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Hand in Hand. How a regime stole memories from me.

The communist regime stole my childhood. I have no normal memories about my first years of life. From three months old I had to live at my grandma's house at countryside, couse my parents had to work up to 12 hours per day in the city. My grandma was a countrywoman and my parents, young workers in the brave socialist society.

I remember that it was winter, we were at countryside, at grandma, and I was expecting Grandfather Frost (santa was forbidden). I was almost 4 years old and playing with a rag doll that my grandma made me when the revolution happened. I did not understood the expression on my parents faces. And I did not understood why Ceausescu had to die. All I remember is that after the hollydays, my parents took me with them. For the first time, mom wake me up at 5 o'clock in the morning not to say goodbye, but to dress me up and take me with her. And it was so dark and cold outside, the snow was sparkling and screaking under my little boots. We walked fast without talking. Daddy was carring the luggage and mommy was helding my left arm. I remember it because my stretched arm hurt bad. But I said nothing, just kept walking in silence, because we all knew it was over.

My left arm hurting while we were going fast to catch that bus to the city is my only powerfull memory with me and my mom from that age. Looking up to her, seing her crying in silence in that cold winter morning, with only some barking dogs and our footsteps as soundtrack, made me realise for the first time that she is my mom for good; that from that point I could live with my family. All the road till our home in the city, mom did not left my hand. In that moment I knew I'm a women, I knew I'm like my mother and that I love her not just because it was expected from me to feel so, but because I was covered with an overwhelming feeling. So I looked at her and I told her "Mommy, I love you!" She just smiled among tears, took my little hand and kissed it.


a hand gave you a way out, an outlet for a better future. I think we should always see a hand reaching ours, and a hand holding our hand, in the way that your story narrates. It should represent to us a future that is going to be supported by the person who holds our hand, just like your mom was to you.

anaisjane's picture did

I see it in the same way. Plus, I am emotional involved with this memory, because it was the first time I realized I have a lot of feelings for my mom, for myself, for the hole situation. And also, I wanted to tell this story to make known the fact of how young moms, during the communist regime in Romania, had to give up their kids to be raised by state or older members of the family because they had to work everyday full-time and they did not had any choice.
The happy end was that after the "holding hands" moment I tasted for the first time "capitalist sweets" like Haribo candies and Coca Cola and I had the chance to finish a childhood with joy and a lot of toys (real plastic dolls). :)

"Call me crazy, couse I am. And this crazy helps me see this as funny, makes me feel rich without money, helps me see death as funny, makes me feel brave without money...Call me crazy, couse I am, thank God I'm alive..." Storm Large

jadefrank's picture

A mother's tug

Dear Andreea,

Your story captured my imagination as I pictured you tromping through the snow, arm held tight by your mother as she struggled to hold it together as you both understood in this moment that you had each other.

You are a wonderful writer! I hope to hear more about your life, the strength of your mother and your experiences as a woman in Romania. You are a voice for the women of this region of the world - a region we do not hear many women speaking from.

Thank you for sharing this moving story... I have fallen in love with your writing!

In friendship,

anaisjane's picture

Dear Jade

Thank you for your wonderful words. It means a lot to me. I have to say that I am really glad to find about worldpulse comunity couse I like to read stories about women from everywhere and I like to share some of my experiences as a romanian, as an east-european woman.

Thank you again for your thoughts!

With friendship,
andreea m.

"Call me crazy, couse I am. And this crazy helps me see this as funny, makes me feel rich without money, helps me see death as funny, makes me feel brave without money...Call me crazy, couse I am, thank God I'm alive..." Storm Large

Frances Faulkner's picture


Dear Anaisjane,

It's amazing how things can become so clear in a moment of life, and then that moment becomes a metaphor for how we want to go forward. You really captured that with your story -- the moment of knowing you had a real connection with your mother that you wanted to honor and preserve forever, and also knowing that family is so important no matter what the political situation is in the world around us.

It is so good to hear stories from countries around the world to know what women everywhere are experiencing. Thank you for sharing.


anaisjane's picture

Dear Frances, You have no

Dear Frances,

You have no ideea how happy I am knowing that my story was read by such wonderful women around the globe. Everywhere, women confront with political and social problems. All I want to say that even in the most horrible regimes we can find love, and we can find friendship and a shoulder to rely on. I will come with more memories about the women form my life, couse we all have important women in our lifes that were for us an exemple (or not in some unfortunate cases).

Hugs from Bucharest,
andreea m.

"Call me crazy, couse I am. And this crazy helps me see this as funny, makes me feel rich without money, helps me see death as funny, makes me feel brave without money...Call me crazy, couse I am, thank God I'm alive..." Storm Large

shaziya yousuf's picture

very powerful

being myself born and brought up in conflict ridden place, i can identify myslef with your story. reading ur story many horrible memories knocked at the backdrop of my mind, memories of running away for safety of life that too at an age when you hardly realise the importance that your life holds for you.
thank you for sharing

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