Zhenya usually starts such stories with the heavy words “our troop has grown”. But I don’t know how to begin them.
I don’t know where to start describing a story of how and why we began helping the family.
This is yet another grandma with grandkids…
On the photos you see Elena Mikhailovna with Sasha and Marisha. Two redheads.
Two funny children who lived through the worst kids can experience at such age.
They lost their mother.
Their mother Olga went to Crimea about a year before the war began, when Lugansk was still Ukraine.
She met a man there. As it often happens in such cases, they fell in love, she moved in, got married. In ’14, the bloody year when the war began, Marisha was born, a smiley lovely girl on the photo. Elena Mikhailovna went to the daughter in Crimea many times. She says Olya was happy.
Everything seemed fine until in ’16 the mother in law called Elena Mikhailovna: “come, take your family”. Olya was pregnant. Elena came from Lugansk and took the pregnant daughter and grandson to LPR. Where there was a war. Olya went home, and where else could she have gone when it was time to “take your family”. The husband ran off. It’s not clear what happened. The daughter didn’t say anything and almost didn’t speak. Then Sasha was born. Six months later the redheads’ father reappeared. But…not for long.
Then he vanished without a trace again.
Olya couldn’t survive the second time. She got worse and worse every day. Mom said she really loved her husband. Unconditionally. She fell into depression but who could have predicted what happened next. Men leave women, abandon children–that’s not rare in any corner of the planet. But the worst thing happened.
Elena Mikhailovna was not in Lugansk at that time. At some point the daughter stopped responding to phone calls. Elena raced home.
The door was closed. It had to be broken into by the militia. She was dead. Children were sitting next to her, stunned by the horror. They sat next to their mom the whole time.
Autopsy showed something akin to a “heart stoppage”.
Elena Mikhailovna said that “she couldn’t go on living anymore, ground opened up beneath her feet.”
Zhenya writes: “Elena Mikhailovna is now their mom and grandma. She got the kids into a kindergarten. She can’t get custody because father is alive. She put in a search request for him. They are looking for him. She’ll seek custody through the courts. At best, it’s a year-long rigamarole. Until then…they’ll live on her pension. She can’t do side jobs anymore.
And also…Elena Mikhailovna felt shame. Very strong shame. “I worked and helped my entire life, I’m SO ashamed”.
Somehow we managed to convince her that her shame is misplaced.”
So now we have yet another family where a grandmother is raising grandchildren, and we’re helping them”.
Friends, thank you all for helping in our aid efforts!
If you want to help Elena Mikhailovna and other families of our “single grandmas”, please label your contributions “grandmas.”
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