I wrote this post September 25th 2014 to answer a WordPress prompt that asked who was my hero when I was five and if my vision of that person had changed with the time.
When I was five he was my hero. The perfect man. The one who knew all the answers. The one with whom I was completely safe. The one who never deceived me. The one who defended me from all dangers. The one who taught me to talk, to pray, and to sing. My dad. He was a quiet man, with beautiful blue eyes and a charming smile. Later I learned that he was a journalist, a professor, a writer, and a poet.
I didn’t know he had lived a hazardous and heroic life during WWII and after. Plenty of sufferings. He was forcibly separated from my mother for twelve years, persecuted by the communists, two of his brothers were killed during the war. He was held prisoner and tortured in a concentration camp. When a guerrilla took him, he even dug his own grave and faced a firing squad, but a fellow journalist among the guerrillas saved him at the last moment. Despite all that pain, there was no bitterness in him. He was a man of peace, he had chosen to forgive and fight hatred, and taught us to do the same. He was a man of great faith.
As I was growing and knowing more about his life, I’d admired him more and more. Not only by learning about his past, but by witnessing his everyday life. So honest, good-humored, straightforward, joyful, till the end.
Once, in a homage dedicated to my father, they asked me: how would I define him?. I told them he was like an open door. He was always working even at home. But I never went to him and found him telling me he was too busy to pay attention and take care of me. Nor when I was little neither when I grew up. He was always ready to listen to me. He never failed me.
He died almost thirteen years ago and it seems as if it was yesterday. I miss him so much. He’s still my hero.
After I wrote this post, we celebrated the centenary of my dad in 2019. To pay him homage, I wrote a book about his life and the life of my mom during those difficult years of WWII and the Cold War in Eastern Europe, based on what he wrote in his diaries. He revealed himself as an honest, courageous man, compassionate, Compromised with the truth as a journalist, putting his life in the line if it was necessary to fight censorship or dictatorship, but above all, deeply in love with my mom. Yes. In those notepads, there was an incredible love story, and only behind that, like a background landscape, all the exciting adventures I mentioned before.
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