My meeting with Simona Marti (52 years old) was one of the most emotional moments from my entire journalistic career. She is a mother of angels – she lost three children, a daughter of 16 years and a half and two twins, a boy and a girl, prematurely born, who hadn’t survived. I don’t think there are enough words to describe her drama. Now, Simona is the mother of two wonderful children, twins also, and local coordinator, in Sibiu, of a national foundation of parents who had lost their children. The national foundation was created by Bianca Brad, a famous Romanian actress who had lost a baby girl before giving birth . An amazing woman, Simona is helping so many people – not only through the foundation. She is one of those people born to do good, to help, to care. Her story is not only extremely emotional – it’s also an amazing life lesson, about trust, rebuilding, fight, understanding of the things that really matter in life, about unconditional love. The impressive story of a real winner.
“I felt I actually started living when I was 21 and my beautiful, wise daughter was born”. It’s the beginning of an extremely emotional confession. The words are simple, and go on with tears. Many years passed, yet it’s not easy, it will never be, actually. I don’t think a bigger pain exists in this world – bigger than a parent’s pain when he buries his own child.
“My Paula was a very special child. When she became a teenager I didn’t even have to use words. I used to ask her – how did you know? I just felt, she answered”.
Paula was 16 years and a half when she left with her school colleagues on a trip. They went by bicycles, to visit some fortified churches. When she came back she got sick – and everybody treated her for an usual flu. But it wasn’t. There was a bacterium in her body, and in one week she died. “It was from Friday to Friday, and our whole world crashed. We felt we didn’t exist anymore, we acted like some robots, she was our only child”, Simona says.
Two twins lost
There will never be enough words to describe what Simona and Radu, her husband, felt back then. And as if it hadn’t been enough, just a few years later another shock came. She was pregnant with twins, but when she had 26 weeks and a half the birth was triggered. Ana and Stefan were too small and could not survive.
“We were devastated. I was very angry with God back then, I didn’t know the way I was acting was normal, I argued with HIM, I kept on asking why us, why this was happening to us. But God knew much better how the story will go on”, Simona says.
The miracles: Ina and Iustin
Today, when we speak, Simona is not angry anymore. She understood a lot in the past few years, including the fact that everything happens for a reason. The wound will never heal completely, but she is not angry with God anymore. She is the mother of two wonderful children, Ina and Iustin, twins also, and she and her husband are blessed and extremely grateful for having them in their life.
“They simply brought us back to life, when they got home it was like a miracle. When Paula left we stopped being alive, and in 2010 we felt like we were born once again. And this happens ever since – with the children, we changed completely. Nothing material is important anymore, just the spiritual, emotional part. And this is what we are trying to teach our children – just to be good, it doesn’t cost a thing”, Simona says.
How are the kids? I ask her. I’m looking at the light in her eyes while giving me the answer and I don’t even try to hide my tears. “Ina is very dynamics, she plays performance basketball, she is training in karate, also. Iustin likes telling stories, writing stories, he has a book with him all the time, maybe he has some time to read”, Simona says. And keeps on talking about them with so much love, they are the wonderful heart of their world, a world where they had learnt to have hope again, to trust, to fight and to love.
EMMA, the foundation where parents of angels stay together and help
In 2008, after losing the twins, a friend told her about a national foundation. EMMA had been founded by Bianca Brad, a famous Romanian actress who had lost a baby girl before giving birth. She became the local coordinator of the foundation, in Sibiu, and tried to do as much good as she could for parents with similar dramas and for children in need , also.
Once a year, on the official day of parents of angels, they gather and high balloons in the sky for the children who left. On October 15, during an international event, they light candles during one hour, a wave of light for their beloved angels.
They meet and talk, support each other, and try to do good. “I know Paula is with me all the time, that she helps me and that she had left with a purpose – otherwise, our wonderful children wouldn’t have been with us. They could’ve been her children”, Simona says.
