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Monday, January 22, 2007
I prey to God your soul to keep...
This is to my grandfather, to all good things he ever did. Funny thing is, when someone dies, some remember the pain they caused, other the happiness. Others just come at your house, pay their respects, as if it matters, then gossip about the dead man’s life with him standing there, placed in his coffin.

Because the world is such a horrible place some times, and because we should judge no one (simply because we would not know how when faced with contradictory facts and feelings), I will choose to remember the good things only.

Soon after turning 18, my grandfather went to war. WW II, that is. He never fired at human targets. “I only shot the air above me. Maybe that’s why God did not allow me to die in that war,” he used to tell us later on. And yes, God kept him alive, for 2 long years of being a prisoner in Siberia. He used to tell me how bad the POW experience was. Little food, lots of work, those who could not work anymore or come back after work were shot by the Russians.

He almost had the same fate one day. On the way back to the prisoners’ camp, he fell, as he was too weak. A friend of his carried him back and the doctor there treated him for a while. After the war, he came back and got married. He had two children, a boy and a girl from his first marriage. And another two, a boy and a girl, from his marriage with my grandmother.

In what blood is concerned, I have nothing to bond me with him. My mom was his step daughter. But for God knows what reason, he really loved me a lot. Maybe because I was the kind of child that never cried at night…Well, I used to wake up at 7 am and run into his kitchen. He would ask what I wanted. I would say doughnuts most of the times. Other times I would ask for food, not sweets. And he’d start cooking or baking right then.

When I grew up, I always went to visit him, although the relationship between him and my grandma was long buried. Maybe because he was part of my oldest memories (the cooking and baking happened until I was 3 and a half). Maybe because I felt all the kindness he spread on me. I always liked seeing him, eating whatever he gave me. Complicated dishes he cooked on his own. Jam and other sweets. He also used make me wooden swards and knifes to play.

The last time I saw him was about 3 months ago, the last time I went to my grandma’s. I had this strong feeling I needed to see him. And I went with my mom, who had not seen him in many years. It was nice and cozy there. Just like I remembered.

My grandfather was nothing close to a saint, my grandma and other distant memories of mine can tell stories on that topic. Still, he did enough good deeds for people to remember him. As for me, I will always miss him. May God rest his soul.

posted by Alina @ 9:04 AM  
  • At 1/22/2007 10:08 AM, Blogger Ali la Loca said…

    He sounds like a wonderful man. I like the memories of baking, and the stories he told of the camps in Siberia are unbelievable.


    Hope you are well.

  • At 1/22/2007 10:29 AM, Blogger Alina said…

    Thank you, Ali. He was great to me. And yes, the stories from Siberia are really incredible.

  • At 1/22/2007 1:03 PM, Anonymous NetBoy said…

    He must have been a great man for how he served in the war and coped with being a prisoner in Siberia... No one is a saint and we shouldn't judge people for the small bad things in their life... How many other of our grandfathers that have gone to war wheren't there enjoying the slaughter, looting or god knows what else?


  • At 1/22/2007 2:03 PM, Blogger Alina said…

    Even when the harm is obvious, it is still impossible to judge someone. Indeed, no one is a saint and no one enjoys having killings imposed on them. Some also do something about it.

  • At 1/22/2007 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Is a little strange how we get so close with our grandparents. In my case, i use to think i loved my grandma more then my mother...but who am i to judge their acts? At least they had the courage to live their lives.
    And beautiful is to see that in this kind of moments we most remember the good things they've done. Induces me the idea of "now i see what i really lose/i've lost".
    Being a grandparent is a quality or everybody becames a beloved one at his time? Maybe because in time a grandparent is made only by soul and remembers.
    In my grandma's case i didn't want to accept she's not anymore. Now i like to think she's gone doing some good things to others.
    They leave this earth, but then they move into our souls forever.
    May God also rest all souls which have no more someone to set of fire a candle for their peace!

  • At 1/22/2007 9:59 PM, Blogger MoonLightShadow said…

    May God rest his soul in peace.

    Hope you'd be getting over the pain of losing beloved ones, but never forget the good memories.

  • At 1/22/2007 10:54 PM, Anonymous the olive ream said…

    My deepest condolences, Alina. What a beautiful tribute to your grandfather, and certainly one your best and most inspiring posts.

    PS. Come visit my new blog ( when you get time.

  • At 1/23/2007 2:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A beautiful, evocative post. May your grandfather rest in peace.

  • At 1/23/2007 6:56 PM, Blogger VD said…

    May he rest in peace.

  • At 1/24/2007 6:58 AM, Blogger LouLou said…

    Very sad Alina. May he rest in peace, in a better place.

    I really love the bit about his never having shot anyone in the war. If everyone who went to war did that, wars would be something different from what they are.

  • At 1/24/2007 8:22 AM, Blogger Alina said…

    Thank you all for your kind words. This has been quite tough on my family and your support has really meant a lot.

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Name: Alina
Home: Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
About Me: "This is my church. This is where I heal my hurts". It's also where I feel free and my preferred means of expression.
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