The death of my mother

This summer I met my sister Lydia, who lives with her family in Syberia and she came to stay in Moldova for the summer. After we met her at the station with the other two sisters of mine and our children, we went together at our home, we had a meal and we begun to remember about our hard childhood. I had an occassion to ask many questions and to find from my sisters things that I hadn’t known before, though we were talking many times on this subject. On the basis of my memories and of the things told by my sisters, I will tell how was the death of my mother.

It was the end of the spring in 1980 and I was 8 years old. The end of the school year was close. One evening the father came home drunk again, he beat my mother and us, the children, violently and we managed hardly to flee away to our grandparents. Mother was working at the policlinic from the village as a nurse and she was continuing to go to work daily. There, at the grandparents, I found a good friend, Sergiu Prida, and we were playing daily. He was the same age as me. The wise Solomon writes in the book of Proverbs: “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of discipline will remove it far from him. ”(Proverbs 22:15)(NASB) Foolishness hadn’t avoided our hearts of children either. Once, after we had found some ends of consumed cigars on the road, we were tempted to try how was it like when you smoke and we experienced while we were standing at their gate. He “had a smoke”, as we had heard the grown-ups had been talking and I did the same thing. Exactly when I had the first cigar in my mouth, I say how my mother appeared at the end of the road and she was approaching; that day she was coming from her work earlier as she usually did. She was a very beautiful woman and, though she suffered many things and tortures from my father, she had an energetic and full of life bearing. She was dressed in a simple dress with images and little written text concerning the Olympiad, that had to be in Moscow in that summer. We were all waiting for that event, since the olympic fire had to pass through our village on its way from Greece to Moscow. My mother was coming quickly and I was very concerned what to do, so that she might not get the smell of the cigars we had just smoked for the first time, and, in this way, to add to her sufferings and grief. When she came close to me, she caressed my head, took my hand and while we came close to the grandparents’ house, she said to me: “Let’s go, Vasilica, my dear. It seems that mother took sick hardlier than other times…” She was telling that because she was always suffering of stomach-aches and it is easily to understand when I think at the sufferings that she endured systematically.

Not long time before finding out of her illness, my sisters remember how our neighbor, Eugenia was coming for more days to our home and she was trying to talk to my mother. Finally, she told her that she had dreamt her as a bride and that dream had a bad meaning and it meant that death was close. No one knew the Gospel on our street and, concerning the relation with God and the knowledge of His will for our family, and the other families, they could be described with these words of the Scriptures, that says: “…that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.”(Ephesians 2:12)(NASB) They were all under the control of superstitions and, as we will see further on, tortured by the powers of the darkness and of the devil.

My mother’s illness started to progress very, very quickly. I remember how she began to vomit all that she was eating. Our uncle and the youngest brother of my mother, Gheorghe took my mother quickly, trying to bring her to be seen by the best doctors, but the treatments offered by the doctors had no effect and the illness was growing progressively worse. My mother was brought at home, and then, she was very quickly sent back to the hospital by our uncle.

My sisters were permanently, almost daily going to the hospital, to Chisinau, then to Hincesti and finally to the hospital from our village. They were often taking me to the hospital and I, in my world of a child, thought that if my mother was at the hospital, and if she visited so many hospitals and spent so much time there, she would recover soon definitively.

I don’t remember my father to take me to the hospital, and I don’t even remeber of he went there on his own. He didn’t visit my mother and he didn’t care about her. But I do remember how mother, once was lying ill in bed, in the shade, in front of our house, and she began to vomit blood and I was very scared of that. It was fall already, there were the last days of August and I had just come from school, where I had received the school books for the third grade. I came to my  mother’s bed and we began to look over my books together and as I was curious to know all, I was looking and telling my mother and she was seeking consolation in listening to me. (Tears came to my eyes again) How sweet were those moments spent with my mother and how much I would like to experience them again. Though they were not too long. I remember how in that day, my father came home and began to beat my mother while she was lying in her bed. I don’t remember what reason he said to her, because his reasons were always without any reason, but the cruelty I saw that time added so much to the hatred I had in my heart for my father. Later on, I was feeding the thought of revenge with that image from that evening. When my mother’s sister, Maria, or any other relative of my mother, was coming to visit her, the father was always quarrelling, crying and he was ready to start the beating, too. And after a while, he didn’t even allow them to come and visit my mother.

