Maria Messinis 
(nee Kartapanis)

She would howl!

She really would. A shrieking sound so terrifying that even the cats and dogs of the neighborhood would hide.

“Stavroooooooooooooooooooo!” I would run, and laugh and if on the odd occasion that she’d catch me and give me a brief spanking, I’d say “That didn’t hurt!”

We were young parasites. From the moment we were born, we took from her. Milk to begin with, then, ever-constant nourishment. And always, anything we demanded, she’d give. Like little baby birds, wide open mouths, screaming for food. That was us.

She was always there, whenever we needed her. Even when we didn’t think we needed her but she knew we needed her.


As we grew and became wiser, wilier little shits, we would attempt to manipulate her. Constantly. And, she’d just take it, knowing, instinctively that that was her calling. Then she’d gently nudge the best behavior out of us.

Bringing up six children was no easy feat. Yet, she did it. Maria was legendary, even in her birth-town of Rhodes which she emigrated from at age 16. A woman who embodied the spirit of rebellion, adventure, and motherhood all in one. She was a force to be reckoned with, a true matriarch who nurtured us and taught us to stand straight and take it all on.

She knew that life can be unpredictable, but she never let fear hold her back from taking on new challenges and opportunities.

Though she’s passed on, we still look up to her as a role model, having inherited her adventurous spirit and resourcefulness. She will always have our backs no matter what.

Despite the many obstacles and setbacks she faced, she never lost sight of her goals or her values and with her life’s partner and co-creator George, they were always determined to create a better life for their children.

Through it all, she was a rebel at heart, challenging the status quo and inspiring others to do the same. A true force of nature, a mother, and a role model who showed us all what it means. Our mother Maria formed the pillar of our home.

I remember that shriek whenever I would not do homework or whenever I’d bully my little sisters or bunk school or tell lies after lies to cover up our crap. It was like an air raid siren! Stop! Take cover! Hide!

She just took it all in. Patient, caring she had to give six of everything. She worked six times as hard.

We miss you mom.

I’ve found my Maria, she’s just like you.