With love, for people in need
Mother of angels, Simona herself is a guardian angel for a lot of people in need. Not only officially, through the foundation’s programs – she helps a lot of children and people in need beyond that. She is that kind of person built to do good for the others – those rare, gifted people, who simply help, unconditionally, from heart.
One of the programs she loves most gave a chance to some poor families in small villages near Sibiu. They work at an austrian company for many years, and one of the owners was deeply involved in social supporting programs. They met and decided to do something together in Sibiu, also, so they started a project in a few villages, to help very poor families to have a start and a chance to earn their living. They started from a local tradition – that one of growing a local pig breed, “mangalita”, and a few families got, for free, one pig and 10 chickens. They got food for them every week, and had to take care of them – and, the main condition, to give forward, to other poor families, small pigs and eggs. The purpose was to help them learn to work for themselves, to increase the number of animals – and the project was a success. There is a very emotional example – father of seven kids, with one leg only, got a performance prosthesis from them, worked a lot and now he is a local producer of “mangalita” pigs. His son, who is 18, also attended a specialized course, he is now pig breeder with certificate and works with his father.
And the children from Rusciori – another story so close to her heart. It’s a small village with a lot of families in need. When Paula was in the first class at school she had two colleagues whose parents never came to the meetings with the teacher – instead of them a lady came, Hermine Jinga, who took care of them. She found the beautiful lady 20 years after, in Rusciori, where Mrs Jinga has a foundation that supports children in need. 10 years passed from that meeting and every Christmas and Easter they are going to Rusciori, with presents for them. “They are extraordinary, I have seen them growing up. I was in a supermarket once when someone hugged me, from my back – when I turned, there were some girls from Rusciori, it was so emotional”, Simona says.
They have a room at home “where everybody calls – I have a baby bed, a baby stroller, clothes, toys – at least half of the room is full all the time, then we start thinking who is in need, where we will donate them”, Simona says, smiling.
She is so grateful to her husband, for everything – “Without his support, I wouldn’t have succeed in doing any of these”, she says.
The lessons. The force always comes from the inside
Few people could go through everything Simona had been through and still be ok. She worked a lot with herself and with the others, and took her time and a lot of pain to understand things. Not to blame anymore, not to be angry anymore. Now, she knows everything happens for a reason, and she also knows Paula is with them all the time, guardian angel, to teach them to be good and do good.
“There is life after your soul’s death. Back then, in 2004, I had the feeling I would never be able to laugh again, I felt it had been a sin to smile. Now I don’t think like that anymore. And I know she is with us all the time. We were at the cemetery, and Iustin just asked us – Why are we staying here? She is not here – and we realized he was right. She was not there, she had been with us all the time.
I see a purpose in everything we’ve been through. Paula was so special, she was a different teenager, I had the feeling, all the time, that she raised us. The moment she realized we were on our own, she left”, Simona says.
She has extremely valuable lessons, learnt in time. One was that it’s not good to help if you are not asked to – not everyone wants to be helped. Another – that children are not ours, our duty is to raise them, educate them, give them wings and let them go, not try to hold them near us, with us. “God hasn’t brought us on this world to be selfish, you know”, she says.
And there’s another thing we should learn, in these crazy, fast forward times that we are living. To have time and to enjoy small things – which are actually the most important in life. “We must value time. People nowadays don’t live consciously – You are not aware that you are walking, that you are breathing, that you are eating. By the end of the day we must be conscious of what we had done that day – to remember how beautiful the flowers were, the taste of food, exactly what you have read from a book”, she says.
PHOTOS FROM PERSONAL ARCHIVE
Do you know a very special person? Someone who has followed his dream, built it piece by piece, with passion, energy and lot of soul? An usual, simple person who did something in life, who you can identify with, who can be, for others, a source of inspiration? Tell me about that person and let’s tell the others his/her beautiful story. Write me at email@example.com, here, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.