by Jacqueline Corsatea Metz
Who would have thought that nearly 100 years ago, a tiny Romanian woman from a remote Romanian village would start a new life in America, a life that’s extended by five generations!
That’s what my grandmother/Buni, Anna Radu, did when she left her parents and siblings behind. She didn’t know she would not return to Romania during her mother’s lifetime.
At the time, she knew she had to follow her heart.
So she and her husband of only six months arrived at Ellis Island, New York, on April 24, 1926. From there, they traveled to Warren, Ohio, where they settled and had four young daughters, my mom included. My grandfather/Mosu died while the four girls were still very young.
“Raising four daughters alone, grandma/Buni did everything alone…”
Raising four daughters alone, grandma/Buni did everything alone: She bought and sold real estate, made clothes for her girls, cleaned bars at night, and worked in a steel mill on the press until her retirement at age 62.
God was special in her life. She gave Him all the glory for what she had. He’d blessed her abundantly. She was even able to take in other family members and help them start their new lives.
Up until her death at 102 in 2004, she instilled love of family and an awesome work ethic — with her children, grandchildren and even some great-grandchildren.
As a young woman, I remember sitting at the table while Buni wrote letters to her nieces back in Romania. When my husband and I made our first visit to Romania in 2003, Aunt/Tusa Parascheva (Para) shared those correspondences with me. This soon-to-be 93-year-old is Buni’s only living niece in Romania.
During subsequent trips to Romania, my husband and I created a deep bond with three generations still living in that remote Romanian village Buni left over 90 years ago.
Just a few weeks ago, both my daughters and their families visited that same village for the first time and met extended family members that included even younger generations.
Sharing some of those photos on Facebook has connected us with even more relatives living in other parts of Romania that extended our family tree even more.
Our family story shows we don’t have to be in close proximity for the generations to connect. Loves sees no barriers.