My wife says: Men have lived with women since the time of Adam and Eve. The strange thing is that men do not know much more about women than Adam did at that time. To this day, men look at women as if they were seeing them for the first time, and do not understand even the simplest things, such as a woman's tears. I experienced such an incident in my childhood, which is still unforgettable.
It was during the First World War, when my father went to the front, and my mother was alone with my sister and me, living in a small village outside of Rifov.
At that time, my sister and I were too young to remember what my father looked like, but we only saw him in pictures. However, my mother always told us about my father.
So, we also often pestered our mother for our father. Mom always coaxed us that Dad would be back soon because the war was about to be over. However, the war never ended. Later, Mom finally told us the truth: Dad was still fighting on the Italian front.
Our mother was always strong and I never saw her shed tears. At night, my mother wrote letters to my father at the front. My father's letters came home from the front, in gray envelopes with postmarks of different mail inspection agencies and war post offices. Whenever I received a letter from my father, my mother would always read it while telling my sister and me about it casually.
Once I heard my mother say that my father was wounded and admitted to a field hospital, and after he recovered, he could not return to the front line to fight, and was transferred to a munitions organization. So, there is hope that Dad will soon return home, and will definitely bring us back a bag of goodies.
My sister and I guessed that the bag must have contained large chunks of delicious cured meat. At that time, that was our highest wish. So, every night before we went to bed, we looked forward to my father coming back with a bag full of crispy cured meat.
When Dad finally came back, he put the bag in the corner and came over to hug us, and the bag was even fuller than we thought. We wrapped ourselves around Dad and the joy of being with him was endless. Dad smelled of tobacco and alcohol, and he held my sister and me on his lap, teasing us endlessly, letting us play with the crosses and various merit badges he wore on his chest, and stabbing us in the cheeks with his hard stubble, which he hadn't shaved in a long time. Dad was so happy that he forgot everything.
The big, full quilt bag in the corner caught our attention - it contained amazing and tempting delicacies, the best of which was, of course, the cured meat. Thinking about it, our mouths couldn't help but water.
My sister and I didn't fall asleep, and when my mother entered the room, we both pretended to be asleep, lying motionless, squinting and peeking out. Mom stood still, staring at the bag, as if she too had finally relented and bent down, struggling to lift the bag - which was too full - and dumped it all on the table.
Looking at the sight before us, my sister and I were stunned, disappointed, aggrieved, and frightened: the table was full of letters, bundled with string in stacks of blue, white, gray, and red envelopes. These letters were all too familiar to us, for they were all the letters from home that Mom had written to Dad during the war years, and were handed to me and my sister to drop in the mailbox after Mom had finished writing them on countless nights. Letters, letters, all the letters poured out of this big quilt bag, piled up on a whole table, and kept falling down.
At this moment, my mother, who had never shed a tear before, cried for the first time in front of us. At first, she sobbed quietly, tears flowing down her cheeks. She covered her eyes with her hands and the tears flowed down her fingers again. Mom shook her head to stop it, but it was no use. She finally couldn't control herself and let out a loud cry.
When dad came in and saw mom crying into that empty backpack, he seemed to understand everything, mom didn't find the cured pork she was hoping for in there.
Dad was sad too. Mom just kept crying, never letting Dad get close to her.