From Drita Çomo
Memorie.al / Drita Çomo were born in Tirana, in 1958. In November 1960, at the age of two, she was exiled together with the whole family, due to the political conviction of her mother, Liri Belishova, a member of Political Bureau and secretary of the Central Committee of PPSh, who was accused by Enver Hoxha of being a revisionist. While Drita’s father, Maqo Çomo, former Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and Minister of Agriculture, was sentenced and re-sentenced by the communist regime, spending most of his life in Burrel prison, until the collapse of the communist regime , accused of being an “enemy of the people”. Based on this, Drita Çomo spent part of her childhood and adolescence exiled in the village of Kuç in Vlora and then in Progonat in Kurveles. In the late 70s- her family was interned in the town of Cërrik, where she finished high school, but due to some absences she had made at school, due to an incurable disease and the obstacles that brought them out as a “reactionary family” she was not allowed her to finish her high school graduation. Unfortunately, the disease progressed and on 19.02.1981, at a very young age, she passed away in the Oncology Hospital of Tirana. In the tragic moments of her last days, she was not allowed to have her mother by her side until she was in agony of death she remained alone, even though her mother, Liri Belishova, had written several letters to Nexhmije Hoxha (her former close friend since the war), but she never received an answer…! The text that we are publishing below is excerpted from her book “Light from the Abyss”.
Continues from last issue
PART FROM THE DIARY OF LIGHT COMO
(EXTRACTED FROM THE BOOK “LIGHT COMING FROM THE ABYSS”)
Today we received a letter from dad. I wish you a happy birthday. 20 years of wishing each other with letters. I only regret one thing, he wrote. For the health of Light.
How strange and unbelievable it seems that you will not live like everyone else. Where is that something that makes you change, where is it hidden? The one that puts a big question mark on the future, that makes you feel like you’re completely transient in the world, temporary, that makes you see everyone as a stranger.
What makes relatives suffer for you and treat you in a special, gentle way, what makes even strangers look at you with pity and curiosity. Well, on the outside it doesn’t differ at all from the others. However, you are different. Hodgkin’s disease. Where did this mushroom grow in your being? You are not separated until you die…!
I don’t know what I will do in the future. But every story has a similar story. It’s not even worth it. Even one’s company in such circumstances carries a dose of reduced dignity, let alone other things.
That’s why I wanted you to live alone. To make such decisions at 22 years old…! Maybe it’s something absurd, time will tell, but in any case, I never want to be promiscuous, nor do I allow myself to turn a blind eye to anything. I swear to myself…!
The wind blew all night last night. Today is a clear and sunny day. How I love the sun. I feel better. Yesterday, my leukocytes were 2000. I also have an appetite.
We order once every two days from a chicken, Ga. (Garentina Memisha) roasts it for us and has helped us a lot. We eat together with V., sometimes with I., we drink a glass of wine. What else can we do?
Last night and today I did needlework, I made the red scarf.
The future is unknown; it appears in front of man like the autumn fog that rises from the marsh: many birds fly over it up and down, flapping their wings, without distinguishing each other; the dove does not see the hawk and neither does the hawk see the dove…! Thus, no one knows whether the day of death is near or far…” (Gogol).
On Wednesday I had leukocytes 3100 and yesterday 4000. I feel better. Last night I went down the stairs with V. (Vjollca Telaj-Suparaku) after so many days. I also have an appetite.
G called me the day before yesterday. As if he was not well. I started the birthday card for Titus. He’s turning 25; he’s saying we should celebrate when I go. Last night I spoke on the phone with my mother.
On Saturday I spoke on the phone with G. We only talked about my illness and I couldn’t tell him anything else, nor did I ask him how he is.
Yesterday I was extremely upset. I have shortness of breath, I can’t get enough of my breath and my pulse beats very fast, especially when I stand up. Even my appetite seems to have disappeared…!
This is the last entry in the journal. After 10 days, on February 19, 1981, Drita Çomo ended. He didn’t even have his mother, any relatives – the dictatorship didn’t allow him…!
He was kept on oxygen for the last few days; late at night dawning February 19 for a while he lacked oxygen and after that fell into a coma. Her reconciled youth was closed in solitude. What would he say for the last time?
Explanatory notes about the diary
The father of Light, Maqo Çomon, after 16 years (7 on the island of Zvrnec and 9 in the prison of Burrel) was arrested in the investigation of the Ministry of the Interior and, after almost a year of investigation, he was again sentenced to 10 years for agitation and propaganda.
The punishment of political prisoners for the second and third time was practiced by the dictatorship in order not to let the “stubborn” get out of prison alive.
The periods of investigation that lasted for many months and during which the detainees were completely under the unlimited power of the cruel investigators, completely isolated, without any contact with their families, without a lawyer, were extremely difficult even for the family members, who lived in anxiety , without receiving any news.
The telegram was made by Vala, Agron’s wife.
The trial of Agron Belishova, (Daja i Drita), was one of the ugliest trials of the dictatorship. After 6 months of languishing in the investigation cells, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for agitation and propaganda.
This skilled and honest doctor who had worked for 17 years selflessly! Even after prison, he was exiled to the deepest areas, far from his family. The three children were brought up with many sacrifices by her friend, Vala.
For 12 years, Drita’s mother (Liri Belishova) was not allowed to see her husband, and then during 15 years they took her only 4-5 times, with strict and absurd security measures (with “GAZ” of the Ministry of the Interior and two officers State Security). Makbule Belishova was Drita’s grandmother, while her uncle, Bardhyl Belishova, was then admitted to the Tirana prison hospital.
THOSE WHO FIGHTED
“I ask for three days’ time”, said the member of the Political Bureau. “These are such serious accusations, I ask for three days to prepare to defend myself…to…disprove them”. His nervous and tired voice suddenly became strong and sonorous again. “How is it possible that the communist is not given three days to defend himself, to remove the mud from him”?!
Yes, it was possible. They did not give him a day’s respite. Then it was the beginning. It had only been three years since the war had ended, and not many things had yet entered the whiteness of their dreams. Until then everything had been clear, white or black, everything was divided by the muzzle of the rifle.
Until recently, the future had been in their imagination something clear, pure, and covered with light. Yes, the days passed and in their world they began to appear, as if without understanding, many things that they almost did not notice, or did not want to look at.
Only those of them, whose circumstances suddenly brought them to the dock and who saw them suddenly separated from all their friends, opened their eyes in amazement and asked: “How is it possible”?!
For whole days and nights this question knocked in their brains without stopping. Their fate after that seemed like a mockery of everything good and right for which they had fought and lived. And they wanted to shout to the heavens:
“How is it possible”?!
But now was the beginning. This was the first and most painful tragedy of all, perhaps because it was the first, or perhaps because the man who was sacrificed was one of the most honest, able, and worthy of living among all those who sacrificed him.
The meeting ended late. In the car he wanted to look at the clock and noticed that it was 8 minutes to two. This should have happened when he slammed his fist on the table and shouted: “How is it possible…”?!
Thirty years later, tucked into his old leather wallet, that watch would always read 8 to two minutes…!
He got the feeling that time had stood still. No time went by, but for that…!
Drita wrote this fragment about Nako Spiro, who was liquidated on November 20, 1947. Drita had heard a lot about him from her mother, who was his wife and co-worker. Memorie.al