In desperation we were looking for all possible solutions for the recovering of our mother. And because our village was full of black magic, which people were calling as sorcery, this reason was not excluted. My sister, Lydia, went to talk with the wife of my mother’s brother Gheorghe, whom all people from the village knew and until today they remember her as Maria Dmitrievna. She is not alive, she passed away because of an illness, too, when she was very young. Maria Dmitrievna was a paediatrician and she was a woman, that had a special kindness and gentleness. My mother had a special love and affection for her, and she cared about my mother very much, too. So, Lydia went and asked this aunt of ours, if someone hadn’t performed any sorcery to our mother, so that she might fall ill and die. Then, Maria Dmitrievna told Lydia that she would believe that only if a woman from the village, named Ioana, would tell that to her and she sent her there. Lydia went to that woman and when she came she told her who she was and what the reason was she came for. The old woman, who was also performing sorcery, after she found out who my mother was, told her that our mother was incurably ill and she would not recover. And so, that she might not doubt her words, that woman gave my sister a bundle of dry herbs and she told her to place the herbs into a vessel with wine and to boil them until a half of the wine evaporated. While she would be boiling that liquid, the person who had performed those scorceries to my mother would come and visit her.

When Lydia came home, she put in a vessel that herb and she boiled it according to the instruction she had received. The wife of the man who lived near us, was afrid by all people from the street because she was practising scorceries. She had never come to visit my mother, though she had been ill since spring, and it was already fall, when the events were taking place. So, that neighbour, took her husband and she went to the neighbour, Eugenia and while the herb was boiling, she entered to visit our mother. When they got to our house’s door, the neighbour who came for the first time to visit our mother was very agitated and afraid. They entered in the house, but she could not stay in the presence of our mother more than some minutes, then she went away and left. Her husband remained with Eugenia and had a discussion with my mother. My sisters were terrified of what they had seen. The next day, they went to our aunt, Maria, who was a paediatrician and she said: “It will happen the way the old woman has told you…” In this way, she admitted that medicine was helpless before the powers of darkness. How much do all of us need to know the Lord Jesus and His power? Our hearts were destroyed of fear and desperation.

In our great desperation, my sisters were looking for solutions and they were looking for them there, where they could never come from. They didn’t know the Word of God and the power of Christ. There was an old sorcerer, that was well known, in the neighbouring village, Boghiceni. My sister, Lenuta, that was only 15 years ols then, went to that sorcerer to find out the reason of my mother’s illness and to ask help for her recovering. When she got there, that old man, asked her to draw much water from the well until she filled many furkins. That was the payment for the answer she wanted to find out. In the end, he told that the mother would die and there was no healing for her. After many years, we have found out that the old man was directly implied in the destruction of our family. So, how could we wait for solution from one who destroyed our family?

Now, I realize that visiting scorcerers, we were sinning before God, who says in His Word:“There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORD your God will drive them out before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God.” (Deuteronomy 18:10–13)(NASB)

I was already going to school and one day, when I came back from school, I stopped near a well to drink water. A woman with a pail came and told me to hurry up home, because my mother died. I don’t know how my child heart resist to this news and how it didn’t stop. I began to run, weeping desperately to my home, so that I got there very quickly. When I entered in the yard, my father was sitting alone at the table and he told me that my mother hadn’t died. I think that God was helping me through that experience for what had to follow further on.

My mother continued to lie in the hospital from the village and she was weakening day by day. The illness was very quickly progressing. Every morning I woke up and I went quickly to see her and then I went to school. I had such a state on my heart, which I cannot express, but it was so overwhelming and permanent. After lessons, I went to my mother again and she was so glad to see me always.

