From Dalan Luzaj
Memorie.al / Marriage, this sacred act in the life of every person that comes from generations and is passed on, remains so in every place, in every time and circumstance that it takes place. It unites two people, often unknown, creates a new family and realizes the continuation of life on earth, with all the good and bad things that time or the fate of each couple will bring. After we finished dinner, we all got comfortable in the living room at Dad’s house in Chicago. When my father left the Motherland, as a lost part of the War, my mother was pregnant with me. He hosted us in Italy and now we are together after 50 years. We had talked before about the most important things from our lives, a little from his.
Continues from last issue
The mother was coming down from a hill in front of the house, with a white goat, tied with a wire at the mouth because there was no rope. The black clothes he wore since 1944 were not removed from his body until he gave his soul inside them. He had recognized me and was in a hurry. We hugged, kissed and I could feel her tears, her pain soaking my face. It had changed! It was emaciated, wrinkled, prematurely aged.
When you live with a loved one or someone close to you, the changes are not noticeable, they happen for days, (they say during the night) and are slow, parallel to them are the internal changes, which even he himself is not able to he understands.
Man before old age becomes very sensitive with less power, with more desire to have worked. Nervous processes become more relaxed, the person gradually passes another stage of life. Whereas when you are far away and there is a difference, the changes are noticeable very quickly.
He constantly rubbed his left hand with his right hand. I learned that he had suffered from mild paralysis and his left arm was numb all the time.
– Where do I start, son? This is our situation. You have not eaten, but there is nothing at home. Milk the mother goat and heat a cup of milk?
– No, I ate, but I brought bread and preserves from the ward in my backpack.
Mother was on her feet and, at once, she reached for the military bag, which I had left on the ground. He sat down, took it, untied it, and under a light coming from the window of the house, which fell steeply on his face, I saw that his mother’s face and soul smiled when she saw the bread.
I don’t know how much he had without eating. It was exactly an uncontrolled, unordered action, it came out of his soul and the joy of bread was honored on his face. My eyes filled with tears. O our sanctuary.
– Here they call us all kinds of adjectives; at first they called us exiles, then kulaks, enemies and reactionaries, parachuted in, etc., etc. We don’t have any of them, with the exception of Krushka, Resmie, who became my sister and Elisabeta (the married sister in Vlora).
In the letter, how to say everything, than to poison you away. I stayed like a cuckoo on a branch. I have never felt worse than I do now.
– I have 24 hours leave, tomorrow morning I leave for the ward, – I told my mother.
– Then son, let’s start from the main one. I thought that in this state, I can’t afford to go to Lubonjë, to talk with Resmia, maybe I’ll give my daughter to help me even a little bit. I understand that it is out of all habit and education, but it is the circumstances that force me.
Before you go to Lubonje, go down to the field to our cousins, talk to one of them and he will come with you, to make the problem more serious. Get over it, mother, because there is no time. Of the cousins, one of them closed the door as soon as he saw me, while the other advised me not to go anywhere in this situation.
Both cousins were called kulaks. One was expelled from the city and their attitude reflected fear, that fear that has deformed people’s souls, so much so that even the children who were born from these layers, are hardly sane in these environments.
I arrived in Lubonja after sunset, it was dark when I asked someone where was Skotulli? A good man shot, or he knew me and didn’t take it any further. He took me out over the houses of Lubonja, put me in the street of Skotulli and we said good night.
I was climbing the hill and I didn’t know how to show him the problem. How would they react? How had finished school, even though she was one of the best students in the school in terms of progress and discipline. Even though, like every young woman, she had beautiful dreams of the future, everything was broken, destroyed. That clear sky turned black and now from being expelled through a bridge, he would pass exiled, without having any right to circulate.
I thought that she would not make the marriage legal because she was also exiled. Slowly I got to the middle of the forest. A barking dog, I don’t know if I scared him or scared me.
On both sides of this pedestrian street, there were thatched huts. On the left side of the road, in the first hut, the door faced the road and was open. A dim light revealed the mother-in-law’s body and face.
Where did they kill the people? Oh God! Three women and a 15-year-old boy, in the middle of the forest, their only fault was their daughter’s engagement to me.
I spoke to the door in my brother’s name.
– Order, who is it? – answered my mother-in-law (I felt that she didn’t recognize me)!
Where the poor people knew me, how many had come from the field. Harvesting corn, it was tiring to thresh. The mother-in-law with the two children went to work, while my fiancée took care of the huts and food. They were happy, flying when they saw me. I could see their love in their eyes, these windows that fall right into the soul of simple and honest people.
It is the only way, from the soul it comes to you with a very difficult code, but still warm and human, because the mouth is never so close to the eyes, because the language has not reached the perfection of the soul to express that entire he asks.
Of course, the fiancée was a little happier, although she was calmer in appearance. They tried with flesh and soul to do everything good for me in Scotland, in the forest in the straw huts, but clean and well arranged.
