Ana (55)

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'A woman is the heart and soul of her family’

Ana teaches a group of twenty young women how to manage their households and how to take care of their families. ‘I’m like a mother to them. The lessons that I teach these young women and the love that I feel for them – I hope that this will be my legacy.’

Ana shares her home with her youngest daughter Daniela, Daniela’s husband and their three children – Tabita (4), Felicia (2) and Timotei (0.5). The seventh member of their household is Daniela’s mother-in-law. The house may seem quite full, but they all get along well.

‘In our family, we don’t say ”I am” or ”this is mine”, we say ”we are” and ”this is ours”. We all do our utmost to make the other feel good. When you strive to please the other, to make the other happy, then you will also feel content and fulfilled.’

Ana’s eldest daughter Valentina lives in Ireland with her 4-year-old son Daniel. Valentina’s husband died four years ago of spinal cancer and he was buried in Ireland.  
‘Valentina has health issues, that’s why she can’t work. I wish she and my grandson would come home to Moldova, so I can be by her side and help her. That’s all I want right now.’

As written in Psalm 128:3, Ana is a fruitful vine. She is a gentle soul and she builds bridges, she brings people together. That’s how people around Ana describe her. She makes things grow, her words bring comfort and her kindness connects people.

‘My father passed away when I was a little girl and my mother was widowed at only 35. That’s how my story began. I have four siblings and at the time, we were too young to understand the full extent of the hardships that our mother went through. But we did understand that we had to stick together, support each other and always be there for her. We worked side by side and it wasn’t easy, but we never complained.

I love working. I’ve always dreamed of a greenhouse, even as a young girl. We built a small one 15 years ago and now, we own three large greenhouses. We grow cucumbers. You might think that this is too much work for a woman. Or that it is too hard. That is not so. On the contrary, when I am in one of my greenhouses, I am relaxed. I find the work comforting and inspiring. Plus, I have a loving family who is always by my side.

My mother taught us to stand together and not to argue or fight. To behave with dignity and to earn respect, to show integrity in the way we thought, spoke and behaved ourselves. Her words have been a beaken of light throughout my entire life. I have a wonderful family, I have two loving and respectful daughters and four grandchildren who are my daily joy. Five years ago, my world fell apart – my husband died from complications from diabetes. I was shattered by his death, loosing him broke my heart. My family and friends, and the love and affection that I have for others helped me to heal.’

In situations like these, when a woman fights against despair and pain, that’s when she finds the strength in her heart to go on and to overcome the hardships she has to deal with. 
'A powerful woman takes care of her family. She helps them out of love and does whatever she can to make the people around her happy. She is the heart and soul of her family, she keeps the fire burning in the house. She is strong because she puts others first. Only when they are happy, she can be happy.

A strong woman guides her family, they look at her for directions. When a woman is happy, everyone around her is happy. If she is sad, everything seems to lose its meaning. If she is unwell, everyone feels the same. When do I feel powerful? When I go through trials, when I need to search for enough inner strength to overcome my problems. These days, women are being valued. Unlike in other developing countries, we have several women in leadership positions, they are good role models. I did my utmost to teach my daughters dignity and respect. As a grandmother, I have a different role. I only need to love my grandchildren and make them happy. I tell them stories and I play with them. I am not raising them. Although I do feel that grandparents play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren, I also feel that the responsibility of the upbringing of the children lies with their parents.’ 

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