Brother Aurel Macsin, passed away yesterday after bravely fighting the tumor discovered in December of 2018. I never knew him personally and met Summer a few times before she got married, but I did listen to some of his Facebook live videos and was proud to see how hard he fought and how passionate he was about God. Our indirect connection to them is through John and Paulette Stabb, Aurel’s parents-in-laws. I met Chet in Romania, back in 1993, through one of John Stabb’s missionary trips and six months later we were married. Once I arrived in America Chet and I attended the same church and got to know John and Paulette better. That’s where we met Summer, their daughter and a collage student at the time, and Toby Stabb their youngest.
We’ve prayed for Aurel like many of you did, and continue to pray for Summer, Summer’s family, Aurel’s family and their friends. May God’s peace that passes all human understanding fill the colossal void their hearts and souls feel during this season of sorrow. There are many invisible faces praying fo you during this time.
Praying for Michelle and her family as well, who have been a great support for Summer and Aurel lately.
One day your tears will be replaced by the joy a reunion brings beyond flesh and bone limits.
Sixty seven years ago a beautiful and extraordinarily strong woman was born, my mother:)
I’m hesitant to write about my mom, not because I don’t have anything to say (I have plenty) but I’m afraid I will not do her justice through my poorly expression of my love and admiration that I have for her. But I’ll try.
When I was young I did not appreciate many things about her but it took me becoming a mother to understand the many sacrifices she endured so we could have a better life. I imagine how hard must’ve been for her raising children during communism era as a christian woman, with meager earnings and little support. Modern women of today, myself including, we have unthinkable possibilities and social support, amenities that help our chore work and most likely (not everyone) supportive husbands.
I’ve learned so much from her, and even though she was tough on us at times, “she did her best to prepare us for a harsh and uneasy world” as she put it in one of our telephone conversations.
My mom worked hard, forgave a lot and always looked at the brighter side of life, despite the many hardships life provided for her. I’m so very proud of her and she gives me strength to push on when I feel otherwise. I thank God for her often:) So Happy B-day Mom! And many more healthy years to come, I pray you’ll have.
I’m sure you have an amazing mom as well. Thank God for her; she’s a priceless gift in this life.
When I was a young girl, I thought my parents to be utterly mean for hiding sweets from us. Back then, during the communism era, sweets (or any other material goods for that matter) were rare treasures. Anyone that grew up in a large (or medium, semi-large, somewhat medium, okay even small ones) family knew that sweets, even sugar was something good that happened to you maybe once a year if you were good. (the translationof the word good in this context means if the communist party felt generous enough to allow sweets in the store for longer then ten seconds twice a year, and if they were really generous give one orange per child at Christmas time- which I remember that to have happened two times in nineteen years). For many years during my childhood those were the only times I ate oranges, or to be more specific, one small slice.
Now lets fast forward few years. I find myself not only fully understanding my parents but following in their foot steps as I too hide favorite sweets from the three black holes my grown children seem to posses when it comes to deserts. It’s also the only cleaning they ever do without being asked.
Last night I made another berry cobbler but had none before bed time.(Menopause gives hot flashes when sugar is involved, yes, I’m there and I feel like the world is about to end). This morning I woke up smiling and thinking of that wonderful berry cobbler I made and how good was going to taste with a cup of tea. Instead of cobbler I was greeted by an empty, dirty, pie dish and I remembered yet again why my parents hid sweets from us.
Your family never did that to you? Are you sure? Maybe you haven’t found their hiding spot but believe me, they hid nice chocolates, or candy, pieces of cake or other such things like alcohol, waiting for you to go to bed so they can find a little joy in one glass or two.
Well for those of you who had parents that hid sweets and for those of you who are now hiding pieces of cake or other such goodies from your prodigies, I salute you! Cheers and try not to loose your head before the wonderful Christmas Day;)
The ladies in this picture are sisters and they happen to be my grandmother (Maria) on the right and my great aunt, Ticuta, on the left. In the middle stands uncle Ionel, my aunt’s husband. My grandfather passed away few years back from Alzheimer’s.
Both sisters had strokes within days of each other, couple of months ago. Sunday, 11-10-2019 aunt Ticuta passed away.
I look at life as a wonderful novel and for some their story may have ended their flesh and blood walk on this earth. It’s impossible not to feel sad at its finality. But strong memories continue their story and recollecting them is my way of spending time with the beloved departed ones.
Here’s one of those memories.
Ibanesti village stands quietly in the Bucovina region of Romania situated north of the country.
Head wrapped in a bright scarf and one hand shielding her eyes from the sun above my aunt stands in the middle of a potatoes field searching for me. In addition to her children and her chores I’m her responsibility for the time being as I spend few summer days working the fields along side. We’ve been weeding and picking these nasty bugs off every leaf for the past four hours and although there’s so much left the work is coming to an end for today. Heat waves dance over the land and her small but mighty frame rests a moment and I can’t help but smile towards her. She does not smile much, too engulfed in her never-ending chores life offers to a peasant but when she does my world brightens and I nearly tear up with overwhelming joy. I can smell dust and dried grass lingering in the air for the ground under our feet is cracked from lack of rain. She looks up towards the sun and her lips move, most likely in prayer. We need rain for the crops to grow, so I too begin to pray. As a child I don’t like the rain much but I sense its importance.
