My dearest ladies,
I'm writing you for the first time and for the beginning I just wanted to tell you a story. The story about a very special woman. She gave me life, she taught me life and she is the reason why I’m the person I’m today. This is her story…
It happened 50 years ago in a small village called Balte, a young baby girl with beautiful brown hair and brown eyes was born. She did not know at the time what life prepared for her. She did not know how difficult it was to be a girl in a community she lived in. She did not know and she certainly did not expect that. Her name was Nada.
At the time she was two months old, her father abandoned her and her mother. Her mother was a great woman, but weak. She could not live there anymore. She was mistreated by her husband and living alone with a small child was not something easy in that part of the world. So she ran away to a far land and left Nada behind.
She spent her childhood with her relatives that could not have a child, so they gave her everything and they were the only once that really loved her. They took her as their own and so allowed her to go to school.
Nada was the best student in school, favorite among friends, but her success was only appreciated by her relatives. There was one situation where her teacher asked for the address of her father and he wrote him a letter. She never knew what was written in the letter, she only knew what professor told her that he would love to meet a father of such a special young girl. Her father never came to school, he never met her friends nor her teachers. He never appreciated anything that she had done.
The next thing that happened, her father came to visit her and yelled at her, blaming her for the letter professor wrote. He claimed it was her fault that the professor wrote him a letter, he was sure she was complaining to him which was of course not the case. She tried to convince him that it was not her fault by crying and begging but he did not believe her. The only comfort she ever found was in the long sleepless nights full of pain and tears.
She had to move and live with her father so she can attend high school. It was the hardest thing to do and abandon her amazing relatives. During her time at her father’s house he again received a letter from several people that were worried about Nada. They asked him why does he pay so less attention on her, why did not he ever took her on vocation like he did the other daughter he had with Nada’s stepmother, and thousands more whys? He again blames her for everything.
The only gift or thing he ever gave her was a training suit for sport class she had in school. Her mother on the other side gave her everything she could. She bought her clothes, took her on vocations and many other things. She wanted redemption for what she did to her by abandoning her.
Nada’s mother had a new husband and he was really possessive, alcohol addicted and very difficult. Even though Nada begged her to leave him and to come back with her she could not do it. She could not confront the people and herself by admitting she made another mistake, so she stayed with him.
Four years ago she came here with him on vocation and she unexpectedly passed away at Nada’s house. So now, the first time ever she rests here near Nada, and that was the only thing that have Nada comfort in such a painful situation.
Nada cried so many nights and she never forgot her difficult life path, but she always loved her parents and she forgave them everything they did. All those things that happened in her life left a deep trace on her soul. She was a believer, she prayed for everything to be better and it did. Faith helped her survive.
Today she still has a constant need to prove herself and to be good to everyone so they do not reject her. She got used to carry all difficult situations by herself but now she has someone, she has a family. The life taught her to be a fighter for the family, for the business world, for everything she wanted. Unbelievable strength and desire for family union made her a fighter and believer and the result is today’s harmony in her own family, something she never had before.
Why Telling This Story?
I wanted to tell you a real story of a real fight. It was my mother’s fight and I could write a whole book about all the things she went through, and this is only small part I wanted to share with you. She is an example for me and it should be for you too.
Every time I realize how difficult it is for a woman to be part of this society I remember her and the time when it was even harder so I keep fighting to make it a better place for my children. It is unrealistic to think that everything will be solved in a short period of time, but we should keep fighting for a long term, for a future. I believe in us, do you not?
Written by Stefani Marjanovic, UN Volunteers
Stefani Marjanovic, 24, lives in a small town in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has studied International Law at the American University in Bosnia and this year is starting her Masters in Human Rights and Environmental Protection.
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