She was very frail. Her inner constitution was tender due to life taking her through some rough waters. But her frailty was not a sign of weakness as much as it was a frailty of a flower that learnt to bend under pressures she had to encounter through her many years. When you talked to her for even a short time soon you would notice that she had a heart of gold, with a very red human middle. She would feel everything and I mean literally everything. From joy to sorrow and wonder and disgust and every layer of emotion in-between. Yet you would not be able to see that on her, her composure was calm.
She could laugh a fierce laugh, and mean it, while her soul was breaking inside due to some fresh pain that life has thrown at her, just out of a habit. You know, as life does. On the surface she seemed like she was a calm sea, but her interior was deeper than the ocean in which many wild rivers flow. This depth carried her, it was there that her endurance came from. Women in my family were like that, frail on the outside but giants inside. No matter how much life tried to break them, and it did try, they endured. For the rest of us who witnessed it, their frailty was our strength.
© Iva Beranek (Dublin, 2015, excerpt)
Photo from here.