As hours pass by

A friend of mine told me: My uncle, when he heard, came and said ’the best man in Pirot died’….

My dad was a generous, helpful man. He always tried to help to whomever ask. Even if he had a work of his own, he left it for later and went to help when asked. Was it a small thing like changing the fuse or doing the whole electrical circuitry for the neighbors’ house, he did it.

He was a man who could not stand to sit idly. We would go on a vacation to Greece, and after two days he did not know what to do with himself. A car of the fellow countryman broke up and my father jumped hey, can I take a look….

It is said that you can judge the person by his funeral column. That the legacy of each man is the number of grateful people and friends that he left behind. Over 300 people came to the funeral, most of whom I did not know. All was crying, some not believing that it really happened until they saw him in the chapel.

Many people on the funeral (and the day before in our house where my father laid) cried so hard that I, possibly for the first time, really understood how great my dad was. Some called on that and following days, expressing regret that they can’t attend for various reasons (it was on Tuesday, 1pm).

I heard many times “do good to be given good”. It’s so hard to believe in that now. In fact, I now think that it does not matter what you do. You can be a saint and live 40 or 70. You can be a complete jackass and live 20 or 90.

My mom asked a thousand times “what have we done to deserve this”? Nothing. It simply does not matter.

I can only believe in Destiny. For every man, there is a path he walks, and at a certain time he passes, one way or another. I have no other explanation of what happened. My dad built the electrical pill 25 years ago and used it ever since. Dozens and dozens of people used it over the years, many of them payed no precautions of any kind. Dad was always the first to warn about safety measures. Never rush, always do the job by the book…

Our neighbor, who worked 40 years in wood cutting industry, said that he has never seen such injury. Some dark forces joined in that moment and it all went wrong for my dad.

Patch of wood hit him in the left forehead, broke the bone into several pieces and all that went into the brain. With such wound, he was transported to City Hospital in the city of Nis (70km from our home town of Pirot) where he arrived over two hours after the accident. With all that, he undressed himself and sat on the bed, even waved back to a friend who went with him to Nis. The doctors could not believe what they saw on the head x-rays, that a man with such severe injury could even stand.

I saw him two days after, lying unconscious on the bed; he looked better than me. Neglect the head patch and swollen left eye, he was an image of a healthy man. 6 days later, when I went to the chapel to claim his body, he looked so small, somehow diminished.

After reading the papers I received from hospital, I think that it was his strength that kept him alive for seven days. His body fought all that time, exhausting all its strength and sadly, lost the battle.

Dad in the wine cellar

Rest in peace, dad. Just rest, for once.