Now we are finding out that many people died. My parents’ friends, for example. Mom went to visit them, got to the fourth floor and saw that the apartment suffered a direct hit. They burned there. No way to extract them, or bury them
Instead of a post scriptum. Three months after
I settled in Lviv, found a relatively inexpensive place, and am teaching English online. During the time of crisis our bodies activate, and a few months after things start going wrong. There are illnesses coming up, kidney issues because of the cold.
I don’t want to leave Ukraine: my parents are still in Mariupol. Sometimes I manage to send them medications and some items with the volunteers. It gets funny sometimes: I wanted to send them matches, but all matchboxes have Ukrainian flags on top…. It’s hard to understand what is going on there currently: the folks who stayed say that everything is fine. Here is a specific example. The apartment of a family I know, who were in the basement, got hit and everything burned out: documents, money, phones, everything they had. And they stayed to live in the basement. They can’t get jobs because they have no documents. They can’t get aid for the same reason. But they refuse any offers to leave: we are fine. In the basement, during the winter. And there are many like that.
For us this is unthinkable: children’s performances on a giant cemetery
My parents are more than eighty years old. It’s scary for them to move, not to mention that their apartment would be looted the moment they live. The house has all windows blasted out, and the new government replaced only the ones that face the street. My parents’ apartment faces the inner yard: they also had everything torn, the balcony has been torn apart, but nobody is rushing to fix it, since you can’t see it from the street.
And many are happy: they are fixing up the theater etc. For us it’s unthinkable: children’s performances on top of a giant cemetery, but they are glad. The kids started school; they sit at the Russian patriotism lessons. And you think, how are we going to live with this afterward? We are not going to send these people to Russia, and we won’t tell Russia to take them with them, but it makes me uneasy…
And coming back is an economics question too. If the refugees have no money to rend a place to live in mainland Ukraine, and the conditions in Europe can be really tough, as I know from some people, folks return, even to Mariupol.
Now we are finding out that many people died. My parents’ friends, for example. Mom went to visit them, got to the fourth floor and saw that the apartment suffered a direct hit. They burned there. No way to extract them, or bury them.
My son’s classmate lost his father: direct hit to the apartment. The kid and the mom survived; the boy was evacuated and took part in a meeting with Zelensky: they were on TV.
We know a family from the next neighborhood; they have a 17 year old girl. The head of the family was also killed. And many people are just hard to contact. We look for each other in chats, but not everyone responds. We don’t know for sure that they are dead, but there is less and less hope.
Sasha is studying in Israel; he lives in a youth village by Netanya. He is into sports now. I am very grateful to the administration: they care for the kids, entertain them, distract them, try to counteract the negative experience of war and evacuation.
I blocked the Moscow relatives: what can they say to me? How everything will be great for us? It won’t. What can I wish for them? To have their husbands sent to war? Why get on each other’s nerves?