A Miracle in Transylvania

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I DIDN’T PLAN TO write about this, but I woke up in the middle of the night with this strong thought and I’m pretty sure somebody out there needs to read it.

When my grandma Buna from my mother’s side got married, she was young. Both her parents had died from some disease and Buna was left with a lot of livestock at their farm. Her big sister was already married in another village. So, the relatives had Buna marry my grandpa Bunu, a young soldier who came alive from the war.

A few years later, they had their first daughter and when she was about 4-5 years old Buna got pregnant again. Many weeks into the pregnancy and the baby died in Buna’s womb. They didn’t know that. The mom started to feel sick and then she developed high fever.
Back in 1920’s people there in Transylvania didn’t have a doctor or certified midwives. When giving birth every woman was helped on the spot by who was there, most of them grandmas, aunts and/or lady neighbors.

Bunu had to go to work in the field and couldn’t stay at home to help his wife. He took his wife in the garden under the apple tree in the shade on an improvised daybed and left her there with their little girl. One neighbor was to check on her from time to time.
The days went like this and Buna didn’t die. But she didn’t get better. She was there between life and death asking her daughter for water. The baby inside her was in advanced stage of putrefaction, but the septicemia didn’t kill the mother. That was a miracle. The mother was suffering from the deadly infection, but she stayed alive with no antibiotics.

All of a sudden one day, the stillborn came out. My aunt , the little girl then, was there. She said the baby was black and hard like a piece of charcoal.
From that day on, Buna started to feel better and she lived a long life.

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If You Give Birth in Transylvania

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If you have the chance to give birth in a village in Transylvania, this is what to expect:

-many ladies in the village would pay you a visit in the first few weeks from the big event

-they would not come empty handed, but bring you elaborated meals. The menu would necessary include, a pot of fresh chicken soup with homemade noodles, mashed potatoes with fry chicken and a whole three-layer-chocolate cake.

-they would also bring baby clothes and place some money under your baby’s pillow

Keep in mind that every time when you take a walk with your baby in the stroller, neighbors, acquaintances and random people would stop you to see the baby and place cash (only bills, not change)  by his head as a sign of future prosperity.

Now you know what to do.

 

Mornings Up In the Plum Tree

Privind inapoi pe acelasi drumAugust. The month when I was still on vacation at my grandparents, running through the corn field and climbing the trees with my friends.

My grandparents had a large garden in the back of their house. They also had owned a few patches of land scattered around their village. But by the time I came into the world, the communists took the land from them. So, they were left with only this piece of property.

Most of it was planted with corn for the cows.

Plum trees surrounded the land and I was in charge to pick the plums that were falling on the ground, and feed them to the pigs. Grandma Buna used to make plum jam and stewed fruit for winter, but she knew that most of the harvest had to go to my grandpa’s plum brandy.

Early in the morning, when my grandpa milked the cows and grandma was busy by the stove in the summer kitchen, I liked to sneak out of the house and get in the garden. I was still in my pajamas  and wearing the new slippers grandma Buna made for me from an old pair of shoes. The dew was cold and wet, and I knew my friends walked barefoot, but I was a city girl and could’n stand the moist on my soles.

There was my favorite tree in the garden, one plum tree with low branches I could climb easily. Half the way to the top, it was this thick branch that grew horizontally. I would sit on it and eat plums.

Wearing his shabby hat, the next door neighbor Bace Sandor was walking his field and examining the crops. Two plots away, Nana Maria was feeding her chickens, and on the far right the pasture was filled with cows from the communist units.

I could see everything from my secret spot, while nobody could see me.

I wanted to be a detective.

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