crestina/no1-3-2008/ Funeral: Dumitru Pasa




My grandfather would have been sixty-nine years old today, if the cancer hadn't stolen him from us. Even though he is not here, his spirit will always be with us. My grandpa wouldn't want us to be sad on this day, but would want us to rejoice with the telling of his story.

It all began, February 2, 1939, when his mother gave birth to Dumitru Pasa. He and his family were always on the move, traveling from one town to another for the majority of his childhood, never staying in one place long enough to establish a life of his own. Along with his many homes, my grandfather also had many jobs. After he finished his 4 years of “scoala tecnicala” he became a “maestro mecanic”. He held this job for three years and eventually decided to become an educator at Cobadin High School. He enjoyed his job as a professor and loved teaching.

However, in 1965, his entire perception of life changed when he met the woman of his dreams, Nastasia Baneoti. However, their love was not exactly mutual at first sight. Nonetheless, papu was relentless and their friendship eventually grew to an undying love that today is stronger than ever.

Later that year, the two love-birds were married. Papu, due to the low wages he was earning, decided to quit his job as a professor and became an agricultural supervisor in Constanta. On March 21, 1967, their baby girl Mariana Pasa was born. She was a new addition to their new loving family; their own flesh and blood. Papu couldn't be happier with his new pride and joy. She was like an angel to him, just as he is to her now as he watches over her.

Papu was always trying to protect his daughter from any harm. Although he may have gone over the top at times, he did it because she was a part of him he could not bare to lose. This changed the day he was forced to let her go to Costel Arau, her new protector. This all occurred in July of 1987, the worst day in a father's life, the day of his daughter's marriage to the man she loved. Mariana soon left for America with her husband to start a new life with him. Papu was happy for her, don't get me wrong, but it was painful for him to see her move on with a new man in her life, who would replace him.

Over time he was able to cope with the loss of his daughter like any good father would. In 1987, the same year his daughter left to America, Communism began growing stronger than ever scaring many Eastern Europeans away from their land, my grandparents included. The safest haven for these people was America, a land far away from these troubles. However, papu decided to go to Greece first, hoping it would be safe enough. He left without maia. The loss of both his wife and daughter did not dissuade him from his decision. He was shortly reunited with maia a year after. They remained there for 2 more years and eventually ventured to America to join their daughter.

In 1989, before venturing to America, my grandparents received news that Steve Arau, their first grandchild, would soon enter this world. They were overjoyed that they had someone to carry on their bloodline. Papu decided to come to America to see his daughter give birth to Steve. Unfortunately, papu had to leave just a month before Steve's birth. Papu was very upset that he had to miss the birth of his grandson but he did not lose hope of reuniting with them again. The following year on August 2, 1990, Michelle Arau, their granddaughter was born. Papu missed my birth as well but he knew that he would see me shortly so he was not worried.

In 1992, papu and maia came to America to reunite with their daughter, their son in law, and their two beautiful grandkids. Before I get too in depth with his life, I will begin to tell you what papu meant to me.

Papu was a very strong man in my eyes. He has always been there for me when I needed him. Papu's selflessness encouraged me to aspire to be like him. What I remember most is that he never judged anyone and always accepted people for who they were, children of god . He believed that everyone was good no matter their faults. Papu always wanted what was best for me and Steve. I'm not saying that Papu was a saint, but he was a great man who tried to do good deeds.

Even though he made many mistakes of his own, he always took his consequences seriously as he believed everyone should. Let us not mourn his passing, but rather rejoice in his life. Here is a poem I have chosen to read about him. This poem symbolizes the bond that papu and I shared. It is called:

“The Way We Were, Our Bond”

Beautiful blue eyes with serenity of the sea,

Reflection of the sky's on a bright and sunny day,

My little hand in yours, my protector and my guide,

Don't walk too fast granddad for I am by your side.

My eyes are your eyes and your heart is my heart,

We share so much likeness we were never apart,

You would tell me the burden that Communism bore,

I felt all that pain as you told me of the horror.

Big strong shoulders not just to carry me but to carry the world too,

The strength inside of you for all you went through,

The peace you gave me knowing you would always love me,

And the kindness and happiness you gave me and I gave you.

No fear do you have or grudges do you hold, my big strong hero

So brave and so bold, a firm hand to hold me a firm word shows the way

Your little girl forever it's the way it will always stay

The bond that we have I have never seen or felt before

My face would light up when you would walk through the door

You tuck me in bed then turn off the light but I wasn't scared

Of the shadows in the night

For I knew it was you keeping watch over me no harm and no badness

Would you let me see, safe in your arms untouchable it seems

After God took you away it was all in my dreams

And all that is left is my memories of you

I know you are with me and in my heart I'm with you too

Beautiful blue eyes with serenity of the sea,

Reflection of the sky's reflections of me,

My little hand in yours, my protector and my guide,

Don't walk too fast granddad for I am by your side.


To me, papu was my protector. I saw him as my guide in life and losing him was possibly the worst thing I could ever go through. The day I found out about his death, I felt as if my world came to a sudden halt as I was taken by surprise. I couldn't believe that such a strong man had left this world. Although papu is gone, I know that he is safe and we will soon meet again in the land of eternity. Until then, I will remain here with the memories that we've created together. I love you papu.


The funeral services held at Old North Church in Forest Lawn Cemetery, were conducted by Fr. Constantin Alecse, parish priest of the Holy Trinity Romanian Orthodox Church in Los Angeles, as follows:


Wake Service: Friday, February 1, 2008

Funerals: Saturday, February 2, 2008

Pomana: Saturday, February 2, 2008, at Vatican Restaurant, Van Nuys


May his soul rest in peace. Amen.


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