May 5th-Saturday-2018

Draw your own conclusion after reading this accurate story that took place this year, in Romania, on the outskirts open land of Timisoara city, where one of my brothers wasn’t only witnessing this event but participated in helping this young man.

Saturday, May 5th, 2018, a Bible study group of young couples were celebrating, picnic style, an outing, one of my brother and his family among them. The location, unlike their usual one, was new, a wilderness sort of place. Once everyone arrived, blankets were laid down on the grass filled soon with food. As they enjoyed each other’s company, my brother, and a few others noticed a young man in his early twenties, running at an incredibly fast speed, bare-foot. The speed with which this man ran back and forth was unnervingly fast for any human being. Eventually, the young man approached the group and asked them for something to eat. He received two bananas and one apple which he devoured quickly away from the group. He then returned again asking for more food, receiving a big plate filled with all sorts of B-B-qued meat and such which he ate, this time in the group’s company.

‘What is your name?’ Someone asked.

‘Daniel.’

‘How old are you, Daniel?’

’21’

‘Where do you leave?’

‘In my father’s barn, in the village nearby, but I spend most of my time outdoors in these hills. The villagers don’t want me around because I scare them and the kids.’ The young man was pleasant, polite and intelligent and all seemed well until he mentioned;

‘I have to leave now, the sickness is coming.’ Unsure of what exactly he was referring to the group protested, encouraging him to stay and visit with them longer, which he did, when suddenly he fell to the ground in a seizure spasm, foaming at the mouth, shaking violently and making odd sounds. The men quickly got up and formed a protective fence between Daniel and their families, encouraging the women and children to back off a few meters.

‘Let’s pray for him.’ My brother spoke up and a few men agreed. All but 6 to 8 men stayed close to Daniel. By now the rest of the group was at a safe distance away watching the small group of men surrounding Daniel reached their hands forward towards Daniel praying, my brother being one of them. He then heard Daniel making sounds no man could make, sounds closer to those of a cornered angry animal while his body bent in an unnatural upside-down frown. Daniel began eating grass, or covering his ears with his palms as the men continued to pray, climbing up a tall tree trunk nearby like a monkey, with the speed of an animal trained to climb trees making it all the way to the top. There were no branches available for the most part of his climb to help him and everyone had one unified wonder “how did he do that?” The men kept on praying, using Jesus’s name to free Daniel of whatever dark spirit who clearly possessed this young boy’s body, watching as he climbed down with the same speed, making sounds that would make anybody’s hair stand up straight on their back. Daniel then jumped straight up, again too high for any human abilities and landed on his back hard against a tree stump. There were far more such details I don’t seem to recollect at the moment from our phone conversation but eventually, Daniel relaxed and came to his senses, looking around as if looking for someone in particular.

“I don’t see the priestess dressed in black with her split tongue anymore.” He explained happily, followed by “My head no longer hurts, only my back a little.” His back pain was a result of him being dropped on the tree trunk earlier.

“I’m so happy you guys came here, I feel so happy with you guys,” Daniel spoke with the most sane and pleasant expression on his face, as everyone watched him still trying to grasp the details they all saw and heard, thanking God in the end for such a positive result.

‘It’s God who helped you Daniel, not us.” Someone spoke.

“Yes, thank you, God!” Soon Daniel relaid how at one point earlier in his life he got baptized but walked way from God, confessing, “What’s inside me…only through prayer and fasting can be eliminated.”

“You should join the local church and return to God.” My brother spoke looking into the same eyes of a young man who only a few minutes ago had the look of madness. Even though the picnic atmosphere was disrupted and now a wave of tension one feels when witnessing such encounters lingered in everyone, they all agreed that the unusual wilderness they all ended up choosing was intentionally picked by God himself to save this young man’s soul and life.

I’m sure some of you are encouraged by this story, while others may be frightened and full of all sorts of explanations, but this really happened not even two full weeks ago and I heard it from my brother’s own mouth in a recent phone conversation, just last week. I for one am encouraged, even though a bit uneasy by the details.

