Bianca Năstase. She dreamed of becoming a doctor, but instead, she ended up being a teacher. I believe there is no such thing as a coincidence since her story seems to be a life lesson. Bianca has been taking care of both bodies and souls. She got married to a man in a wheelchair and they had three kids – one of them with disabilities, and another one on the way when they were in a car crash. Her husband died and the baby and Bianca survived, despite the odds. The life she lived could easily be turned into an award-winning movie. Bianca lost a lot: her beloved husband, parts of her soul, even her engagement and wedding rings. However, she never lost the love of her life. And she has conquered life – which’s architecture Bianca has learned to fully enjoy.
Bianca didn’t fail any of her exams when she was a student. She was so fascinated with the sea, that she was counting down the days left until she could go to Vama Veche and camp on a wild beach. She used to go with a friend of hers, and they would spent all day swimming, and all night reading poetries, under the moonlight. It was the summer vacation after her third year of college when she has met her future husband. They met in a pub, the terrace was full, and since her future husband was in a wheelchair, he didn’t need a seat, so he just asked her if they could share the table.The dawn of day surprised them in the same spot, still talking. “The next day I already knew I was going to marry him. He asked me ‘Baby girl, what are we going to do if this fire keeps on growing?’ And I simply replied <<We’re gonna get married>> ”, Bianca says.
She was amazed by his wisdom and by how Florin confronted all the impediments of being an architect. He grew up in the communist era when drawing didn’t seem to feed off, so he was obliged to properly work in a factory. But he didn’t give up on his dream – he dared following his dream even after a train accident left him without both of his legs. He always thought that that experience was something he needed, for his soul to be pulled out of the troubled waters he was in at that time and be put back on the right track. He managed to get a Master’s Degree, he was working as an architect, he was driving an adapted car and he was in love with Bianca. “I could see it in his eyes that he liked me, it was obvious, but it felt that he would die if I was to be gone. And I had this thought: finally a man that, although he is without legs, he is on his own feet”, Bianca says.
She called home ten days after they met. “My parents already knew from my friend who got back a few days earlier that I met a man without legs, and that I was calling them to let them know that I’m getting married. They didn’t approve of the marriage, my father thought that I’ll be over it in six months, so he didn’t allow me to go further with my decision until then. Florin and I counted the days until the and since he was from Prahova and I was from Iasi, we talked on the phone every night”, Bianca says.
Her parents realized there was no turning back, and so the wedding took place, Bianca being 23 years old and Florin 31. They lived in different cities, until they’ve found their piece of Heaven, Bianca says, a village named Bughea de Sus. Not only her dream of living in a big city didn’t come true, but she had to go through the swamp five times a day so she could get home, full of mud. But she was so happy, that they’ve moved in before the walls were ready and there were no doors, so Florin had to make some walls on his own, some sliding doors on roller-bearings.
Teodor, Dimitrie, Ecaterina were born and only a few months later Varvara was on the way. Dimitrie was diagnosed with spastic tetraparesis, so he wasn’t talking and he was barely moving. The only things he could do and never stopped doing was to look deeply into the heart of the others and to laugh. “I just couldn’t wrap my head around his joy since I wasn’t feeling the same thing. I thought that only a crazy mom could feel joy for her disabled baby. But my husband resonated with that bliss and he was the one supporting me through this”, Bianca says.
And he kept on doing so until 20th of December 2005. “We had just moved into our new house three days prior, Dimitrie was three years old at the time and he had an appointment with his physician. Teodor was five years old and he had a festivity at his kindergarten that day, so we left him there. We also left Ecaterina who was eight years old with my goddaughter, for a few hours. And we left with Dimitrie, my husband was the one was driving. I was feeling very sick, Dimitre was crying louder and louder, because I’d moved in the front seat and I’d told him that I wasn’t able to turn around anymore, so my husband looked for a second in the rearview mirror. We crashed into a cement mixer”, Bianca says.
Her husband, although he had suffered severe injuries, told the doctors to take care of Bianca, because she was three months pregnant, and the doctors did as he said. Florin died, Dimitrie was taken care of and after that, he was sent home to his relatives, and Bianca was taken to a hospital in Ploiești. Her spleen was removed, her liver was also affected, her ribs were broken, her lungs were crushed and Varvara was still in the womb. Neither of them seemed to survive, so the physicians asked Bianca’s family to give them approval for abortion, hoping they will be able to save at least her.
