Friday, November 11, 2011


Today is The Day. Forget the Royal Wedding, this has it beat. This is the day that Igor and Rafaela will marry. November 11, 2011. Eleven Eleven Eleven. I suggested this date to Igor when they got engaged, and this is the day they picked. It's supposed to rain. So much for my brilliant ideas.

We have known Igor and his family for years now. They were one of the first of the waves of Moldovans into our life, and a large part of the reason we decided to learn Romanian. The expression "They are good people" was pretty much invented for this family. Peter and Nina have six children and Igor is the oldest. They have been so good to us; if I had a Romanian word in my brain for every meal we have enjoyed in their home, I might be able to express myself.

Last fall as our building project kicked into full gear, two sisters originally from Moldova moved in, Rafaela and Teodora. We were up to our eyeballs in construction and cooking and cleaning the site and meeting at another hall during the process. It was all a blur, except for one interesting development. At one of those meetings I noticed it: a definite spark between Igor and Rafaela! No, I wasn't just seeing things, there were sparks galore and by spring the wedding of the year was in the planning stages.

Moldova is not an easy country to live in. It is very poor. It was of course even harder during the Soviet era, with communism and much oppression. But added to that, what of the lives of people who refused to join the military? People who helped produce banned literature? That meant an even harder time of it. Those stellar kind of people are represented in both families that are uniting today.

Igor's dad Peter and his uncle Pavel both served time in prison for their stand as conscientious objectors. His aunts helped produce literature that was illegal to possess, let alone print. They won't talk about it too much: they don't like to make a big deal of it. But it is big to us. We are honored to have them as friends. Peter related to us about the time he and Nina decided to help friends in another town by attending their meetings. No big deal here, but there that meant riding bicycles to get anywhere. When it was wintertime, they peddled through the snow, in the dark, to get to the other town, with their little baby boy Igor strapped to the front! That is the kind of heritage this young man has.

Rafaela's parents are still in Moldova and will watch their daughter's marriage on Skype. Only she and her sister came here to find work. Years back, her grandparents were deported to Siberia because of their beliefs, and Rafaela's father was born in Siberia.  After serving their sentence, the family returned to their life in Moldova. Rafaela is a lovely young woman and has had to work so hard in her life here. She is a bit of a girl wonder here in Sacramento: the one that finally got Igor to give up bachelorhood.

We are so excited for these two and their wonderful families. They are following in the enormous footsteps that were left before them, and we wish them the very best. If it rains, please forget is was me who suggested this day to get married. But really, aren't a few sprinkles worth having to get such a cool wedding date? 11-11-11, it doesn't get better than that. And it doesn't get much better than Igor and Rafaela.