God Bless:)

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Daniel, after the prayer, free of the dark spirit and happy.

 

Fanu the Powerful

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1991-2002

Death comes to us all, how you greeted makes all the difference.

Fanu, short for Stefan, was the last Damean son, and number eleven in the long line of siblings. He entered this world in December 1991 and left it far too early.

Fanu had a generally calm personality, loved playing with his small cars, usually with his brother Alex, and loved to dream together about their future. Soccer was another game he practiced often in the dusty apartment courtyard of a gray and small town full of factory workers’ children. Life, as he knew it, was satisfactory even if at times shadowed by his father’s angry episodes. Fanu was still at an age where that meant little, just another day in his life, unaware of the grievances abuse brings once you understand what’s happening. In that regard he was spared.

A very competitive character, with a very giving nature, always making big plans of charitable gestures towards someone he loved or was in need. Unfortunately, we’ll never know what his life would’ve been like, but in a way he’s free of pain and sorrow now.

In the spring of 2002 (February) Fanu began having splitting headaches with a tremendous amount of pain around his left temporal area and began isolating himself in dark corners of the apartment. My mother took him to the local clinic where, without a proper examination, was prescribed some medication. It did not work. His fever became alarmingly high while the pain persisted and my mom took him to the local hospital. He was admitted for two weeks getting a daily dose of antibiotics (ampicillin) shots. He then was discharged but a few weeks later (March) when his fever and pain returned with a vengeance my mom and Delia took him to the emergency. Instead of admitting him the doctor in charge sent them to the contagious diseases hospital in Hunedoara. There they had to wait quit a bit, despite the fact that Fanu, now lying on a hospital bed in the waiting room, was crying complaining of intense pain on his left temporal zone. Upon examination the doctor discovered a partial facial paralysis on his left, and sent them immediately to a hospital in Timisoara specializing in contagious diseases and also known to be a good hospital. He was moved back and forth between couple hospitals (intensive care, neurology, contagious diseases) in Timisoara and misdiagnosed quite a bit. From being able to take small walks in the hospital’s court-yard anytime Alin visited, within weeks he became completely paralyzed, unable to eat solids while constantly on IV. The next time Fanu came back home, he was resting in a coffin.

In Timisoara’s hospitals he waisted away rapidly until May 27th when he died. My mom spent countless hours around the clock by his side, relived temporarily so she could rest by Delia and my brother Alin. By the time I came to see him he shrunk in size and all musculature mass was gone, he was paralyzed and no longer could talk, communicating by writing messages on pieces of paper. He was literally skin and bone and I could see the shape of his heart while beating, lifting a very thin layer of white and dry skin. He was no longer recognizable, only when I looked in his eyes I could see Fanu, the man. The suffering matured him tremendously. The diagnosis was never firmly found, but the whole thing began from a puss matter in his brain who by the end of his life spread all over his body in cancerous masses. Alin got really close to Fanu during that time. A few weeks before dying, no longer able to speak, Fanu managed to let my mother know that he knew he was dying. Grief stricken my mother kept telling him he’ll get better. Fanu insisted and by third time, Fanu asked my mother to open the door, because he wanted to go through. My mom opened his door in his room or the bathroom door.

“Not that one mom, the other one.” He would write while pointing to the ceiling.

“My boy, there’s not a door there, that’s the ceiling.”

“Sure there is, mom. There’s a long staircase with two angles waiting on each side and a closed door/gate right before it. Can you open it, so I can go?” My mother understood then. Her little boy was dying and God was waiting for him. Few days later Alin came relieving my exhausted mother for a well needed night of rest. Fanu died during that night. Upon autopsy, was discovered that Fanu had a very high number of cancerous masses throughout his body. Along his spine alone the Chief of Medical Staff who did the autopsy herself found three different types of cancer. Every organ was affected by cancer. She then asked permission for a brain mass autopsy and the results excluded mono or encephalitis (earlier perceived diagnosis) but his brain matter was full of foreign looking tumors, something she’s never seen before. Samples of cancers cell from along his spine, brain and other organs were sent to France for further study but we’ve never heard anything back. The rest of my siblings were advised to take test relating their lung health, don’t remember specifically the name of the test, just in case. The one that did came back fine.