When Bianca recovered from the coma, everybody told her that her husband is kept alive by machines. They were all afraid that she wouldn’t be able to take the news. After a dream she had, she knew Florin was already in Heaven, so when she finally got the news, she didn’t act very surprised. For almost two months she stayed in the hospital, for recovery procedures, learning how to walk again, and wanting, no matter what, to give birth to her fourth baby.
In spite all the danger and warnings that she was to have another baby with a handicap, because of the treatments and all the X-ray she went through after the accident, Bianca gave birth to a healthy Varvara. However, Varvara got infected with Staphylococcus Aureus in the hospital after she was born, so in less than two weeks doctors thought she would die, or at least that one of her legs will be cut off. Bianca literally pulled out the baby girl from the arms of one physician and ran elsewhere for another opinion.
That was the time when Bianca says she had a fight with God, warning Him that, if something bad happens to Varvara, she is not to be held accountable for her actions anymore. “Varvara went into surgery, the physician told me that her leg was still there, but that will be shorter since her cartilage won’t grow normally anymore. After a while, he saw her again and he asked me ‘What did you do to her, ma’am? There’s nothing here left for me to say. Her leg is completely recovered’. I then understood that when the physician says ‘no’, God says ‘yes’”, Bianca says.
With the help of her family, although her mother has been diagnosed with cancer, and later on her father was as well, Bianca managed to physically recover, after the accident. “When I got back home, Teodor couldn’t even look at me, my face was covered with scars. He kept on asking me what happened, but he wouldn’t let me finish. A miraculous thing, in the day of the accident, when he was at the kindergarten, he had to create a Christmas card. Instead, he created a collage of black velvet and a yellow piece of material, it was a lighting candle, next to a little branch of fir. The governess told me that he made it at 10 AM, the exact time of the accident. He couldn’t have know, it was in real time, but somehow he felt that his father was dying, so he lighted a candle”, Bianca says.
Therefore it was no need for explanations, the kids knew their father was in Heaven, where there is no suffering, and they grew up not only by remembering him or seeing him in the pictures, but being conscious that he is always there and that he is answering their prayers. Just like they know that their father listened when living in Oradea for a few years, so Dimitrie could benefit from a physiotherapist help, it snowed with big snowflakes, despite the fact that in Oradea it’s usually not snowing. But it was Christmas, and kids prayed for some snow.
With the help of some kind people, Dimitrie underwent multiple surgeries, and he is now able to move his hands a little more and he is passionate about technology. He knows how to use a laptop, search for online tutorial classes, keen on learning more, although, theoretically, he doesn’t know how to read. Practically, he finds everything he needs and he laughs when his mother feels left behind with everything he has learned.
Teodor has inherited his father’s talent to draw, so he has read all the descriptive geometry manuals that are used at the University since he was in the VIIth grade. Instead of architecture, Teodor will choose car design. “Another very beautiful memory I have, once Teodor and I went into the attic to find his father’s drawing from when he was a student, we wanted to make a movie. And Teodor comes to me with this drawing and he tells me ‘Look!’. And I asked him ‘What is it?’. And he told me ‘Don’t you recognize it?’. I remembered seeing something similar at Teodor, but that drawing had his father’s signature on it and I didn’t understand what’s the connection. And Teodor said to me ‘It’s exactly the same car I have drawn’. It was exactly the same car, drawn from the same angle, Teodor had just discovered his father’s drawing and was shocked”, Bianca says.
Teodor and his sisters, still students at the same school where Bianca teaches, wanted a second father, one they could be able to touch. Bianca understood their need and she could’ve been gone for it, if the second father wouldn’t also meant he would be her second husband as well. Though she had hard times when she felt shredded to pieces by loneliness, leaving her unconscious, Bianca knew that, beyond what her eyes could see, she was not alone.
Eventually, her heart got its peace, and she learned that, in hard times, when she didn’t know what’s the right thing to do, she only had to ask the questions, and the answers would come in other ways than words. In the same way that she received a car,among other gifts, that she needed to carry Dimitrie with. This is why she thinks that planning is worthless. All she wants is to keep her faith alive, as she managed to do in all those moments when everyone else had lost faith.
And people find it hard to believe that Bianca hasn’t lost her smile and her mind, that she is still running to a wild beach with the same fascination. That she is rather stunned by all the miracles she has lived than regretting being filled with regret. Her soul healed along with the scars on her face, so Bianca has only one word left to describe life: wonderful.
This coverage is part of the #saniting project – “One step on the edge of life”. Any donation for building an emotional balance support center is welcome.