A store by the road.
On the line of fire.
Since the beginning of our efforts, we’ve heard a million stories of men abandoning their wives and children. They didn’t help evacuate them but instead abandoned them, and now don’t even call. But we’ve never encountered a case like this one. It’s such a rare case that even people in the Lugansk Cancer Hospice everyone is in shock. It is from the hospice that we got a call to help this family.
In LPR there’s a village called Stepnoye, it’s right on the Bakhmutka road, near Slavyanoserbsk.
There’s a great deal of shooting there right now, all the news are reporting it.
There is a family in that village. Husband Sasha, with his wife and mother in law.
Sasha is taking care of his wife who is suffering from incurable cancer and mother in law who is 82 and who recently broke her arm.
The long-awaited present under the tree? Seeing the sea for the first time?
Let me tell you where to find it.
Joy that is genuine and all-encompassing, submerging everything else.
Ira is 51, and she’s had cerebral palsy since birth. Her body is paralyzed and twisted, and she could never move about on her own. Her hands are so firmly clenched that they might not even exist. But her legs perform improbable tasks.
They draw, tie, write, embroider. And they do it all masterfully.
One can and should weep. Because it’s impossible not to.
Because there are people in this world are are alive not because of, but in spite of.
And one wants to shout about their to the whole world until one grows hoarse. Because we are nothing.
Because we can’t value that which we have. We can’t accept adversity.
We have turned inward.
There is an unusual monument in one of the unrecognized Donbass Republics. It stands right by the border with Ukraine, where shelling is frequent. It’s scary to go there by car–nothing but shell-damaged trees and craters in the asphalt. The monument is based on one of the most powerful photographs of the Great Patriotic War–“Battalion Commander”. But, as it turned out later, the photo does not show a battalion commander but rather a political officer. The young, handsome officer raises his TT, and the soldiers rise off the ground behind him. The photo was taken only a few seconds before the hero’s death, near Lugansk, in the village of Khoroshee which was the site of a hard-fought battle.
–Where are you going? The Ukies are only less than a klick away! We’ll all die!
The road and the trees lining it all bear marks of shrapnel. My hands are starting to shake in panic.
–We missed the turn!
–Don’t freak out, it’s been quiet here for a long time!
We approach the checkpoint, a young guy with a cigarette comes out. He squints from the bright sun and asks in amazement:
–Where are you going?
–To the madhouse.
–Well, you came to the right place, but if you mean the clinic, you need to turn around and then turn right.