My father was the son of a very wealthy family. He married my mother, who was beautiful, and they started their life together with happiness, abundance, and many wonderful dreams.
When the Communist Regime came into power, they lost all of their assets: land, houses, business, and bank accounts.
All was confiscated by the new regime and they found themselves living in a small apartment which wasn’t theirs. They paid rent for it to the State.
Unfortunately, this was just the beginning, not the end, of an incredible chain of persecutions at different levels which culminated with the loss of my father.
At the age of ten or eleven, I began to realize that something was wrong within my family, even though my mother and my maternal grandparents made the effort to give me a good, worry free life. They tried to shield me from adult problems. It was as if they were afraid of something… I couldn’t figure out exactly what it was. I concluded it was some adult-stuff and the adults were secretive and stubborn. So, I didn’t bother to ask and hoped that some day I would figure it out. I was right and that day came when I least expected it.
During the middle of August, just a week after my fourteenth birthday, on a beautiful Sunday, my Mama took me to church. On our way home, we stopped to buy cakes from my favorite bakery. Then, all of a sudden, Mama said, “Michey, I need to talk to you.”
She began telling me that in three years I would go to College and I needed to know the details related to this important event.
Oh! Yes, I liked the introduction. Finally, she was treating me as a grown up!
My mother explained to me that there was a rule created by the communist regime which said each college had a fix number of places for students. Eighty percent of them were reserved for worker’s children, and only 20% was designated for intellectual’s children.
But the number of children from educated families was, at least, ten times larger then the Worker’s children, who had the aspiration to go to College. Therefore, this created an odd situation in which the children in the twenty percent bracket must have over a 9.5 in marks to get in. The worker’s children needed just 5.5 to get into College, as they were fewer, and competed for eighty percent of the places.
“Mama, you are telling me that I need over 9.5 and a plumber’s child needs only 5.5?” “Yes, Michey, this is correct”.
So, my next question was, “Mama, do you think that this rule is fair?”
Oh! God! My mother had tears in her beautiful eyes and I was shocked as, in my fourteen years, I had never seen Mama cry. However, she remained calm and said:
“This is the rule and we cannot change it. We have to make the effort to beat the system. I cannot accept the idea that the daughter of your father doesn’t get a proper education. We will work together as a team. I will help you as much as I can but the hard part is on your shoulders. I trust you that you will choose to honor your father with grace and you will become a well educated young lady, who will make him proud.”
In that moment, the sky opened up above me… Yes! This was it! She was afraid that I wasn’t able to enter College and she was under tremendous pressure to raise me alone, as we just recently lost Daddy. On top of that, there was the cruel College rule. It was oppressive and made it so difficult for children in the twenty percent category to win the competition. Later, the rule was abolished but for the generation which was forced to live with… it was hard.
It wasn’t only tears in Mama’s eyes; it was also love, determination and an incredible sacrificial spirit, which impressed me.
In that moment, a team, “Mama and Michey”, was born.
“Mama, I will take that exam. Just tell me how our team will work and what you expect me to do”.
With a lot of tact and diplomacy, Mama explained that an exam is different than just having good marks in the class-room. There are high emotions involved, time constraints, and many other parameters which can influence the outcome.
So, the unique solution was to be exceptionally well prepared to receive over 9.5, in a scale of 1 to 10, in the exam environment.
To make a long story short, we sat around the table, making a plan which I followed like a robot for next 3 years. I got into College and I got out as well, with a degree in Mathematics. But it was Mama’s merit more than mine.
I am proud to tell you that the team, “Mama and Michey”, still exists with reverse roles. My mother is Ninety-seven years old now and she lives with me. I try to pay her back by making her life as easy and enjoyable as I can.
Thanks, Mama, for the tears in your eyes which made me strong, ambitious, and disciplined. I have become a winner in my life in addition to acquiring just a degree.
In Summary: If you get this far and have read my story, please, the next time you hear the Marxist slogan about “equality”, stay back, get informed and reflect a little. It is an effective campaign slogan, but in reality, equality doesn’t and shouldn’t exist as each of us is so different.
In my country, the communist regime didn’t produce equality. All they did was a reverse of social classes. I assure you that when the mediocrities rise to the level of leadership, they produce more injustice and corruption than all the years of Monarchy combined.