They didn’t even think about my coming tonight, let alone the purpose of coming. After we said hello, I had to get to the point. I had a way and my mother was waiting for me. I started talking, I came today, from the ward with a 24-hour leave, that is, and tomorrow I have to be in the ward.
Tonight I came to meet you and to talk and decide together about the problem I have. You have seen the situation of my family in the village. There is no end to evil, but for me there is no worse. I came tonight in military clothes like a night raven, or like a cub mountains, to take my fiancee, my wife.
This is a help you do me, if it is done! We were deprived of the right of age; we are breaking the rules and customs forced by the waves where communism hit us.
The hut was lit by a kerosene lantern. Before I could see their faces and distinguish every movement of their muscles, now the lantern began to blacken the pot with its black smoke and the people around, that black shadow of it began to fall on your face and as it came, they became distant .
War of motives. What would be the mother-in-law’s response? She had previously faced the exiles that came from a family of patriots, brave and smart; she had faced every situation and always emerged stronger.
– When I betrothed my daughter to Isuf Luzaj’s son, I took everything into account. It became yours as soon as we gave the word.
I deliver it tonight with the school apron. I also wanted to make her a bride with a veil and a crown dress, like all my friends. But our fate was seen in 1944.
Get up my daughter, go bride….oh your bride…! Everyone started crying.
– Listen my daughter! I made your chest and adults halal with a pickaxe and a shovel. You know who you are. You know where you’re going.
Never once do I play from my convictions in life, anywhere in the world, in any regime, in any country, the population is like a Rainbow, a bow of that Rainbow, thin, weak, they are the bravest, most generous, loving people and honest.
Every person in life, even the most negative, has in himself a moment of greatness that the hour comes and shows, even if it is very short. The people who were hit the hardest always had long moments of showing their greatness.
– To become a good wife, a good mother and a good daughter-in-law! – She said to her daughter in a voice that I had never heard before.
We went outside the hut. I was holding a mattress in my hands, while the woman was holding a quilt. They all came out in tears. We greeted each other.
– Good luck to you. May God help you? – said her mother again.
We went out on the road that went down to Lubonje. The mother picked up her daughter, hugged her tightly to her breast and did not let go.
– You are young and God will bless you, but for me this wound that was opened tonight will bleed until it goes to the grave.
The soldier groom, the bride in the black school dress, on a September night in ‘69, has a wedding, celebrate and enjoy. Oh cuckoo, oh raven, oh God… – and her voice crashed into the souls of all, in the valleys beyond, in…!
Descending, we stopped and looked behind. The three of them gathered around the mother. The night did not allow you to look up there. They escorted the daughter and sister with tears in their eyes. The pain roared in their chests, without uttering a word, they wished us, but the voice of their soul that night went up to the sky, as a curse and hatred for the rotten communist system.
We went down to Lubonje, where under a thin layer, the dust wiped itself tried to be done again the next day. Bulkthi accompanied us, as if he was the orchestra of our wedding, his late song slipped into our ears, confusing us with all kinds of thoughts, but anyway, we weren’t talking to each other. As if we had nothing to say to each other…!
Neither she nor I knew where to start. The unpaved road preserved puddles of water in places from the rain that had fallen that afternoon. The moon rose above Vasha Mountain. Its light, under that clear September sky, poured in full to Shushica, took the wings of the hills and shone as far as the plain of Llakatund.
The night was still and cool, a dusting of dew seemed to begin and moisten the air. As he walks, he glances at her face. The rays of the moon broke in the curls of her forehead and formed a Rainbow that leaned rather white and golden. The flushed face and the black eyes that shone with the love of life. The shadow stretched behind, as if it were a wedding dress, soaking it in the puddles of the road, where the moon shone for us.
Dogs barked in the distance. Would they even stay in our lives as far as tonight, their kind…!?
We walked as friends who would share the most precious thing together, life. We would fight with it, as rarely anyone, for no reason, only to realize the sick dream of the poor soul of that ideology that, falling, clashed its screams with our lives like the revenge of an enraged hornet that, I don’t know who I hurt anymore, with eyes, teeth and drool.
We walk, the groom and the bride… what about the bridegroom!?
The bridegrooms of that wedding were all the stars of the clear sky that did not leave our shoulders all the way home. Outcast, she was being exiled, staying true to her first and last love, the dream of her youth. It is these, the stricken people, the overturned class who, when the last hour comes, know how to align them on the side of sacrifice, there, where life struggles with all its strength against existence manifested in all its deformed forms hatred.
The wedding continued, we waited for the congratulations that were sent to us. Our ears were ringing from the heavenly orchestra amidst this river of light; we enter Teqe, where the mother under the light of a cup of oil, burning cotton wick…was waiting!
She kissed him on the forehead and congratulated him.
– To inherit me! This is your marriage, like your life son.