Your husband is coming home  soon

One morning in January, at about four a.m the phone rang. We got scared of course and mother raised the receiver quite scared.

`I want to announce you a joy`, a voice said.

The sound was not good, the call was from a very crowded place with a loud background noise.

`I want to announce you a joy. Your husband is coming home soon.`

`God, mother started crying. Is it true? Soon? When?

`Very soon! Are you well? Both healthy?

`Yes, we are well.`

The stranger hung up the phone and we didn`t know what to think. Could it have been a nasty joke?` Someone who wanted to make fun of us? No, this was impossible. No, it must have been someone recently released from prison – like that young man who had come to us a few months before. We could not sleep anymore. We were too excited…

After about quarter an hour the phone rang again. It was the same stranger.

`I wanted to tell you that your husband isn coming home very soon.`

`Soon? The mother asked full of hope. God, how soon?

`Marioara, don`t you recognize me? It`s me…`

Mother started crying again.

` Dumitre, Dumitre, is that you? (…)

Finally time decided to pass and sooner than we expected we saw entering the gate the high silhouette of my father with his hat with wide brims. He had a bag in his hand. We rushed outside and hugged each other crying. It was cold and the snow was making noise under our steps. God, what happiness. What a wonderful morning!

`Why didn`t you say from the start on the phone that you were coming ?` I asked him.

`I was afraid you might have got too emotional. I was afraid you might have had a shock, a heart attack, Marioara…

He had arrived about midnight and waited quietly in the station until morning so that he would not scare us or move us. Then he prepared mother…God, what kind of man my father was!

`Yes this is how my father was. The others were more important and he didn`t think of anything else, only at them.

Lidia Ionescu-Stăniloae

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