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Patricia Lidis, CA

Junior Writer

Born in Toronto, Canada, Patricia is a first generation North American, with her parents and four older siblings being immigrants from Riga, Latvia. She’s written both fiction and non-fiction for multiple publications, but her passion lies in captivating story-telling and stories that make a little bit more sense of the world. Patricia speaks fluent Russian, enjoys cleaning, traveling with family, drinking wine, listening to anecdotes, and running in Brooklyn with her hyper dog, Timbit. But not all at once. She also received her BFA from Pratt Institute in Writing.

As a Story Terrace writer, Patricia interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better by reading her autobiographical anecdote below.

My Name is Babushka

“Mne Zavut Babushka.”
“My name is…”
“May nim is…”
“My name is Babushka.”
“Babushka.”
“Yeah! You got it.”

My grandma was walking slowly beside me as we made our way to the park around the corner and up the hill from River Street. Her trousers were baggy around her thin legs and her cardigan was a valued deep green cashmere that had a greasy mayonnaise stain near the third button down. She still had the beautiful legs people admired when she was young, though now they had varicose veins running through them. The trees were rustling around us underneath the heat lamp of the sun. My grandma wore a cap to keep her white hair and fragile scalp from getting burned. She was shy to ask me questions about how to speak English. But she wanted to introduce herself to other people, to tell them that she was the grandmother of a 10-year-old. She wanted to tell people that she immigrated from Latvia. Back there friends and family would come into the restaurant she was the head cook in and find her always making new friends, smiling up to her ears.

“I Russian.”
“I AM Russian, Babushka. You have to say ‘am’.”
“Ah…Da, Da.”

She would take a few extra loonies from my father, her son, and take me to get chicken fingers after I was finished splashing around in the kiddie pool in the park that only went up to my waist. She would put her fingers up to her dry lips and shush me, buying me a chocolate ice-cream in a cup when my mom had said no to sweets. Last summer I went back to Toronto in the heat and grabbed a couple scoops with my friend. We sat on a worn bench watching families in the park play with their labradors and infants in the grass. And I remembered when I was splashing in the water all those years ago, I would see my grandma be approached by another mother or grandmother. I’d see my grandmother not saying a word, but pointing towards me, and smiling.

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