Our Seryoga is like a smokestack.
No matter what we do, it doesn’t help.
–Seryozha, what should we bring?
His eyes are full of yearning so that there’s nothing you can do to resist. –“Cigarettes, Dunyasha”.
–There are few pleasures in the retirement home. But you know what is the biggest one? Every morning I brew coffee, then I take my tank out into the stairwell and draw on a cigarette…Mmm…
“Tank” is his term for the electric wheelchair.
And you know, he tells you this story with his eyes half-closed, with a sweet smile melting across his face, as if he were resting on a beach, with the ocean licking his heels.
So we gave it a collective shrug. Although, to be honest, his health is not exactly very good. Everyone is trying to get him to stop–the doctors, the retirement home staff. Seryozha has polyarthritis, last year he had a heart attack. Not a laughing matter.
But as soon as I remember his “mmm…” with half-closed eyes, I can’t join in. He’s been smoking his whole life, the devil.
And he smokes the nastiest stuff he can find.
So recently I got a message from Boris. Boris from Kazan who bought a boiler for our sisters and provided the intensive care department with powders and cleaning supplies. And in general regularly helps people in our care. So he says “Dunya, I’m in Cuba right now. Are any of ours smokers? I could bring a cigar…”
Boris! Remembered! About the people we care after! While in Cuba!
–Seryoga, that rapscallion, smokes!
–I’m bringing it!
No big deal, just bringing something from Cuba to Lugansk.
Piece of cake!
But, all in all, do you know what happiness is?
Seryoga and Cuban cigarettes.
–What, Dunya, he was actually in Cuba?
–Yes, actually in Cuba.
–And the cigar is also from there?
–Yes, yes. From Havana!
–It blows my mind.
–Well, how is it!
–Super, simply super! The cigar I’m saving for later. I’m even afraid to open it.
Quite a present for our tankman.
For those who are on this page for the first time, Sergey is from Khryashchevatoye, a village in LPR. During the summer of ’14 he was left without a home due to Ukrainian shelling. He lived in a barrack without light and water. That’s where we met him during the spring of ’15, when we brought humanitarian aid to the village. He has polyarthritis, which means he can walk only with crutches, and even then with great difficulty. Some time after our meeting he fell. Then got into a hospital. Miraculously survived, but a leg was amputated. We had him admitted into the best old age home in Lugansk. A very good one, to be sure.
To read more about Sergey Kutsenko, click on the “Kutsenko” tag at the end fo this post.
Seryozha is one of “ours”, with all the associated consquences.
Look how beautifully decorated the retirement home territory is!
Seryoga races back and forth there in his wheelchair which, incidentally, was provided by Natasha.
Thanks to this wheelchair, I gained a close friend. Here there’s no need for details–these two words should be sufficient. We didn’t know one another before at all.
Seryoga brought us together, it turns out.
And in general, I met many astounding people during the years of humanitarian aid activity.
For example, Boris and Natasha!
I won’t even mention my Lena and Zhenya.
Friends, thank you for your caring! For your trust!
For reading my sad and hard posts!
Thank you for helping those we care after.
Thank you for not treating a someone else’s tragedy as “someone else’s”.
So, as usual, I’m crying again.