Little Croatia in the Big and Troubled UE
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Today was my dad’s birthday. Luka Brajnović. He would be 93, but he died eleven years ago and the wound in my soul is still open. He had a hard life. An independent Journalist in Croatia during the WWII, He was prisoner of all the sides of the war, first was detained by the Italian Fascists that occupied his town, and he escaped; then was prisoner of the communist in a concentration camp. Also escaped taking advantage of a confusion in the middle of a battle. He saw die all his brothers, one of them a priest. None of them older than 30. To save his life he gave himself in to the English Forces in Austria at the end of the war, hoping he would quickly liberated, being a civilian flying the communist prosecution, but he had to go from refugee camp to refugee camp living in different european countries separated from my mom who couldn’t escape with him, and my sister who was 4 months old. And what they thought that will be a question of months become a separation for 12 years, because he couldn’t enter the country, his head had a price, and just because he have been a journalist who told the truth and made angry the pro nazis and fascists and after that say no to an offer to help to the communist propaganda being a prisoner, although that was his way out of the concentration camp. But he had something that later he tough to Journalist students during almost 30 years: Ethics. And risked his life out to don’t betrayed that. Also risked his life to don’t betrayed his faith as a Roman Catholic. And mom was the wife of a prosecuted and prosecuted herself because of her Roman Catholic Faith in a Communist regime, so no way to reach a visa to go out of the country. During all the time he was forced to be separated of my mom and sister he did the unthinkable to reunite the family, enduring hunger an extreme poverty to pay mediators and bureaucratic to find a way to do it and after that 12 long years of efforts won the price. The family reunited in Munich (Germany) in 1956, my sister meet his father when she was almost 13 years old. And then we arrived, four more, a brother a three sisters. He never say no to talk to anybody who though different from him, he even meet again with one of his guardians in the communist camp, he was open to everybody.
Dad managed to survived until the end with a stunning innocence in his bright blue eyes because it was at peace with his conscience, had taught us to don’t hate by doing that himself, was in deep love with my mom like the first day, and that after 56 years of marriage he lived like a boyfriend with his girlfriend trying to win her love every day even when they were in their eighties, and he had a strong faith in God. His life with mom was like that: a little surprise gift some unexpected day, a poem, every day some loving words….So when we closed his eyes, that were looking at Ana, my mom, the love of his life when he die, I realized I have lost something bigger than I have imagined, because I would never witnessed that way of love again.
Later on we found his diaries from the 12 years of separation from my mom. We though there would be plenty of the adventures of that troubled years, and yes, that is in the background, but the main story in them is telling day by day to mom how much he loved her. Every day for twelve years without see her.
Mom did the same, but she didn’t keep a diary. It was to dangerous. And then, when they were again free and together they were like a couple just married again for ever, I have seen this with my own eyes, nobody has to tell me that there are true love stories more beautiful than the best writer can describe.
Thank you dad. Thank you mom.
Happy Birthday daddy. I love you so much, I miss you with the exact feeling in my heart than the moment when we closed your bright clear clean innocent blue eyes eleven years ago.