His funeral was big.

My mom’s grief was immense and she argued with God many days after words. Fanu was a big loss for the entire family, unexpected, fast and deeply painful, however I’m glad that he’s no longer suffering and he’s at peace. To us he’ll always remain powerful for the way he faced it all. He didn’t complain and seemed to want to easy our pain any way he could.

Fanu, we miss you forever!!!!!! And can’t wait to see you, but not yet. Not yet.

P.S Few months later, Alin began having similar symptoms and the whole family was devastated. He went and had an operation in Bucuresti and removed non-cancerous tumor mass from his sphenoid canal the size of the end of a finger, formed due to stress and dust. The surgery was a success:)

Thank you God for our Fanu and the time we had with him. Thank you for allowing him to be with us even if for a small period of time. I’m truly grateful. Thank you for my family:)

 

Alex the Overcomer

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First picture left to right: Fanu and Alex- the two buddies:)

Second picture: Alex and his wife, Mia:)

Born number ten in our family, Alex came into the world only couple months before the 1989 Eastern Block revolution and the fall of communism. He was a happy child:) I do believe between Iulian and Alex my mother lost another baby. Due to the small gap of only one year and a half in age, Alex and Fanu (number eleven) had a very close relationship. The two buddies spent long hours playing with their toy cars, building imaginary adventures and charitable work plans together. Outside, in the courtyard, they stuck together and always picked each other on the same team, either for a game of soccer or tennis. It’s hard talking about Alex’s childhood without mentioning Fanu, since the two were very close. Their friendship was special:) Alex was only 13 years old when his best friend and brother, Fanu, died and he never got the opportunity to say good by to his little brother and best friend. He had a dream soon after and asked Fanu to show him his disection cut, which Fanu did so.

Soon after Fanu’s death my mother moved in Vilcele, full of grief, and left Alex, Oana and Iulian behind in Hunedoara at my father’s mercy who both starved and abused them.

After he graduated from high school, Alex left for Roma, Italy and lived with Delia, while working with Sami, Delia’s husband, in construction. There he gained his first electronic item in the form of a laptop. Back in Hunedoara he tried to go to collage but did not have the means to do so and settled for a job in the factory of electric wiring system from Deva, a city 30 minutes away from Hunedoara; also the same city Nadia Comaneci trained in.

On a Cristian single site “Pom Verde” he met Mia, who had the same last name, Damean. Thinking she was related to us, Alex began a conversation but it turned out she was not related and they began dating. One thing was very important for the both of them, a sign from God showing they were meant to be together and they got it within 24 hours of each other. After the wedding, a wedding I could not attend, Alex moved to Ludos, where Mia was from and worked hard trying to provide, but they lived paycheck to paycheck and Alex’s skills as an electrician only went so far. Mia’s parents lived in Portugal and the newly wedded couple decided to go visit them for a month, but soon Alex found work and they moved to Portugal permanently where they live to this day. It’s been three years already and they still love it in Portugal having lots of fun together any opportunity they get. You should see the pictures of the delicious foods they send us on a regular bases. Alex works mainly as an electrician as well as a maintenance man and Mia does make-up for weddings and special occasions part-time and recently got a job as a waitress.

The two of them sure have so much fun together, always visiting nice parts of Portugal or enjoying a nice evening out. Mia’s father works as a chef in a restaurant and the two of them visit him quite often:) Their lives are simple and full of happiness. I’m so very glad to see that.

Alex protects his small family fiercely from his abusive father and in general does not have much contact with him. He’s chosen to be happy. Good for him:) I applaud that decision. I’ve gotten to know Alex more so in his early twenties and I’m so glad I did. He’s a great guy:)

P.S “Pom Verde” web site was introduced to Iulian and Oana by Alex, where all three met their spouses.

