boy, nine to be exact, I began asking the big question. The first time I asked the question was with our Lutheran minister, Pastor Charlie. I walked into his office one Friday morning while he was sitting on the sofa in his office writing his sermon for Sunday Worship.
He spots me standing in the doorway as he glances over his glasses. “Well hello Johnny, what can I do for you?”
My grandfather died two weeks earlier and I was really missing him. My first question to Pastor Charlie was, “Where do we go when we die?”
His answer was not the obvious as one might expect. He says, “John, if I knew the truthful answer to that question, I would solve one of the greatest mysteries of life. I believe when we die we reunite with our soulmates and our loved ones, but where that is, I would call it the ‘Universe.’ So, what’s your second question?”
“What is my purpose for being here? I’m so confused because my Papa has died, and my father hates me and there is no one to protect me. I’m scared and confused.”
“My gosh John, you are asking questions I wouldn’t expect a nine-year-old to be asking. As far as you father hating you is concerned, I don’t have an answer for you. Sometimes people are brought into this world to help with your life lessons. I would suggest that might be your father’s purpose for being your father. Perhaps he’s a wounded child.”
“As far as your real question is concerned regarding your purpose for being here, I would tell you this. We all come to this life with a purpose. It’s a purpose for the higher good of our soul and the people living in the world that surrounds us. We are here to learn and to teach. As far as actually knowing your purpose, I can only tell you that it’s revealed when God feels we are ready to serve our his calling. It’s not revealed on our time, it’s revealed on God’s time. Any more questions little fella?”
I had none, but at sixty-seven years of age, my purpose is finally revealed. This book describes the journey of my life, as a wounded child and how I found the power behind our family name, Meta where I found the key that unlocks the door to the hidden ability to “Transcend and go beyond.”
Pastor Charlie was correct when he siad, "it doesn't happen on our time, it happens on God's time."
Come along for the ride. Who knows, maybe you'll find yours...
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A life story told alongside life lessons… Grandma's Secret Blessings: A Memoir with a Twist, is a deeply personal and dramatic-memoir. It tells the story of Yianni’s life, family, troubles, and successes. Told from a mix of first and third-person viewpoints, it gives an interesting perspective on how a person develops character. Central to the book's theme are the secret blessings, which are a collection of inspirational messages, trans-cultural personal instructions, and existential aspirations. The book also has a number of lessons passed down by Yianni’s grandmother from the Greek oral tradition. Yianni and his family are Greek in origin, and as such, they share a long history involving the oral transmission of stories. Over history, folk tales and legends were often performed by storytellers in front of audiences, including young children and even grown children, such as Yianni. This culture is present in the story as Yianni learns of his family history, reaching clear back to great-great-grandparents. This family history has personal ties back to Greece and Albania, much of it during a time of serious political and economic turmoil. Of course, those history lessons passed down to Yianni are also infused with Grandma’s life lessons for Yianni. This is all interspersed with Yianni’s own personal history, along with description for the way that these stories and lessons helped him. There are more than ten of grandma's secret blessings, many of which existing in some form in many different cultures and languages. However, what makes the lessons particularly powerful is that in Yianni's experience with his abusive father, Yianni explains that, “...it’s the only way to close the gaping hole in my heart.” Many of these secret blessings are a blessing in that they are a form of grace, protection, or favor for Yianni. “You are the captain of your own ship,” as an example, explains for Yianni that no matter what tosses you around and what terrible things may befall you, you still have control in your own life and life choices. This is how the book is a memoir “with a twist.” Grandma's Secret Blessings is not perfect in its presentation. For example, there are a number of typographical and grammatical errors, as well as punctuation mistakes that are distracting. However, these generally do not detract from the message and central themes of the story. In a way, it conveys the very essence of that oral tradition, which is sometimes imperfect and lost in translation. Grandma's Secret Blessings is intended for adult audiences. There are depictions of child and intimate partner abuse, discussions of sexuality and sexual behavior, and alcohol and drug abuse. These depictions are realistic in nature, contributing to the overall feel of the book and its weighty emotionality. Overall, even with the copy-editing errors, Grandma's Secret Blessings is a good read for those looking for emotional and inspirational literature.
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite ‘A child needs a grandparent, anybody’s grandparent, to grow a little more securely into an unfamiliar world.’ In Grandma's Secret Blessings: A Memoir with a Twist by John JohnEgreek, readers learn of the author's journey that will make them believe strongly in affirmations, prayers, and visualizations. His simple story of love for his grandmother throws light on Greek traditions and family life, his heritage, and gives insights about the traumas he carried as part of his ancestral and cultural lineage. The memoir, written as a tribute to his grandmother, is about self-healing, freedom, creativity, hope, courage, sorrow, secret blessings, and inspiration. Yianni - as his grandma called him - offers a story about the highs and lows of his life, and the role his grandma played in shaping him to be the person he is. The book takes readers into the author’s life and the twists and turns and the turbulent childhood he went through while growing up. It is heartrending to read about the author’s childhood of growing up feeling his father’s hatred for him, and the scars left behind because of that. Child abuse can be traumatizing for a child and can manifest in many ways. It is positive to note the spiritual strength John shares with his grandma, who plays an important role in his life. It is encouraging for readers to see the way in which the author overcomes the adversities in his life and is transformed to become a better person. There are a lot of lessons for readers to learn from this memoir and it will make readers believe in the power of unconditional love.