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Longing for old friends
Written by Vangjel Sako 22 Qershor 2021
Before and even a few years after '90 when the system changed we were all friends in the northeastern Division of Kukes. We shared not only tasks and services but also a cigarette and even ate on a plate. Then life, with its ruthless slap separated us from the same trench and we had different fates. The most foreigners approached their hometowns, but also the locals ran towards Tirana. Many others left the Homeland for which they had sacrificed their youth years and found the comfort of children in emigration. But in everyone, deep in the soul was still the feeling of nostalgia for those relationships so social and so friendly that we had gone through with each other and we dreamed of being together once again. A proposal made by MP Vullnet Sinaj would be enough, one of us before the '90s that we became together. His willingness was not limited to approval, but also with the care to be notified to all. It was both simple and difficult. This is because some of us continued to have family contacts with each other, but many others had severed ties even for the very momentum of life. At first we became 10 then 20 and finally more than 30. So strong was the feeling of longing to meet that almost everyone came to the meeting place almost an hour ahead. All gray, that already the youngest had passed 60 but all young in spirit and with that youthful momentum of Kukës. There were friends who met for the first time in 30 years, but they all felt like then, of a trench, although the relationship was both as colleagues, but also as superiors - subordinates. Today we were all equal. Commander Bashkimi, our standard in those years as a complete military man who rarely became one with us, but it was the same Commissar Bardhyl who since then seemed to us to love the man more than the regulation. The same with us and the generals Dilaveri and Ylberi who even when they had ranks loved and respected us equally. Chief Neimi and Frroku also merged into one, despite the tasks they had. Most who were about the same age had no limits to joy and gladness. Sotiri, Berti, Çimi, Agroni, Isufi, Hysniu, Flamuri e Përparimi, Feriti e Xhelali, Zylyftari and Ylberi of the discovery seemed to have never been separated from each other even though there were those who had not been seen for almost 30 years. They had something to remind each other of. We had gone to the northeastern city of Ajaminj, we had just passed our twenties and there we were formed as worthy people. We not only grew up on assignments, but also started families, some with Kukës girls, and today we are proud of the period we spent together. Today we are far from each other, divided into different parties (how can we not live without a political clique and we ex-military), but always loved and respected. For the specifics of that day (the dismissal of President Meta was discussed in the Parliament and MP Sinaj should definitely be in the vote) we spent almost an hour with only a glass of wine and worrying that they would not be upset, I asked the attendees for permission that the MP will soon to come. I better not have spoken. Because there was no hierarchy and they were all out of line, they almost drowned me. Everyone was of the opinion that they were doing so well that there was no shortage. Old friends who had put their shoulders to each other once in those difficult years were dearer today. They remembered the accomplishment of tasks in Pashtrik with two meters of snow as well as in Kallabak and Kroin e Bardhë. There were many of us who had remained motionless from the ward for 6 months or more, but the warmth that the friend forgave zeroed them out. Since some of us were from Vlora, we could not avoid the toast. The first for the generous people of Kukës who forgave us warmth and we felt at home. Those people who with their behavior towards us made us not feel not only the distance from families, but also the natural difficulties that for a large part of us were for the first time. For that people who opened our hearts and homes and remained with us in the best memory and in the utmost respect. Some of us still have warm relations with families once upon a time and we come and go as if we were a family. We were a family at this meeting as well. As we have been committed to duty in those distant years we have remained good friends and companions to this day. We do not mix the dissatisfaction we have with the governments that come and go in our conversations where respect and gratitude for the years we have been together prevail. Those years when we shared not only worries and problems, but also the good and the bad. Not all of us have the same appreciation for that period, but we all agree: we were more human and we did not make the pit of the friend, but gave him the shoulder to lean on without worry. That solidarity of that time, which today seems utopia, today translates into a moment of joy and happiness. Everyone has something to say about that period, friends leave the respectful turn to the friend to tell common events that not everyone knows, but that are worth everyone. Even the superiors who for their own duty were to force us to punish someone, we left behind and erased from memory those moments and today we are given the smile with former colleagues and former subordinates. Together we spent happy hours. Invited to this activity was also the administrator of the newspaper "SOT", Arjan Prodani as a descendant of one of the brightest generals of the Albanian army Muhamet Prodani, but for work reasons could not be physically present, however he found a way to convey his message. Time passed as if not felt at all and no one remembered to leave. Wine and fish were not worth it at all before the longing of former colleagues and the events they remembered, as if they had happened yesterday. And we part with the desire to be like that together other times because we have other joys ahead that are added to those we have spent together. Old friendship is like summer, the more years pass the better it gets.