So I’ve been writing about families whom we’ve been helping. Here’s Katya, and here’s Ulyana, Taisiya, Serhozha. They are like a cartoon flicking in front of one’s eyes, making these texts a monotonous routine for you, and a similar routine for me when it comes to writing them.
There are already over 700 texts on the blog with the “donbass” tag, and there aren’t many reports or thoughts about the war among them. The majority are people stories. Reports. Dear Lord, what word can one use in this context. But they are reports. About aid, but they are also at the same time people stories. Stories of lives of those who are over there. In the midst of war.
I’m literally a typewriter, mechanically cataloguing what I overhear. It’s not pleasant to write these reports. One has to say why we are helping. What happened to the family. Fit it all into simple phrases, without waxing eloquent. Which means it’s very repetitive: “shelling began”, “they escaped only with clothes on their back”, “lived in a cellar”, “husband left”, “a stroke after 2014”, “heart attack”, “the house was destroyed.” And how many stories where children saw their parents die? How many abandoned women? Elderly?
Over 400 (and perhaps more?) on this blog alone.
Not for the typewriter.
She only catalogues. And you read.
That’s just a statement of fact.
This is Lyosha. 14, disabled, lives in Lugansk. Lyosha is a big boy who will never become a responsible adult. Spent the whole life with his family in Lugansk. Yes, shelling, bombing, major deterioration due to the stress.
And yes, Lyosha’s life depends on strong medications he has to take every day. Which were not available in the summer of ’14. There wasn’t even food or electricity. And there is nothing more terrifying than empty pharmacies.
Zhenya writes, after visiting Lyosha: “we saw ourselves how quickly his mood and condition changes. Saw snacks and was very happy. Sincerely and child-like. A few minutes later…and you can see he’s trying not to cry. His eyes are full of tears and you can see he’s trying. As best he can, he’s trying to keep himself together. In addition to the tears rolling down his face, you can see how he’s trying to contain himself.”
His mother can’t work because Lyosha needs constant care. They live on benefits and pension. The bed on which he sleeps is literally falling apart.
In other words, they are surviving.
Lyosha needs to drink the medications every day which costs money which the family barely has enough for food.
I’m looking at the first photo of Lyosha where he’s laughing. It’s a very kind smile. Zhenya and Lena sent me many photos. Every one shows different emotions. Withdrawal, sadness, and joy, genuine and impossible to imitate. Lyosha is always in turmoil. The war made it very much worse for him.
So this is yet another “picture”.
A “picture” which conceals a struggle for the life of one more Donbass family.
Friends, thank you all for participating and caring!
If you want to join the aid effort for the people of the Donbass, please write me in person through LiveJournal, facebook, V Kontakte, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Paypal address: email@example.com.