Iulian the Invincible

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First picture left to right: Tibi (worried not to get hit), Fanu, Oana, Alex and Iulian:)

Second picture: Iulian

Third picture: my son Alex who looks so much like Iulian:)

Fourth picture: Iulian and his wife, Cornelia, taken a few days ago:)

Born the ninth in the family, Iulian is a sensitive yet strong soul. No matter how many times life has knocked him down, Iuli (short for Iulian), always gets up and walks right back in the middle of it. He’s a fiercely faithful friend 🙂 He’s also the one that looks just like my father and I know that’s not a compliment for Iuli. My son Alex has lots of Iulian resemblances, and I smile often when I look at Alex. Through him I feel like I have a piece of home:) Iuli’s adolescence, hunted by my farther’s angry outbursts, was not an easy one yet he but remained a very faithful son during that period.

After his high-school graduation in Hunedoara, Iuli moved in Arad with Alin and began collage but was forced to quit in the middle of it, due to Alin’s work transfer into Germany. Once Alin left, there was nothing left for Iuli in Arad so he returned in Hunedoara, where he attended, simultaneously, two collages: one for nursing and  the other for management. He graduated from both, but work was scarce in Hunedoara. Unable to find work in either field he spent a lot of time in Vilcele, where my parents had a house. By now my mom lived there round-the-clock, visiting Hunedoara and her children rarely. School kept my siblings in Hunedoara and summer vacation was spent in Vilcele. With his older siblings gone, some of them married while others working in different cities (as far away from home as they could possibly get), and his mother living in Vilcele, Iuli grew up around our father’s presence around while lacking a mother’s warm embrace. I think he spent a lot of time in Vilcele just to be closer to our mother. There he worked daily, doing hard labor around the house and garden until he met Ionel, and older man and the pastor of the local church, and shoulder to shoulder they worked in constructions where he got to know the man better. Quickly, Ionel became a father figure for Iulian. That’s where Iuli found refuge as he listened to the older man’s good advise regarding a healthy spiritual walk and healing his emotionally wounded soul. Ionel became Iuli’s adoptive father and to this day it remains so. Another refuge for Iuli was Adrian Bandila, a brother figure which brought a healthy balance in a shadowy world.

Through a Christian date line, Iulian met Cornelia, a very sweet and naturally beautiful girl. Cornelia lived in London, England with some of her siblings and worked there as well. Iuli left for England, eventually, where he worked in construction a few years but always kept in touch with Ionel and Adrian. Their wedding in Hunedoara was beautiful and Chet and I had the privilege to attend. After the wedding together they moved back in London where Iuli worked in construction a while but the past two years he’s worked as a medical male nurse in one of London’s hospitals, where he’s still employed.. Cornelia works as a preschool teacher.

The past year, both Iuli and Cornelia have gone through some very hard times, but have managed to pull through. Iuli had a nasty kidney stone that put him in an intense painful state and a couple unsuccessful minor operations. Despite it all, he lived life with great humor but it was clear to us that he was in a lot of pain, non-stop. Cornelia lost a lot as well, but that’s a personal matter and we’ll leave it at that.

I’m so very proud of Iulian, who stood tall in the face of so much pain the past few years. Any other person my have broken under such weight, but not Iuli:) Thank you God for the strength you’ve put in Iulian and I’m looking forward to see what’s in store for his future:)

 

Tibi the Lion

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First picture: Left to Right; Iulian, Leo and Alex.

Second picture; Leo, Denis his little boy and Nicole:)

Leo the Lion, that’s his nickname. Leo is short for lion. It comes from his dense golden hair he was born with, sticking straight up and giving him the look of a lion’s mane. Apparently my mother had to push quite a bit with Leo while in labor, because he loved the warmth of the womb and was in no hurry to come out. To this day I think Leo would much rather relax in front of a nice meal with loved ones than stress over other things.