“Carmen! Gicu! Geta! Time to go home!” She waives us over and like separated aunts we happily cluster joking and pushing each other in cheerful teasing. The walk home is shared between gulps of lukewarm water once freshly pulled out of the well and I look forward to dinner.
But dinner in the country does not come quickly. First we must feed and give water to the cows who have just returned from the pastures, brought back by the village boy delegated with such a task. So I help carry the buckets of water after Gicu, one of my cousins, pumps it from the well. I see in the far distance, Geta, another cousin, lifting hay with a fork and bringing it in the stable. Today I must milk the cow, that’s my task, and I take the small wooden stool, I grab the aluminum bucket and set myself underneath the enormous belly hoping she’ll not kick me. The smell of cow manure gags me for a second yet years later this will become my best memory trigger to such times as these. I wash her nipples and began to pull, but its not as easy as it seems and my cousins start to laugh, teasing my clumsiness. I’m a city girl, and I feel it now in every bone of my body. Every day they work hard yet still manage to laugh and tease while I struggle to keep up too proud to admit defeat. So I try again and pull harder with more success.
“Here. Let me show you how it’s done.” Geta offers. She sits down and starts milking with great ease and as the while liquid slushes out quickly the smell of fresh milk teases my nostrils, followed by stomach gurgles. I’m really hungry.
“Lean your head on her belly gently, this helps her relax, then grab hard like this and pull like this. Now you do it.” I nod, ready to prove my worth. I lean my head and start to pull. I’m rewarded with a great sound of liquid hitting the bucket, Geta smiles and the cow moos happy. As I milk her, head agains her belly, my eyes see past the open stable door and into the courtyard, where Mitica, my youngest cousin only about five or six years old helps his mother by bringing the fire wood so she can start supper out in the summer kitchen. It’s too hot to cook inside and during the summer all the meals are cooked outside in the summer kitchen which is a clay oven next to a wooden table situated underneath a lush grape vine. Aunt Ticuta is starting the fire with some matches and soon the soft polenta, the universal bread in these parts of the country, is well on its way. Then she fries pieces of pork meat and my mouth is watering as the fumes reach me, and Geta hurries to help with the salad by picking lettuce from the nearby garden. Fresh made plain yogurt completes the simple meal and I become impatient with my chore.
“Come on girl, help me out here!” But the cow turns and looks at me with her big eyes and I can tell she’s saying “What else do you want me to do?”
Once around the table we bow our heads and pray out loud over the meal then sit down under the shade of the grape vine busy eating. The fire was put out but the smell of aches lingers. We tease each other with mouth-fulls of goodness and settle down only when my aunt advertises us there’ll be whipping coming our way if we don’t. But like a bee hive we slowly start it up again. And life keeps going on in a beautiful continuance of love, hard work, and laughter.
Family members of the dying generation mean the world to me. Despite grave injustice against them some brought on by the socialist/communist party others by life circumstances they always worked hard and looked at life as God’s precious gift. The thankful attitude and their tendency to see the positive side of life taught me to be strong. I love that! I was taught that by them! I will treasure it forever. If only I can do as good of a job, now that’s my turn, and make the world around me better. I’m trying:) These are the people I’m mostly proud of, the older generations, that sit invisible behind this two ladies in this picture. My family back home and some here:)
Everyone of us needs a strong and healthy foundation to stand on and I hope you have such a great foundation. If some of these great people have passed away, remember them well, and be proud to have encountered such wonderful human beings:)
În cele din urmă Alexa a ajuns și în România. Vede-ţi ce se întâmplă când un american se căsătorește cu o româncă:))))))) Chet, sotul meu care lucreaza la Amazon in Seattle a facut reclama asta dar cantecul e diferit, specific pentru americani. nu stiu cine a adaugat melodia romaneasca dar imi place:)
Finally, Alexa made it in Romania as well. See what happens when an American boy marries a Romanian girl:)))))) Chet, my hubby made this add, but with another song for the American audience:) (Not sure who did the Romanian version:)
Cand ma gandesc la familia Macovei (unchi si matusa), automat ma gandesc la satul Ibanesti, la tanti Ticuta si la strabunica mea. Unele dintre cele mai fericite clipe ale vietii mele au fost petrecute la Ibanesti si la Botosani, in copilarie. In Romania, pe timp de vara copii de obicei sunt trimisi la tara, la bunici, si acolo petrec multe ore pe camp, la cules de mere, ajutand bunicii sau facandu-le necazuri. Si eu cad in ambele categorii, am si ajutat am facut si necazuri. Dar trebuie sa revin la povestea de azi. Pe tanti Marcela am intalnit-o ca domnisoara la Ibanesti (eu eram copila), si mai tarziu dupa ce sa casatorit cu unchiu Valer si sa mutat la Certej ne vizita des la Hunedoara unde am locuit in acea perioada. Chet a avut si el ocazia, in 1993 sa-i cunoasca si isi aduce aminte cu drag de acele momente.
Familia Macovei, pentru mine si pentru Chet vor ramane intotdeauna una dintre cele mai indragite familii si rude:) Energia positiva si simtul umorului traieste din plin in aceasta familie, dar si faptul ca sunt oameni muncitori si prietenosi:) Deabea astept, cand ajungem si noi pe viitor inapoi in Europa sa ne revedem:)
P.S. Am multe persoane care le indragesc foarte multe de care inca nu am scris un blog la adresa lor inca:) Va urma:)