Ecaterina

After years of hardship and suffering — finally, peace

Ecaterina’s life has never been easy, ever since she was a child she worked hard on the field, harvesting, digging and doing whatever else was necessary. School was not important for her parents, and Ecaterina suffered through poverty. As she grew up, she dreamed that she would have a happy family, with a loving husband together with whom she would create a future, have a house and a better life. Her hopes were shattered once she got married, as she chose a very jealous and possessive man. Nothing that Ecaterina would do was ever right, if she smiled, it was a problem, if she greeted someone, it was also a problem, if at harvest she was too in the front, it wasn’t right, if she was too in the back, it was even worse. In her husband’s twisted mind, all these gestures bore a hidden motivation, a plan of hers to cheat on him.

Ever since the first day of marriage, he started to beat her, sometimes invoking certain reasons, other times without a reason. For 27 years she was beaten every day, sometimes twice a day, heavy beatings which left her toothless, a shadow of a person, trying hard to survive. She has slept through many nights outside, in the field, hidden in the corn or wheat, shaking in fear of the man who should have been by her side, to love her and offer her protection. A few times she tried to run away, but she was found and brought back. After almost 3 decades, she finally managed to cut loose from her punisher, who had made her life a living hell. After all the suffering she has endured, all she wanted was to be loved, cherished and to have the chance to love someone with whom she could share all the wonders and pains of life.

At last, it seemed that faith showed mercy towards her — Ecaterina met a teacher with whom she lived in peace and love, discovering hope and serenity. But it wasn’t meant to last. After a few years spent together, he died, leaving Ecaterina by herself, powerless to seek a good life once again. Without a home and a family, she started working on a farm to earn her daily bread. It was getting harder and harder, because her health had started to deteriorate, until one day she fell unconscious, waking up in the hospital.

Upon discharge, because she was immobilised in bed and had nowhere to go to find care, she was sent to the Dumbrava center. She was in a precarious condition, weakened, no one could know whether she would still live. Days passed by and, thanks to the treatment, healthy food and necessary care, she gradually started to recover.

Eight years have passed since, and she is still living at the Dumbrava center, helping the other sick, trying to make herself useful. Ecaterina is thankful to God for the chance she was offered, because she finally found peace, in a place where she is valued by those around her.