On September 6, 2007, I was at the funeral of my wife’s grandmother, Chiosa Elizaveta Tudor. On September 1, she turned 80 years old. When she was only 29, she became a widow with four children after her husband Vladimir died of an illness. Although she was urged by all to give the children to the orphanage, the grandmother took all the hard work on herself and raised all the children. She did not go to Italy or anywhere else and did not go to make money to make the lives of her children better, but she stayed with them and raised them, cared for and loved them. Her life has been a beautiful life and we are proud of it.
After the funeral, when we came to sit at the table with all those who came to send her on the last journey, we tried to take this opportunity to learn about the life of our grandmother, but also about the history of our village known to people. I want to share with you some of the things I learned from different people, but most of all, what Mr. Ştefan Stanciu told me.
The famine of 1946
As was the case in all of Moldova, the famine of 1946 also badly affected the village of Lapușna, where many people died because of it. There was also a case of cannibalism in the village, when a woman named Ioana killed her husband and when the police came to her house, they found her husband’s body hanged and his belly split, and she was eating his liver. Mr. Ştefan Stanciu says that at that time he was 17 years old and he remembers all these things well. He served the priest with his carriage and said that the priest had to walk from funeral to funeral all day, so many people were dying. In particular, most people died in the spring of 1947. They were all so weak that they could not even dig to bury the dead, they had no power, and they only dug pits of a shallow depth, and so they buried the dead. Only in the spring of 1947 the authorities began to give some of the corn to those who were most affected by the famine, and the people ate both the whole grain and the empty cob. In the spring the nettle and the hedges had come out, and so the remaining people managed to survive.
Deportations since 1948
In 1948, 10 families were deported from the village. When I asked what were the reasons, I was told that there were no reasons, they were hardworking people, and the communist authorities planned to deport a certain number of families from each village. Among those deported were Chiosa Tudor, the Chirica family and the family of Mr. Grigoraş, who was mayor during the Soviet occupation of June 28, 1940. Bubuioc Mihei and his family never returned to the village, nor did their children. The houses of these people were taken and used by the communists.
Attempt to close the Church in 1962
In 1962, the Soviet authorities sought to apply the “principle of freedom of conscience” they applied everywhere by destroying churches. In our village at that time Ilarion Ion Bârlădeanu was mayor and he was submissive to the authorities looking to apply their requirements. However, they failed to close the church because all the people in the village came out and opposed the authorities who, in addition to intending to close the church, also wanted to remove the new priest Gheorghe Chiriţa, who still serves even now. Sitting at the table, I asked people what were the achievements of Mayor Ilarion Bârlădeanu, in addition to the “failure” of the attempt to ruin the House of God. No one could remember any achievement. This is how this man went through life and this is how many others like him went through it. How do you live your life? What will people remember about you when you leave this earth? God says in Holy Scripture:
“A good name is better than good oil, and the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth.” (Ecclesiastes 7:1 NASB)
And in another place he says:
“A good name is to be more desired than great wealth; favor is better than silver and gold.” (Proverbs of Solomon 22:1 NASB)
Seek to believe in God, to obey Him, and to have a good name both before Him and in dealing with people. Also, if you know more details about the described events, I invite you to write these details in the comments, or to publish articles about the history of your village.
Translated by Olya Trikolich