Back then, women chose to give birth at home, since it was easier for them, considering they had two midwives in their village, one of them worked as a nurse for many years, and the others always cooked the best food for weddings, christening parties and funerals. When the due date came for Maria, the midwife Gafea had a day off. The children were born healthy, beautiful, and the father Stefan, was very proud that he had not one, but two children and both of them were boys. The family of Stefan and Maria Movileanu was a happy one. Ion and Vasile started walking at a young age, and at nine months they ran around in the courtyard after chicks, followed their mother when she would leave to get water and their mischief amused others and brought joy.
But unhappiness stepped into their house when the boys were a year and four months. Back then polio, a virus which affects the nervous system and it causes paralysis, was ravaging the country without a vaccine. Polio infected the twins.
They were in the hospital in Lăpuşna. They were fighting. They came in with big fever and intestinal infection. It was like Vasile felt his purpose on Earth, that it will be a noble one, but hard. Vasile stretched his arms towards his dream and continued to follow it. His brother, Ion lost his fight. However, illness didn’t forgive Vasile, it attacked his locomotor system and he could no longer walk without help.
The pain of the parents was infinite, the father could not accept the thought that his boy wouldn’t walk again. The following years were marked by uncountable operations, hospitals and treatments in the sanatoriums of Sergheevca and Saharna, but everything was in vain and he could no longer stay on his feet like any other child of his age. The boy kept growing so he had to go to school. He started learning in first grade, and the parents and his older brothers would carry him in their arms from school. And if any of them would be late, Vasile would go by himself, on his fours, and he would be immensely grateful and happy when one of his classmates would help him by carrying his bag. Sometimes, even the director of the school would take him home. That is how Vasile finished first grade. He was smart and ambitious, a quality that a lot of people noticed, and especially, his father.
From the word of mouth, the father found out there is a very good doctor in Ciuciuleni and he thought the doctor might be able to give him so advice if he saw Vasile. He put the boy on a bike and they left for the doctor in Ciuciuleni. The doctor himself had a boy with mental issues and who needed special care because he wasn’t even attending school. But he had a lot of new toys, beautiful and all of them bought from the store, Vasile remembered. He only played with toys made by his father. That is when his father found out there is a school in Ialoveni for children with special needs. The father didn’t think about it too long and around May, when the cherries were ripped, he took a bag of white cherries from “RASEA” (that’s the name of the place where a rich man with a big orchard lived), another bag filled with dreams and he went to Ialoveni to register him for second grade. Vasile remembers he found the school very hard because you had to know the Russian language, but because his father served in the army in Donbas and he knew some Russian, they found it in the end. Vasile liked the school a lot and he wanted to learn there since it was so much bigger than the one in his village.
The director of the school welcomed him very warmly. But, while they were discussing, he saw that Vasile was walking on all fours and he told the father that he would accept the child in his school if he walked vertically, something the boy could not do at the time. The father was very sad and could not accept the fact that everything could be lost. Seeing this, the director of the school, Toma Feodorovici Postica, suggested taking the boy to the sanatorium in Sergheevca, so they can straighten one of his legs, give him a prosthetic to keep his leg straight and teach him to walk with crutches. So his ambitious dream of learning was destroyed once more.
About the next attempts of Vasile to continue school, we will tell you in another story.