Daniel, I want to tell you now why we are here, in Berlin.

It was the 23rd of February. That was when, at ten in the evening,
the first reports reached us that something bad was about to happen.
The next day I put on the news as soon as I got up.
What I heard was devastating.
War had broken out.

I raced to the supermarket.
I bought food, as much as I could carry.
Dad got petrol.
He queued at the petrol station for five hours.

Daniel, I didn’t tell you anything about what was going on.
You were so small.

I made a den of cushions in the cellar.
I gathered all the documents, paperwork, stockpiled food.
For every eventuality.

On the 3rd of March, they bombed us.
We had to get away quickly.

We had to leave grandfather behind.
We had never been separated before.
A Moldovan minivan took us to the border.
The trip that normally cost 50 Euro was suddenly 600 Euro,
per person.
Onward by train to Berlin.
Your aunt lived there, my sister.
She helped us in our hour of need.
When she had just had a baby of her own, and lost it.
It only lived for two days.
Suffering had entered our lives.

You cried more than you ever had before.
Your brother was a sailor at the time.
You only calmed down when he came back from sea.
Finally you started going to school.
You liked it.
And then Berlin too.

After nine months, grandfather made it here.
He’s not well.
He isn’t fit for duty, as they say now.

Finally we were a family again.

Daniel, all that was hard
like nothing ever had been before.
I hung on.
For you.
Because I knew that it would be better here.
Better than there, where the bombs are falling.