Born number eight in our family, Tibi is more of an observer with a poetic talent showing great amounts of respect for humanity in general. There’s a touch of diplomatic language in Leo’s vocabulary and he tends to see the positive side of life, despite the abuse he also endured. He too has a fantastic ability to forget the bad stuff and focus on the good side of life, with an ease most people find charming. No wonder Leo and Sergiu ended up living closer to each other, their personalities are so very similar, along with their looks:)

One summer vacation, while in high school, Flesh and Leo went to visit Sergiu where Leo became a goalie, for a short period of time, in the same soccer team Flesh played. Unlike Flesh, Leo was more interested in the produce served after practice than the game itself and found himself kicked off the team soon after.

Right after high school, back in Hunedoara, he left for Bucuresti attending collage in tourism management. I have to point out one important fact I forgot to mention in the earlier posts: every single one of my siblings who attended collage did so on their own financial efforts, including boarding, food, and other expenses. To this day I wonder how they managed? I know Sergiu paid for two of my brother’s collages, but I can’t remember quite well which two. I also know that Sergiu helped out my brother’s with pocket money, Alin helped with housing and food and I helped with money now and then, focusing mostly on my parents  for many years. I helped my brothers far more once they were married. Okay, back to our story:)

After collage, moved by love Leo moved in Oltenia where he learned “that women were dangerous.” Next he came back home where he was met with a cold shoulder by my father which pushed him to find work and move to Timisoara. There he worked in a few places, mostly as a waiter, and according to Chet, whom in one of his visits to Timisoara ate at the same restaurant Leo worked in, he was the best and most polished waiter Chet encountered.

Leo met Nicole, his wife, while she worked as a waitress in another cafe and after few years of courting they married. Right after the wedding they left Romania and moved in with Sergiu and Brigitte, who just bought a house in Berlin, Germany. Sergiu helped them with the paperwork process, making their stay legal. He also provided Leo with a job in the same company Sergiu is the COO. A year later they moved out on their own and had a little boy, bringing us to date. They’re planing on expending their family soon and I can’t wait to see what else lies in their future.

In our family Leo is known for his great poetic gift, and he writes poems with great talent. Hopefully soon he can publish his own book of poems or Leo and I can collaborate on a book together. That would be fantastic:)

P.S Leo speaks 2 1/5 languages:) Romanian, English and half of German thus far:)

FLAVIUS the Brave

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Born the seventh in the family, Flesh (nickname) falls in the team of the brunettes along side myself, Alin, Iosif, Alex and Oana. The blond team is made of Sergiu, Marius, Delia, Tibi, Iulian and Fanu.

Flavius was a cute boy, with great dimples in every smile, energetic and full of humor. His adolescence was filled with great humor and lots of energy, hiding a boy that got frequently panicked and stomach pains from the stress of the abuse.

His last year of high-school he left for Germany and lived with my brother Sergiu a few months, and together with Leo responded to a local newspaper add that were looking for soccer players. They both got in and quickly Flesh became the star player of the entire team with great professional prospects. Leo, who was interested only in the snacks provided after words got kicked out. The only thing standing in the way of fame and fortune was the paperwork. At the time Germany’s borders were not so open like today and the paperwork stopped Flesh’s progress forcing him to return back to Romania. After finishing high school he moved with Alin in Arad. There he finished four years of collage in engineering. He met his wife, Adina in Ilia, while in collage and got married after he graduated then together they settled down in Timisoara. Together they have one daughter.

Adina works in the marketing/ computer field and Flesh is a radio host/presenter at a Christian Radio Station in Timisoara, rve.timisoara, and very involved in the local church they attend.

The past five years a big shadow of health challenges have put a lot of stress on his shoulders and he spend more days in emergency than all of his siblings put together. He’s had operations and multiple tests. In the end there’s still no diagnosis. But stress in general is an enemy of his, weakening his immune system.

Lately he’s been feeling well, but I think he has to watch his diet and stress level constantly.

