My great grandmother Yona was a remarkable woman. I've already written about her but I don't feel like I quite captured her awesomeness with my previous post.

Slippers by Yona 
In Communist Bulgaria all men and women below 65 years of age had to work full time and many families were forced to send their children to weeklong boarding kindergartens but that didn't happen to me because my great grandmother offered to look after me when my parents or grandparents couldn't.
She was a great storyteller and a great teacher who inspired me to learn Mathematics by showing me all the different ways one could think about counting. By the time I got to first grade I already knew how to multiply and divide without having to memorize any multiplication tables thanks to her.
She made unique hats and slippers without any pattern guidelines. She used only counting to make intricate patterns, and her hats were so professionally made and good looking that people wanted to buy them.

A child's hat by Yona 
Her personal story was most likely different than the one she volunteered to everyone but what is certain of her is that she had a great strength of character, a remarkable talent for algebra, and a quirky sense of humour.
She didn't believe in an afterlife but she believed that one becomes immortal by creating useful stuff and by making the lives of others better. My childhood was one of the happiest times of my life and my life is better because of her.
When I post mathematical conjectures, algorithms, and sequences in this blog I dedicate all of them to her and to her friend and my other great grandmother Ivanka even if I don't explicitly say so.
Ivanka was a great artist and she had an exhibit of her paintings when she was 18 years old at the same building that is now the Varna Archaeological Museum. Neither of them were religious and neither of them were communists either. They were just good people.

A portrait of Ivanka's mother 
Ivanka suffered from hyperthyroidism, which went undiagnosed for years until it was too late. She lost her ability to speak when I was 8 but before that she helped a lot of people. Yona continued to help everyone around her, to grow strawberries, and to knit until she passed away when I was 20 years old. She lived to see the great grandson of her oldest daughter.