Tag Archives: happy birthday

One a rainy Friday April 13th, waaaay back when…

13 Apr

On a rainy April day way back my mom was born. But make no mistakes, that was no ordinary day; it was Friday and if that wasn’t enough, it was April 13th. Back home in my native Romania, Friday the 13th is a day you hide in your house and the only decisions you make is… what to eat and when to use the bathroom. If you don’t want his highness Bad Luck to find you, that is.

Going back to April 13th, the day my mom was born. I was told it was a gray and cold day, pouring rain starting at sunrise, a rain that didn’t end until the next day. After long hours of labor, through thunders and lightening Grandma said she heard a tiny voice screaming bloody murder coming from this baby, redder than a lobster and beating the air with her tiny arms.

She named the baby Stefania and, after a few days she took her home, but she never really made a connection with the baby and soon, she took her to her parents’s village and left her there for them to raise her. During Mom’s first seven years of her life, my grandma only visited her once when she was about three years old.

When Mom turned seven, Grandma uprooted her once more, this time taking her back to Bucharest. Fall came and Mom started first grade. Soon she was joined by a sister and a brother but for some reason my mom never felt love, never had a real connection with her mother.

Fast forward several years, my mom married my dad. Eventually they had their family, three daughters to be exact. I’m the middle one. Throughout her life my mom had always tried to be the mother her own mother never was: loving, protective, caring, forgiving, generous, supportive. She always was there for her girls, celebrating our successes and suffering along with us during our trials. But above all, she loved us unconditionally, with all she was, with all she had.

I resented my grandma for as long as I’ve known she never loved my mom the way every child should be loved by their parents. In some ways I always felt the need to love Mom that much more, trying in some ways to make up for the love she’d missed as a child. 

Life took me away from my parents, many many miles away. Today, when we celebrate my mom’s birthday I’m an ocean away but my heart and my spirit is right there, next to her wishing her from the bottom of my heart, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM! Blessed to call you my mom and be loved by you! ❤

mama 2

Happy Birthday, Bella!

22 Apr

Ten years ago to the day the cutest, white fur ball was born. Bella. She’s the fourth member of our family and… she’s a VIP. Why?

Well, that’s a simple explanation: she’s a character in my second book A World Apart. A character that lives and breathes like you and I. Someone that’s playful and moody, stubborn and loving, loud and feisty. Someone that communicates without words, only looking at me and I know exactly what she wants.

Let me introduce you … Bella.  She is exactly how Cassandra describes her, “a white fur ball with black eyes and button nose.” She’s also, “A Bichon and Maltese, like two doggies in one,” as Maya explains.
And above all—she’s my very first pet. I loved Bella even before I met her. A friend of mine had a litter of four puppies, sold all of them except Bella. No one wanted Bella—not even her mommy who refused to feed her or even let her come nearby. I told my friend I’d buy her. And so, one August afternoon my friend knocked on my office door bringing Bella. I remember seeing this white fluffy thing middle of my office, her face covered completely in fur, moving toward me until she reached my chair. She smelled my shoes then plopped on the floor, stretching her head on her front paws. Dog’s Cupid hit me that very moment, his arrow still in my heart and will forever remain there. And so will Bella.
She’s extremely protective, thinking she’s a big dog, although she barely weighs 16 pounds. Her bark is ferocious, I have no idea where that deep, husky barking comes from but she sure keeps people away from our house. Neighbors call her Cujo—that should say it all.
And yet Bella is loving, smart, loyal and goofy in many ways. Bella knows how to trick daddy into giving her an extra treat (just placing her head on his knee, looking innocently). She knows how to ask for an extra massage (bowing her head into my chest letting me rub her ears. If I stop she paws at me). She knows how to ask for playtime (bringing her toys and chasing my son down the hallway). And for popcorn, oh boy! She’d do any trick you ask her—from dancing to shaking paws, to speaking and posing like a diva.
What Bella means to me is probably obvious; she’s part of me, part of our family, the daughter I never had but wished for my whole life. And I know her time with us is limited—she turned 10 today, and I had to do something to keep her alive forever and ever, not only in our hearts but in the eyes of the world. And so the idea of portraying her in the book sprouted in my head, becoming clearer that this was the way to go.

I don’t know if my readers will judge me for bringing real loved ones into my fiction work. But I hope they will forgive me and fall in love with Bella as Cassandra and Maya and David did … After all, who doesn’t love a white fur ball with black eyes and button nose?