It was a kind reminder of a Saint’s day
moved too soon in the life after life
where flowers never wither, and rivers are always fresh,
and the human heart is forever coherent.
John has not killed any dreadful dragons
still, in a humble sacrifice
he has blessed others and has made possible the glory
of the true Life.
I have found these faint memories
in the depths of an imaginary drawer
with fields of gold tenderly waving in the wind
like the breath of my father on his birthday.
Dedicated to my father, John, born on St. John’s day, June 24th.
90 words, Adela Galasiu, 2016
Many years have passed since his loss, still the one thing she could never understand was why she had seen all the other departed loved ones in her dreams, but never him. It felt as if he had suddenly completely vanished. She had prayed for him and lit candles, hoping he had found his peace. She has always regretted not having told him how much she loved him and not being allowed to say goodbye. The thought of him being alone in agony minutes before he passed away has always made her heart deeply bleed. Maybe in other circumstances she would have come to terms with his sudden departure and would have let go, but all that pain(his, her mothers and hers), has created a cursed loop of sad memories around the date when he had passed away.
Tonight, another year has passed. Silent cold winter night outside. Sitting in her armchair, with grey hair and her finger touching the window, she can still see him with the eyes of her mind, his temple leaning against the cold window of an old train that was supposed to get him home, but has instead delivered his soul to an unknown destination.
Cold winter, a rusty train moving slowly through a vast plain of white, snow gently falling from the frozen sky. He is worried sick about his wife and daughter and prays God that the train could move faster so he can get home and hold them in his arms.
While looking out through the cold window he observes the snow flowers growing in beautiful patterns. But a sudden claw of pain catches his chest. He knows it’s his heart, the same pain like few months ago when he collapsed in the living room. Only now it’s so much more intense. He tries to call somebody, but nobody’s around. He tries to stand up, but his feet are too heavy, he cannot catch his breath. The compartment starts turning around him, faster and faster, a carousel from which he has no strength to step down. The intense pain paralyzes him, and while unable to defeat the pain, he exhales resting his forehead on the window. He understands that this is the end. His thoughts fly far to his beloved family while he slips into a deep silent dream.
As he opens his eyes he finds himself barefoot, leaning against a willow tree, the same tree where he used to play as a child. There’s an amazing glow in the sky. He wonders what happened to the pain in his chest, but it’s all gone. He runs through the grass and gets his feet into the river.
The cool water, the sounds and smells make him feel young, his heart filled with an enormous joy. It feels as waking up from a nightmare where he was dreaming he was having a heart attack alone in a train. He is back now, young and happy, no fear, no memory, no pain. In a distance he hears familiar voices, his mother calling him, his childhood friends coming. Yet he tries to understand why every once in while he dreams of this unknown girl, that seems so very familiar. He always dreams the same thing: she is praying for his peace and that he is happy wherever he is. She is talking to him, asking him where he had vanished. It’s a mystery who she is, still, he feels as if he knows her since forever. Dreaming her makes him feel sad, because every time he sees her he tries to embrace her, to comfort her, but she doesn’t even notice his presence.
One day he asks his mother what this may mean. Smiling she tells him : “Next time when you will dream of the unknown girl, look around you . There must be something you need to do before these dreams will stop, God has His reasons.”
Sat in her armchair, asleep, she dreams of a field full of flowers where in a distance she can finally see her father. She recognises him, young and looking happy, and while seeing him, tears stream down on her face. She smiles and her face is suddenly lit by an unearthly happy glow.
He can hear her talk to him in her mind: “Where have you been all these years? I missed you so much. I never had the chance to tell you how much I love you.”
He reaches his arms towards her trying to hold her, but once again his arms pass through her as if he would not be able to touch her material body. He feels saddened, but as he turns his eyes around in the room he notices on the table several pictures, most of them are hers with her family. Out of all the pictures, one catches his attention: it’s his picture, as a young man, holding in his arms this little girl. Who is she? Then he notices a note written in ink on the picture: “Dad & me, 1979”.
He looks amazed back at her. She is older, but now he suddenly remembers the shape of her little nose and hands while playing with her as a baby. He finally understands and he feels deeply heartbroken at the thought that his child has spent so many years crying for his loss. He was never lost, how could this be possible?
While she leans her temple against the window like he once did, he kisses her forehead and whispers in her ear: “My child, I found peace and I’m always with you. I know how much you love me, I love you too. Now stop re-living the past, live YOUR life, it’s time for YOU to find the peace and to be happy.”
He lingers there for another moment listening to the ticking of his daughter’s watch. He smiles. After so many years, for one moment, he can feel again the passage of time before returning to Paradise.
