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Letter to Father

I kept putting off writing this article because it is invasive and painful, but very important for me! I am worried I will not find the right words to explain how important Father is for me. I also have stories about Mother, but the subject today is about Fathers and their daughters…

Father was a story, but on a sombre day – he became… a legend. The legend of a fighter, of a man very strong who succeeded in defeating himself, he knew and he tried to do everything with however much love and kindness as he could, he wanted to prove to the world that in any conditions you can be a Satisfied Man. Father was a wise, never tired, restless, he loved life with his entire being.

The story of his life is unnerving and there is much to say about it, so much that there will be a book needed to describe his fate. At the age of only one and four months, a bad and ruthless disease, which developed because of a monstrous virus, that paralysed him. Polio! His two legs were taken from him and he was unable to stand on his feet anymore. He, however, never gave up in the face of struggles and he didn’t lose the path as a Human and Artist for one moment. His never-ending thirst and love for life raised Vasile Movileanu on the Vertical. Like the Phoenix, he raised, stronger and more determined after every struggle. In this way, he could not have been anyone else but the person he became, which is a remarkable artist!

He left his home at an early age, a corner of the world he never forgot, and to which he would always return with pleasure. When he was talking about his hometown, he would always remind us of what we were and we were going to become; he had a lot of confidence and hope, faith and determination. In his tumultuous life, he didn’t acquire a lot of material things, but he left us with the most important treasure was the spiritual treasure, (his own example, the illustrated books, and a lot of artworks…).

There was a lot of talk about his works and there will still be talking, but I can tell you, as his daughter, that he succeeded in his role as a loving and responsible parent… For him, Family was his priority. There have been years, but now, when I am looking back, I think they look like seconds running away from me.

Father – so many memories, so many words spinning through my head and the first words are that I miss you, father!

I hoped that I could see you again, but now it is clear to me that it will never happen. This feeling of hopelessness hurts more than any other time! Even though my life has passed by without you in the last 8 years! I wish you were here now, so that I could call you and invite you to talk with your nephews whom you have never managed to see – the children you have loved so much and for whom you have illustrated so many books… To tell us stories in candlelight and us to listen with mouths agape. To stay on the porch of our house in Secareni and to look with yearning at the sky, filled with stars, and listen to the nightingales in the vale, to drink spring water. To go out to walk with mother like in the days past, when you used to smile at me and tell me that you have a date… Or we could have walked together and talked about geography and galaxies and stars, to leave for studying, or fishing, or in a voyage with only a car that you used to be able to drive so well. Even now I can remember our travel through Romania, at the Bicaz Canyon, at the Danube, at Sibiu, at the beach in Ukraine, the White Fortress, God, so many memories!

Can you remember when we went to the cinema, just the two of us? The trees we planted together in the autumn of 2009. And then you said: maybe I will not be alive by the time this orchard grows big, but my grandchildren will taste from it…

When I was younger you used to lift me up like a feather, you’d wrap your arms around me and ask me how my day went, you wanted to ask so many things about me. And then you would cuddle me and my older sister, Victoria. I remember how I asked you to draw me things whenever my colouring books ran out of blank pages.

You were a good chess player too, you had a hard time finding a partner that you could share this beautiful passion with, that offered you freshness, emotion and suspense. Thank you for teaching us too this wonderful game.

You were also a loving and caring husband, so attentive to everybody around you – there was always harmony in the haws, and a good feeling, no matter what financial difficulties or how great the health issues that you were fighting every day were. You have always supported the mother with cooking the food or any helping around the house, even when your physical condition made it hard. Once when we returned from the city me and my cousin Cristinica, we were left speechless when seeing the ideal cleanliness in the kitchen. And then I remembered a little story from childhood – how you’d clean the kitchen and then pick a few flowers from the garden and leave them on the table made by my very own grandfather.

These memories are a wealth that I keep every time my soul needs a bit of searching, they are the mirror of the experience that defines my existence. The memories put atop this altar – there is no place there but for one person. And I cannot step around it unless I am on my tip-toes, careful not to soil, however, this memory.

I felt that you were leaving some time before, even though nobody was considering it, simply because I was feeling that you were going to be gone shortly… But I was trying so hard to banish these dark thoughts. I remember one night when I was in my penultimate month of pregnancy – I dared to jump a fence two meters tall along with my mother, just so we could visit you at the hospital, even though you never allowed me to visit because you were afraid that your state will affect me. I would watch the window and think that may you’d come back home because it’s raining… but in the end, it was just silence and waiting…

At only 56 years, your heart stopped beating so that your soul could travel towards the perfection of divinity. Sometimes I don’t realise you do not exist anymore, that you simply stopped being, so many times I woke up with an empty pace in my soul. I dreamt that it was not true, I dreamt that you returned home and that I asked you whether or not you liked the artbooks with your works that We recently edited, if  you saw how many people came to the art-show organised in your name, that you left such a deep trace in the souls of the people who knew you and that you are an inspiration for those who will get to know you, if you know how much we love you!

Since I was born I knew that somebody up there loves me, because they gave me you. I thank God that He chose you to be my father and that I came into this world within this family.

You taught me to be responsible, to not be afraid of difficulties, you talked to me as if to an adult, we’d discuss life situations on the same level, you let me take decisions myself and then you’d respect them, and that inspires confidence and courage. Thank you for your constant contribution to my evolution. You cultivated my love towards learning, you taught me to observe all the beauty around me when it comes to art, you taught me how to love people! You taught me how to cherish life!

Rest in peace, father. I will do what I know best when it comes to you!

*** – Honestly, my father and I always had common interests and this ties me tightly to him even beyond death! Father became yearning and thought, and comparison, and landmark, and respect, and appreciation, and esteem… but he became love above all. Warm love with a known face and the scent of a father.

 

Cristina MOVILEANU