Aaa! It’s you, my dearest! Come on in!
We barely entered and I was already being hugged and suffocated. The apartment is piled high with boxes, clothes, with the mysteriously smiling Diana among them, as well as the camera-avoiding Seryozha.
We didn’t know where to look. Elena Fyodorovna with her two grandkids, after February of ’15 was left without a home. Their stairwell in the apartment block on Makushkin St. in Pervomaysk was hit by a shell and collapsed. At that time they were in Russia. On July 28, 2014, Seryozha, Elena Fyodorovna’s grandson, was wounded and since then has been living with a shell fragment in his head. He was taken to Russia for treatment, which is when that one shell deprived them of everything they owned. Since then they’ve been living in an apartment temporarily provided by Olga Ishchenko, at that time the acting mayor of Pervomaysk.
The house was rebuilt last summer but we haven’t seen each other since that time and didn’t know where to find them. It turned out they were still in the old apartment, getting ready to move.
It’s been a year, and Seryozha is 14, but it seems he hasn’t changed at all. Still the same short, skinny kid with incredibly sad eyes. Hasn’t grown up at all…
It’s hard to be telling the same story over again. Many who read this blog know this story, so for them it’s probably not interesting. Listen to the granny herself, to what she lived through back then, during the summer of ’14. This video was recorded two years ago.
The winter found Elena Fyodorovna alone, raising two grandsons. Her daughter died two years before the war.
She’s an amazing survivor who can move mountains. When you visit them, her positive vibe is as strong as a tornado, and one can’t help but smile.
And the kids…
The daughter still has bed-wetting problems and kidney issues.
After Seryozha’s wounding, she didn’t talk for four months–she sat and covered her head with her tiny hands.
She was silent. Her grandmother physically carried her from Pervomaysk to the hospital in Stakhanov–at night there was less shelling.
But no matter how many times we see her, it’s the same sea of smiles, charm, and not a hint of embarrassment.
She loves being picked up, and excitedly shows us her toys and describes her day.
He has more problems. He nearly always reacts tiredly to the attention he’s given. It’s not about him understanding what’s happened to him. He has an absence of will to live unheard of in his age. I don’t know how else to describe that sense which emanates from him.
Before he simply had headaches, now he’s gone apathetic. Some think he could have epilepsy. It’s not confirmed, but it’s happening more and more often. He suddenly turns off for a few seconds, that’s all. His headaches mean he’s had to take painkillers the whole time.
Their home, February ’15 and December ’16.
Our humanitarian aid. Thanks to all who have pitched in!