1000 words, memyselfandela / Adela Galasiu, 22nd of December 2015
In loving memory of my dear father Ioan Galasiu, who passed away 26 years ago. I truly believe he has found peace and Paradise.
It was a cold winter afternoon when the news of losing her husband had struck her worst than the lightning. Shocking. Scary. Heartbreaking. Cruel. This news never comes easy, but there was a sense of cruelty in the easiness with which the words have been spoken by her brother in law who did not even realize that it was not his father John that had been found dead, but his brother John, who happened to have the same name but who has been living at a completely different address. It was ironic that he did not understand the obvious when he received that fatidic phone call, but when she heard about it, she was the only one who did understand. In that moment of truth, in the presence of her daughter, her whole universe has crumbled in a moment. Her child has stood still by the sound of her excruciating loud scream, a voice of despair never heard before. A scream announcing a lot of suffering.
Then came a long time of waiting for the confirmation of her loss, most probably the longest night in her life. They had gone to bring back home his dead body and she was helpless, she had to wait with her child for the moment when she would see him dead with her own eyes. Her heart was broken in two. Her mind was telling her that he was gone, yet her soul refused to accept it and hung on any glimpse of hope. She tried to phone and find out more, she tried to get help from people around, yet nobody seemed to care and all others seemed to stay out of this tragedy that was left only on her shoulders. When there’s pain, nobody seems to want to know it, all seem to turn their back and refuse to be close to it. A solitude understood only by the hurt ones.
With her family hundreds of miles away, she had spent a whole terror night hiding in a corner of the flat, finding comfort only in embracing her daughter while whispering through the tears “it cannot be him, no, he is not dead…Yes, it is him, it can only be him living at our address… no, it cannot be him…” An agony that would have gone unknown to anyone but God. Sounds of bullets fired outside the building, in the near proximity and in a distance, have tormented the whole night. A night of such an acute solitude and emptiness that she nearly lost her mind.
Making it through the madness of what is now known as the Romanian Revolution in 1989, her brothers and sisters have defied any fear and have taken all the same train, coming to bring the deserved consolation for the soul that did not have the strength to express the loss and pain anymore. Their embrace was similar to the wing of an angel covering a broken soul.
His soul was still floating among us while we were crying by his side while we were saying goodbye. In a little village church lit up by many candles, on Christmas day, in that small room full of a whole community of relatives and neighbours, he must have seen his wife kissing his forehead for the last time and his daughter being taken away while reaching her hand for the last time towards him as they were nailing the top of his coffin. He must have known he was loved and missed. He must know he is loved till the end of time.
It is all very vivid in my memory. People say time makes memories fade, yet this memory stays the same, it opens in my mind with the same brightness of a light that suddenly illuminates a very dark room. It was and still is painful. Yet it is also the loving memory of my beloved father. It is also the love for my dear precious mother, a woman who has been through so much in life. I was the witness, I was the child, and somewhere in my heart , at this time of the year, I still am. Back there, 25 years ago.
Photos: Adela Galasiu, 2014
Dedicated to my late father, Ioan Galasiu.
After 2 months of waiting here is the episode where I had the honour of sharing my story too. My contribution is dedicated to my beloved father, Ioan Galasiu and to Gershwin’s beloved Rhapsody in Blue. Many thanks BBC Radio 4. Adela Galasiu, 2014
Photos: Adela Galasiu, 2014.
Anger? Hate? What would be the perfect word to carve into my arm? What do I allocate this tender, fleshy space between my elbow and my wrist to? Ah, no, don’t tell me. I should tattoo that I have been looking for you a lifetime and that I will never give up on the hope to finally find you. I have looked for you a lifetime? No, this is no place for lamentations… Love? Peace and Light? No, I should tattoo that I love you, that I love your feet and your heart. Your big feet. And that I live for those moments when all I want to hear is my little breath next to the amazing sound of your thumping heartbeat.
Memories of a madman float in the void space around, yet the heart knows no fear. Tomorrow? Tomorrow is now. I am tired to wait for an indefinite time when maybe something will happen. No, I feel and I love and I care and I suffer and I breathe and I hope and I dream. I can touch tomorrow with the tips of my fingers and embrace it as it comes, in the making. I am no longer waiting for a life, here I am, I AM the LIFE!
I had to sigh a million times till I could finally start to breathe… Breathe with my heart and soul, with my being, not only with my feeble lungs… LIVE , not only biologically pathetically exist… Embrace my fiery real feelings, not only humbly get crushed underneath their intensity… And what I found out in the end is that in a lifetime we may break and fall a million times,again and again, but baby, one day, after all this crush and falling, we can finally rise and fly.