Our Dad Constantin, or âTinoâ as many people know him as, was born in 1955 in Romania. He grew up in a difficult and tough environment there, in the Communist regime of the former Eastern Soviet Bloc countries.
Despite the challenges of day-to-day life in communist Romania, Dad enjoyed music, dancing, and having a great time. He was known to be the life of the party, always making jokes. He eventually met Mom, and they got married and had two kids.
When Romania overthrew the Communist regime in 1989, it was awarded 2500 visas that would allow families to immigrate to the United States. Of course, over 14 million Romanians applied to win one of these visas. Dad saw the ad in a newspaper. He told our mom that he was going to apply. He was certain he would win.
He wanted his kids to have a chance at a better life, to make something of themselves. He always asked Mom, âWhat am I offering my kids in the future? What am I going to do for them?â Well, he played the visa lottery, and he actually won. The odds were very slim, 2500 divided by 14 million, but he was lucky.
After we arrived in the U.S. in 1995, we started to learn the language and integrate into society. Dad carried on as best as he could despite the challenges of integrating into a new culture, because he was doing it for his kids.
Dad and mom eventually opened an in-home childcare facility. Together, they achieved the American dream of owning a successful business.
Dad was always of service, trying to help out whenever he could. He was also kind and considerate. Dad was always thinking of his family. He would always check in with us to see how we were doing and feeling.
What would Dad have wanted to say to everyone who came to his funeral? âLove each other, because you never know when your time will come. And when it does come, do not be afraid.â
Rest in peace, Dad. Youâll always be in our hearts and memories. We will never forget the sacrifices you made so your family could have a better life.