Dearest Father, Thank You!

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Last week I published a post in which I brought homage to my mother. Today I want to do the same for my father.

As I said, both my parents were born in the same village in 1935. They got married in 1953 at the age of 18. This year they are going to celebrate 64 years of marriage!

When my father met my mother, he was one of the most desirable young men in the village, not only because of his beautiful traits but also because of his family reputation and "weight."

My mother was beautiful too so my father had a huge competition. Which he clearly subdued.
Although they were similar and equal in physical aspects, their backgrounds couldn't have been more different.
My mother's family was wealthy, but they were all pure-blood farmers. On the other hand, my father's family members were literate people. Therefore, on the hierarchy of social classes, they were thousands of miles away and their union in marriage was a true scandal in the village.
My grandparents are not here to tell me their version, and my parents' minds are full of fresher memories. Many of the old ones are long buried, some are only reminiscences, that's why I write them on down in blog posts and books.

My older sibling had the luxury to hear these at a short distance from when they happened, but my youngest brother and I were not so lucky. Sometimes I think that they are speaking about completely different people.

The other day, my father, in a moment of clear and touching lucidity, he told me the exact tale of his conscription to military service.

In 1956 (three years after getting married) he received the letter and presented himself right away in front of the doctor for the medical examination. Apparently, they found out that he was suffering from a sort of infection easily curable. However, that made him inept for the military service right then.
The doctor gave him two choices: to go home and wait to be called again when the infection will be cured or to go and serve the country then but behind the lines. Meaning that he was not to have a gun but could have helped in different ways.
My father, who didn't have the means to cure his illness in the village (due to the lack of hospitals and doctors) chose to serve then. 

Until now I always believed that my father had the option to avoid the military service due to the fact that he was the father of two and the head of the family. I couldn't have been more wrong than that! 
Nobody ever gave him any alternatives, he was obliged to serve the country. It didn't matter he was the only one providing for his young wife and two babies. - Monsters! 

He was therefore delegated to aerial artillery in Giurgiu, an important city on the borders of Danubio, 400 km away from my village. 

Almost all his fellow soldiers were of Hungarian origin. But also caporals, lieutenants, serjeants, doctors, etc. 
Now, you don't know but between Hungarians and Romanians, there is a lot of bad blood going on. 
The Hungarians accuse the Romanians for have stolen Transylvania from them, for this reason, they don't like Romanians much... or at all, or even worse. 
However, my father is not a regular human being. I don't think there was ever anyone to not like him. 

Got in Giurgiu's barracks, they first took care of his illness and during his permanence in the infirmary, everybody ended up with loving his playful nature. He made every single person laugh despite the pain or the struggles. Everybody liked him, but the doctor in charge was utterly “in love” with his quick mind and practicality. One day the doctor asked my father if he would like to become a medical assistant/male nurse and assist him. My father accepted. During that time, he saved the life of a soldier who shot himself by mistake and that gained him huge respect and admiration from every single human in those barracks. His name became well known and respected. He has never received mistreatment or abuse, at least he never mentioned anything like that. 

This is a long story, and I cannot write it all in here. If you're interested, wait for my books. 

The soldiers were not allowed to leave the barracks without written approval, of course.
My father was a true Catholic believer, but during the communist regime, religion was prohibited. However, my father went to church in secret almost every day risking his freedom and life. In there he stayed hidden from everyone and when I asked him why he said that all his direct superiors were in there too. 

For one year my father had no permission to go home and he missed his family tremendously. My mother didn't have the money to go visit him so they didn't see or heard each other for an entire year. 
The doctor had free days every month and went home every time. One day, narrates my father, the doctor came back from home and called his wife right away telling her he was already missing her. In a moment of weakness, my father started to cry and confessed: "You just got back and... I haven't seen my wife in a year! You have no idea of how I feel inside."
A couple of days later, he was authorised to go home for two weeks.

During his military service, my father was paid 7 lei a month. "For cigarettes and soap." He never smoked and used the soap from the infirmary. He saved all that money and bought tights, sandals, and sweets to his little girls (sending it all home by a woman from a village close to ours). 

I just can't imagine my father buying clothes for his children. But my mother confirmed. 

I didn't know many things about my father's youth and I am so grateful for have heard this story from his mouth just a month ago. Especially now when he doesn't remember much from the day or an hour before.

My father is going to be 82 soon. He's incredibly tired, ill, and fragile. His memories are irremediably fading away. It hurts so badly witnessing at his rapid decline. 

When I left for Italy he was full of life and vitality that he couldn't sit still for five minutes. 
A couple of years after that, he had severe health issues and lost all his energy. It was like life suddenly decided to abandon his body and mind. I had such a shock when I saw him again. It broke my heart. 

I never saw my father crying and I used to believe he was the strongest person ever. After those dreadful incidents, his eyes never dried up. 
Which means he has always been a terribly sensitive person, he just never showed it. He had to maintain the appearances. A man cannot cry like a woman. Seeing his eyes inundated by tears it's utterly excruciating and I wonder why people have to go through so many unbearable situations.  

He went to work by bicycle so he could bring home milk and flour from the city. 
Out of bed at 4 Am every single day for so many long years. 
During the winter he was used to waking up at 2 Am to get to work on time. 
How distant was the city? Just 15 kilometres, but walking on 2-4 metres of snow was demanding even for God himself. 

During the harsh weather, with temperatures of - 35 Celsius degrees, he was the only one to be in work. Not even those who lived just one kilometre away got out of the house. But he was never late and never missed a single day of work. His reliability was truly outstanding. He never said: "I didn't feel well, I didn't hear the alarm, or I couldn't find the way amidst the 3 metres of snow or the heavy rain." 
He was and is deeply respected for that and many other reasons that you will find in my future books.

My father was a very strict and severe person. If you'd see him now, you'd never believe it though. His intransigence shaped my character and personality. I owe him a great deal of debt so Thank you, Beloved Father. 
Thank you for passing onto me some of your beautiful physical and moral traits. 
Thank you for inculcating in me formidable values and principles. "Never miss a day of school or work, always keep your word, under no circumstances betray someone's trust, be productive, don't pretend help from others, always follow the rules... ." 

If today people know that they could trust me with their lives, is because of you. For all these and so much more, I bow my head in respect for you. Words can never be enough.

May the Universe be merciful and send upon you some reasons to smile as you made so many people rolling on the floor from so much laughter. It would only be fair. 

My parents' life is a colourful intricate movie and I will do my best to make it happen. It doesn't matter what and how long it will take. They deserve it.

Thank you for your visit. See you soon, amazing human being.


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