Lessons from my father

A new perspective on responsibility



My father left one day and we did not see him for the next 3 years. I was as small as the height of the door handle, could touch it with my forehead.


He went out of the gate, outside this space I called home, where I used to feel like playing and jumping around, and he did not come back.

Just like millions of Moldovans at that time, he had to leave to look for work. The only chance for us to survive. Our home was not even done yet, the wind could come in and go out as it wished through holes.

My mother prepared his bag for days in advance - he even had a whole cooked chicken inside and other things we could not afford normally. That is a different journey, I thought. A special one.

I grew instantaneously as soon as he went out. My sister did too. My mother disappeared.

I did not play anymore. I had a home to take care of. A crying mother to sooth and a sister to support. We stuck together and we became one silent stone...


Chop wood

Carry water from the well

Kill the bird and cook it

Think about what can we eat today and do it

Think about helping mother and do it

Shut up and do it

Set up the fire in the stove and keep it alive

Make your homework

Clean yourself

Clean the home

Clean the yard

Clean the mind

Do it, do it, do it

When father came back, hands empty, brown skin from a sun I would never see, shinning bright over some far away places I would never go, a boy’s gait, longer hair and a wise smile on his face- we did not recognize each other.

A wide and deep cleft.

He could laugh whereas we had our faces frozen

He wanted to hug whereas we could not move

He wanted to eat whereas we could not swallow

He could see the future whereas we were still fighting the present

By then I was a soldier

He was a stranger entering my territory


He taught me to fight for life even if doubting it

He taught me to see through today and look ahead

He taught me to kill animals if needed

He taught me to not breath, not eat, not sleep, not say a word- just do it

He taught me to learn

He taught me that I am not just me, I represent life, people as a whole and everything I do is affecting everything

He taught me that sun exists

He taught me to do everything I can and then accept the inevitable


Father taught me that we are all responsible, each one has a share of it, no matter our size or power. We are all responsible.


And what is in fact assumed responsibility ?

It is the power of creation. And we all have it.