Friday, February 21, 2014

My Family's Connection to the Titanic

It’s been over 100 years since the Titanic met its watery grave. Interestingly enough, my family has a connection to that famous, but ill-fated ship.

In 1911, my great-grandfather Tom Cadreanu left Romania to come to Canada, seeking a better life. He decided to brave the journey on his own to explore opportunities, find shelter and land. Once he was established, he sent word to his young wife, Amelia, to come to Canada with their daughter, Flora.

Passage was arranged for the two young travelers aboard the Titanic.

Given their economic condition, it was very likely that Amelia would’ve traveled third-class. And as everyone knows (thanks to James Cameron), the passengers at this level were not offered life boats. The third-class passengers sank with the ship. And so would’ve my great-grandmother…had she boarded that Titanic as planned.
Crowd awaiting survivors.
The saving grace was Amelia’s mother. She cried and begged her daughter to stay a little longer in Romania since she’d never see her again. Once they said good-bye, it would be forever. Handwritten letters that would take months to reach its destination would be their only connection. Amelia relented and delayed her departure an entire month.

You can imagine when Tom heard the news of the Titanic’s demise, he was devastated. He went months not knowing whether his wife and daughter lived or perished. I can only imagine that warm, Canadian spring day when they were reunited once again.

Tom and Amelia lived in the Niagara region and had 15 more children with 12 surviving.

I shudder to think the rippling effect of that one decision of a teenage girl to remain in her home country for four additional weeks. If she hadn’t, I wouldn’t be sitting at my computer writing this story now.

It also makes me pause to think about the moments when I feel that situations are out of control, that maybe they’re not. Perhaps God is working things out for a greater purpose than I can see or even know in the moment. Maybe that wrong turn that caused a 10-minute detour protected me from an accident. Maybe that rejection letter from an editor was meant to push me to be the better writer I can be. Maybe not getting a particular job spared me from a bad work situation. It’s learning to walk each day in faith, knowing my life is in His loving hands.

As Nazi Holocaust survivor, Corrie Ten Boom, once said, “Never be afraid to trust your unknown future, to a known God.”


  1. What an amazing story, Cherie. Thanks for sharing. It's surely comforting to know our times are in His hands. :)

  2. I can only imagine the glorious day when Tom, Amelia and Flora were reunited! What a touching story and wonderful reminder of God's timing!

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  3. What a wonderful story. Thank you so much for sharing it.

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