In a Sunday morning I went to one of my cousins to play and he invited me to go and visit another cousin of his, but who wasn’t my cousin. Our way was passing near the hospital from the village and I thought that my cousin would not wait for me, if I went to visit my mother, and I went on without visiting her. I thought… in fact, I didn’t think… If I had done that, I would have been realized the price of those moments that I would have spent with my mother. The next day, in the morning, I went as usually to see my mother. When I entered in the room, I saw tears and pain in my mother’s eyes and she only told me that she would have rejoiced greatly if I had visited her. It always hurt me the pain I did to my mother in that day and now, when I am a parent, I realize more what a hurt I caused her then. How much I would like to turn back the time, but this can never happen. That’s why, we have to count our days well, to think our actions and to treasure our time, that God gives to us to spend it with those we love. If your parents are still alive, maybe you will go and visit them even today? Treasure the precious moments that you can spend with them.

The illness was progressing quickly and mother was living her last days on the earth. The father had never gone to visit her and she asked him to come to the hospital. He had never been and many days had passed after he went to her. When he came, the mother asked for forgiveness from him, as she knew that all Christians had to do before death, to ask for forgiveness from all people. But my father didn’t ask for forgiveness, though he had the most reasons to do that before mother and before us, and before the brothers and sisters of our mother. My sisters were witness at that last discussion. After that, my mother asked him to care about us and she asked him to divide the land that we had, so that my sisters could have houses nearby, if their husbands would want, in that way to remain a family. The father promised that he would take care about us and he left. He didn’t have patience to stay near the mother more time, in the same way as he didn’t fulfill any of the promises he had made to my mother before her death.

In the next days, the mother was very close to the moment of death, but because my sisters began to cry near her, she couldn’t die and she came to her senses again. In the morning of the 25th of October, my mother asked my sisters to leave her alone in the room. When they left, she began to sing and in that way she passed away. She wanted to live beatifuly and she lived beautifuly, even if she had to endure so much. The fact that my mother passed away singing, means very much to me, because through this, she taught us a good lesson about the correct attitude towards life and death. But she was the only one who sang that evening. The rest of us wept. I was little and I was sleeping at home, when I heard the desperate cry of Lydia and Lenuta, that was heard far away, early in the morning. I didn’t see and I don’t know what was the first reaction of my father, when he heard the awful news, but I was to find it. When I dressed up and went to the kitchen, he was sitting alone at the table, eating peacefuly, as he had been doing that every morning. Nothing, nothing different… He called me to eat with him too. But my sisters were totally destroyed and bewildered. The preparations for the burial had to begin. In my child world, I didn’t realize at once the tragedy that happened. I wanted to have beautiful badges, but I didn’t have them then, as I was dreamy, the same way I remained, and I decided to do that badges by myself and I gathered all pieces of plastic or metal that were at least looking as badges and in that morning I got up and I began to sew them on my school cloth. One of my sisters came to me, caressed my head and told me to leave the thing I was doing and she sent me to the shop from the centre of the village to buy something, I think bread. While I was walking, I began to realize the tragedy, because all people that met me, were looking terrified at me. I suppose they thought then what would have been if their children had been in my situation. A great fear began to fill my heart and as the time passed I was more and more frightened. Our only source of care and love, the only person whom I knew that loved us, there was not there anymore. I could see only DARKNESS, without light, without hope, empty and awfull. In those three days until my mother’s burial, the fright grew very quickly and it is difficult to describe what this means, I can’t find words that could describe at  least that state.

In the burial day, I wept the whole day and on the way to the cemetery, and when they let down my mother’s coffin, I was weeping desperately and I wanted to go in the tomb with her. My father took my hand and took me out of there to go at home, while the men began to cover the coffin with ground. I couldn’t stop crying and the father was carrying me by the hand, we were al going to our house and the father was quarreling me to stop crying. I couldn’t stop until we got at home. What happened next to our family, I will tell you, but what is concerning to me, after my mother’s death, I was obsessed by the thought of suicide and death in the next year. Though I was just a 9 years old child, I wanted so much to die and that was the only thought I had and only by God’s mercy I didn’t do anything regarding that thing. I couldn’t look in people’s eyes and when I was on my way to school or from school, if someone came towards me, I couldn’t stop to begin to cry.

But, God hasn’t left us, and as the Holy Scriptures says: “He is the Father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, is God in His holy habitation. God makes a home for the lonely; he leads out the prisoners into prosperity, only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.” (Psalm 68:5–6)(NASB). I will tell you later how God took care about us and about the people He has used in our lives further on.

Translated by Djugostran Felicia