to continue the story I started last year on my life history….
I can’t think of anything else I want to say, for the time being, on my youth in Romania. So let’s move on to the move to the United States in the summer of 1982.
My dad had fled the country in 1979 by locking himself in a crate on a freight train to Germany with one of my uncles. He stayed in Germany for a few months or so before moving on to the United States. I don’t know much about his story there, in Germany and in the US. And seeing how my relationship with him has been, I doubt I will get that story until the afterlife. more on that later…
in any case, once he got to the United States, he obviously did not want to be there alone, and so he got some help from the local baptist church in Houston to get visas for me, my sister and my mother. He then attempted to convince my mom that she should move out to the US with us. It took him a long time to convince her. The problem is that he was not a faithful husband in Romania. He had an affair with some Gypsy woman, (according to my mom), and I apparently have a half-brother somewhere in Romania. He also was very abusive to me as an infant, which I had mentioned earlier, how he used to pick me up and throw me down on the bed to try and shut me up when I kept crying. (I usually want to insert here swear words towards him whenever I envision that–how could anyone do that to an infant!)
anyways, by the time 1982 came around, my mom decided she too had enough of Romania and was going to move with us to the United States. I need to ask my mom at some point about the whole process, as all I can remember is living in Medias at some friend’s house, and the day of the move, I remember sitting in the back of the car looking back as the car drove away, and seeing my grandmother (she was distinct in her black dress and veil), among others who watched us leave. I can’t recall the flight to Naples, Italy, but I do remember when we got to Italy we were driven by somebody from Naples up to Rome, where we were to stay for something like three days. I remember walking around Rome and almost getting lost! I don’t remember the flight to New York City, but I do remember being at JFK airport, waiting for three hours I think it was, before our flight to Houston arrived. I remember we sat on the chairs and my sister and I slept for a while.
It was late at night when the plane finally arrived in Houston, Texas, where my dad was living. We got off the plane and walked towards the waiting area. The place was crowded with people. I was excited. I was finally going to see my dad.
I do not have any memories of my dad in Romania. They have been pushed into the subconscious. All my memories from Romania are good and positive, as I showed earlier. Playing with my friends and my sister; visiting family; train rides; exploring the vast (for a child) city of Medias; spending time with my mom and my grandparents. But none of the memories I can recollect had my dad in them. All I go by about my dad while in Romania comes from my mom. I wish he wasn’t abusive. I wish he was a good father. However, as a child usually is, I had mixed feelings I could not understand when I saw my father in Houston in the airport. I was excited to see him. why? because he was my father. But was I excited to see him? I don’t know. Why? I don’t know. The memories of the past were suppressed by my mind. So I saw him. And I felt those mixed feelings.
He was wearing a beard, not as cool as mine is today. 🙂 He held out two small American flags to give to his two kids who just came from Romania to be with him. He had a sparkle in his eyes and a smile on his face. He was happy to see us, at last. We hugged our dad and he took us through the airport…and that’s where my memory fails in detail.
What day was this, by the way?
July 4, 1982.
We had finally arrived in the United States on Independence Day. I don’t think that was planned, but it just happened to be. Soon I shall mention the life in Texas, which was not pleasant, yet it was my life and it shall be told.