Our potentially famous soccer player has a very domestic life in the church and his radio work:) He also had to forgive a lot but life is good and we’re moving on:)

I’m glad when I hear his health is good and I’m looking forward to see what their future will bring along:)

 

Joseph the Strong

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First picture is of Joseph around one years old.

Second picture is of Joseph and Flavius.

Third picture is of Joseph and his wife Dana, this year:)

This particular blog is going to be emotionally very hard for me and you’ll find out soon why.

Between Delia and Joseph my mom lost another boy. He lived only five minutes after delivery due to heart complications.

Born the sixth child, I had a particular fondness for Joseph due to his sweet and humble nature. He did his very best not to cause problems into an already tumultuous environment and kept very quiet and out-of-the-way, often going without food until I would arrive from school around 2 pm. I would ask him if he ate and with the sweetest tone he would responded:

“No.”

“How come?”

“I didn’t want to bother mom.”

By now, due to the tole the pregnancies and the abuse from her husband took on her, my mother was very distant and moody. Thus, Joseph became my child and he started calling me “mommy” which made my heart radiate with love. I had a fearsome protective instinct over Joseph that pushed me into action. In my own way, I stood up for my younger siblings including my mother, in an effort to protect them. I felt responsible somehow for their safety. I was not 100% successful but something snapped in me one particular afternoon while on my way back from school. I was around twelve-years-old and Joseph around four-years old. I heard his painful cries all the way from the court yard; since it was warm outside the windows were open. The distance between me and him has never been as long as that particular day while I ran up the stairs and into the hallway of our apartment, where little Joseph had shrunk into a fetal position protecting his head with his little arms while my father hit him violently. Like a lioness seeing her cub in danger, and without hesitation, I ran between them covering his little body with mine, taking the hits for him. Shocked my father stopped- he had a weakness for his girls- and began yelling insults at me. I stood and faced him, chest high, gaze fixed into his with great determination refusing to move. I saw my father hesitate. Silently I was screaming at him: “Over my dead body.” Joseph was my child and suddenly my father became my enemy. I was determined to protect what was mine, no matter how big the enemy in front of me seemed. Even his slaps over my face and head or his crude insults didn’t make me flinch once as I turned my fixed gaze back at him, not one tear found in my eyes, simultaneously protecting Joseph behind me. Long enough I’ve witnessed this abuse without doing something about it. Long enough. From that day on a verbal war began between my father and I. For my remaining years in Romania I was the middle man in many circumstances. Also, from that day on all the twigs my father picked on his way home from work I secretly broke and got rid of.

It broke my heart when I had to leave Romania, after I married and today I just realized, leaving Joseph exposed and unprotected was a huge reason why. I felt secretly guilty about that for years.

Once gone, I heard Joseph and my younger brothers’s abuse doubled. Like I previously wrote, Marius had a very hard time through adolescence. I guess its as the saying goes: “Monkey see, monkey do.” Once that phase passed, Marius changed.

Joseph didn’t find refuge from the abuse until he entered college in Arad. I believe for a period of time he lived with Alin, who also went to collage, graduated and worked in Arad for many years before moving to Germany. Iosif also found refuge in the home of a young Christian family who sort of adopted him and cared for him greatly. Dana, who later on became his wife was the lady’s younger sister and that’s how they met:)

Joseph graduated college as an engineer and now works in a company run by his brother-in-law. Dana and Joseph have three fantastic children, one of them looks exactly like him. He’s involved in church ministry working with kids and even though it took him around five or six years, he built their home brick by brick, spending hundreds of hours in rain, cold and hot weather to finish. He pretty much built that house all by himself and they moved in it this year:)

With the exception of Alin, all my brother were and still are avid soccer lovers, spending many hours in the dust and confined apartment court yard playing.

Life was not easy for Joseph but God sure blessed him, just like he blessed the rest of us.  I thank God for taking care of him when I could not. He was always God’s child above mine and God took and is still taking good care of Joseph.

I could call him Joseph the Builder, but I think I’ll call him Joseph the Strong.