98 year old dobri dobrev, a man who lost his hearing in the second world war, walks 10 kilometers from his village in his homemade clothes and leather shoes to the city of sofia, where he spends the day begging for money.
though a well recognized fixture around several of the city’s chruches, known for his prostrations of thanks to all donors, it was only recently discovered that he has donated every penny he has collected — over 40,000 euros — towards the restoration of decaying bulgarian monasteries and churches and the utility bills of orphanages, living entirely off his monthly state pension of 80 euros and the kindness of others.
“Its Sunday!”, he uttered as he jumps out of his bed to prepare himself for the day. He took a quick shower and put on the polo shirt she gave him before as a reward for staying at home for the whole week. He stood in front of the mirror and flashed a smile at his reflection but it didn’t smile back. He could fake smiles to his friends, to his family, to the people he bumps into the street but he couldn’t lie to himself. He is not happy.
He grabbed his guitar from the other room and put it in the compartment of his car. Then he headed straight to the flower shop nearby to pick up the bouquet of stargazers he ordered yesterday.
“A beautiful bouquet of stargazers for a beautiful lady! I arranged them myself so I hope she likes it! Say hi to her for me!”, the old lady said as she hands the flowers to him.
He remembers her telling him that whenever she sees a stargazer, it automatically turns her bad mood upside down. So he thought that giving her a bouquet would make her very happy.
Then he crossed the street and entered the small convenience store to buy a pint of her favorite ice cream. He touched the rosary hanging in the rear view mirror and asked Him for his safety on the road.
As he’s getting nearer the place, his heartbeats are getting louder and faster than the usual. He was trying to hold back his tears but he couldn’t.
He wiped his tears away as he was walking towards her. He promised himself that he wouldn’t cry again but he did. He lit up two chinese sticks on each side of the shiny plate where her name was engraved.
“In the loving memory of..”, he read silently.
Again, he didn’t have the chance to stop his tears from falling because he was already crying before he even realized it. Strumming the guitar, he played one of her favorite songs and sang it in front of her grave. He always do that every Sunday. He speaks to her as if she’s just in front of him, alive, happy, holding his hands.
“I love you, mom! Wherever you are, I hope that you are happy right now. I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything. I’m sorry for not being a perfect son. I’m sorry I gave up on things you told me not to. I’m sorry for being a bad boy. I just thought that if you see me becoming a bad person, you’ll come back. But you never did. I miss you so much it hurts to see the ice cream melt. I love you more than anybody else. You were my best 21 years. Thank you for bringing me to the galaxy and for bringing the galaxy to me. Wait for me in heaven.”
Every step away from her grave is a pin-like pain in his heart. Everything is now different since she’s gone because the day she died, was also the day he lost his soul.