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Goodbye, Nea Gică !

Smile - Natalie Cole

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky you'll get by

If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through
For you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear maybe ever so near

That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile- what's the use of crying
You'll find that life is still worth while
If you just smile


          Every time I think of Nenea Gică, the old Gică, as the companions used to say, I can't help but smile. I always found him in Popesti, like a happy grandfather who would welcome his grandchildren. Proud, with a straight back, with a big smile that lit up his whole face... “Come on, I'll make you some coffee, you want some? Here's my cup, take it, the coffee's better in it!”... afterwards, he showed me everything he had achieved the week before, what he still wanted to change, what idea he had… Each time I noticed many improvements: he started with the fence, then he went to the garden, then he repainted the shop, rearranged the storeroom, taught the companions how to behave with the customers, how to negotiate, and the list goes on… “Listen to me, the man sanctifies the place!”

          An old Japanese proverb says that "no snowflake falls in the wrong place".  We are the sum of the people we have met in our lives, and each of us has a role to play on Earth.

          It was necessary, without a doubt, for Gelu to be the son of Nea Gică, to learn to be serious about what he does, to love his work and to involve himself wholeheartedly in the activities he started, just as it was necessary for me to meet him too, to learn never to keep my head down, to take life to heart, without complaining, to accept that people also have their limits, and that at the same time it is our duty to always teach them something… “And, madam, these children do as they can, but they shouldn't be left like that.  I always tell them, come on, children, come on, we can't leave it like that, we have to pretend it's your house... and little by little, and with patience, things move forward. You have to know how to deal with people... I too have a bit of psychology...” He had, not a bit of psychology, but all the psychology of a man who has learned from life, a man who never gives up and always finds a solution, who grows old only if he remains without doing anything and without finding his own goal.

          Thank you, Mr. Gheorghe Nichitel, for taking the time to come to us! Words are not enough to describe everything we have received from you. As a challenge, we will continue what you have started at the rhythm of your great strides.

          Have a good journey to Paradise! Teach the angels to smile with all their heart! I will continue to smile every time I reach Popesti... without meaning to, my thoughts will inevitably go to my old friend, who has left deep traces in our hearts, and you, of course, will smile at us from up there.

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