Джули Кристи, Julie Christie, Гордон Пинсент, Gordon Pinsent
Мемуары

My Husband Seryozha

By on 01.02.2020

Just after the funeral I had to return to my usual work. Of course, it was tough task to enter Leona’s empty room. Every time I was there I felt that, inexplicably, she was looking at me. I had to arrange the room for next client, but I was seized with a feeling of timidity… I felt timid as if I didn’t manage to tell everything I had to say… I felt embarrassed for all the mistakes which I had ever made towards her. Mistakes, which due to her wisdom and very special way of thinking seemed not as dreadful as they might be. Thanks to it, I also became wiser. Unnoticed even for myself, I had learned much wisdom from Leona, wisdom that she shared with me during those six years of living together. I had changed. I had learned how to listen others without interrupting. I had learned how to draw conclusions not as hastily as I did before. And finally, thanks to Leona, I had learned the American mentality. I had become completely different. Thank you, Leona! Thank you, my kind, loving, wise and true Christian…! I will never forget you! Your words are imprinted in my soul: “Toma, whatever happens in your life, loss of friends, death of dearest people, grieves or storms, you should always stay with the Lord God. He won’t leave you…” These words are so true, Leona… Thank you for them… I will not stop being grateful to you and all the people who were sent to me by the Lord. And my first husband is also one of them.

бабушка, мама

Seryozha was a little older than me. He lived in Volgograd and after the wedding I moved to him. That time Volgograd, full of evening illuminations, with its clean streets, roaring public transport, seemed to be another Moscow. Seryozha had a good education, a flat, a car and a high job position. In one word, he was a rather well-to-do young man. I enjoyed it very much! At last I had money. In a blink I became a spouse and a housewife.  In a year our son Alesha was born. A little later I entered the Volgograd Pedagogical University. My once innermost dream of becoming a teacher, the one that I even couldn’t speak about in front of my parents, was to become true. From the very beginning Seryozha insisted that I had to learn and get a worthy education. With great devotion I moved towards my dream. I didn’t receive any help but I worked hard to pass exams ahead of schedule and spend winter months with my parents. The things went well. Alyosha was growing up. Later he started to attend a kindergarten. I got a job at school, became a classroom teacher. I loved my work and my pupils, and I knew they loved me in return. On weekends we would usually visit Sergey’s mother in Dubrovka. In summer we used to swim in Volga, make campfires and bake potatoes. In winter we went skiing or sledding. It was a fairytale as I recall it now! Our relationship with Sergey was very strong – we loved each other. It seemed there was nothing more I could wish in this life…

родители, папа, мама,

But one day I woke up in the morning and noticed that his skin was a little yellowed. I was terrified. Immediately we asked our acquaintances doctors for help, and The same day Sergey was urgently hospitalized. Long stay in hospital, days of ambulatory treatment, numerous medical procedures and scarce medicines didn’t give any positive result. Then they decided to do a surgery. I was told about the awful diagnosis in the doctor’s office the day after. I will never forget those fatal words. I heard them for the first time, and they turned our lives upside down, my life and the life of little Alyosha: “Now we can announce the verdict. His illness is incurable. It’s pancreas cancer”. It was so bitter and almost unbearable to hear it. I asked myself why it had happened to us, and couldn’t find any answer. The future looked dark and totally obscure.  That time I didn’t know that only my ardent earnest prayer to God could comfort me, that only prayer from our spiritual brothers and sisters could help my husband.

папа, мама, бабушка, дедушка

After a month spent in a hospital Sergey was let to go home. The life forces were leaving him from day to day. He couldn’t work anymore. I was torn between our home, the school and Alyosha’s kindergarten. I couldn’t sleep at nights. It was hopeless. This hopelessness was deep inside me; heartlessly it was tearing the happiest pages of our life in pieces and throwing the scraps into the flaming fire where they were turning to ashes. Sergey and me, we were burning in this flaming hell of insufferable ordeals that we faced up with in 1981 and 1982. Very soon my dearest man was completely bedridden. It was getting more and more difficult to look after him. In general, caring about a cancer patient in the Soviet times was almost impossible. There were no napkins, no diapers, no syringes and injections. We could only get them if we had some protection from high authorities and only for large sums of money. Earlier my parents, thanks Sergey, moved closer to the city, thus they could come and help me from time to time, although they also needed some care. Every day I injected him strong analgesics. But sometimes there were moments when Seryozha was awaken from drugs and we could talk. He asked me to read him newspapers, news of Moscow, instead of reading the Bible and asking God for penance, which about we didn’t know anything then. Despite our fight for life, the end was deplorable: one day Seryozha went into a deep coma and didn’t wake up ever again. His death was tough and painful despite the painkillers. It happened and nothing could be changed. Now I see it clearly.

Джули Кристи, Julie Christie, Гордон Пинсент, Gordon Pinsent

Sergey died while being unconscious on the 9th of January, in the middle of winter, on the last day of school holidays. We buried him on the 11th. It was a nightmare. I was standing in a crowd of people. Family, close friends and acquaintances were approaching with words of condolence, but their words floated away as if they were ice floes in early spring waters. It was cold and there was still a long time to wait for spring along with first sunrays. I knew it won’t be soon that these sunrays would break through the wall deep in my soul. I was standing there, tired and detached, looked at my Sergey and recalled our precious days when we were together and talked for hours in a row. I wondered whom would I speak to from then on, since there were no Sergey with me. He was good at listening and hearing. I couldn’t admit his absence in my life.  “He is not here anymore” – my inner voice repeated again and again the deathly verdict. I couldn’t escape it. He was the only one I could trust and rely on. It was snowing as if this snow was trying to hide our footprints, covering all our happy days of living together. Then I saw the eyes of my pupils and their parents. Our house was not very far from school and they all came to support their beloved classroom teacher. How difficult was it for them to see their first teacher broken by sorrow. I remember my first teacher Aleftina Fedorovna was like a mother for me. I didn’t want their susceptible mind to grasp memories of that day. After the funeral everyone went to a café to commemorate Sergey. Few hours later I returned to my empty home. I wasn’t wife anymore, I was a widow. I still remember it as if it was yesterday…

бабушка, дедушка

I still remember those people… It was so laughable to tears, and it hurt so much when they told me: “That’s OK. You will find a man and get married again… Everything will return to normal…!” What an awful mistake…! I had been a widow for long nineteen years. Later I will tell why I didn’t get married again in Russia…  But then I could only think of these people, dead Sergey and my dearest son Alyosha, who was five years old then. I didn’t take Alyosha for the funeral ceremony and left him with my neighboring old lady. Perhaps, it was my mistake. I don’t know. Yes, he understood that his daddy was ill, because sometimes we visited Sergey in the hospital. But due to his age, he couldn’t understand that his father was dying and nobody told him. I tried to leave Alyosha with my parents as often as I could. I didn’t want him to hear moans and screams: “Help me. It hurts…” But the most unforgettable fact was that child’s heart seemed to anticipate father’s death. A few days before that terrible day, Alyosha was playing with toy blocks — he was building a tomb and was burying his toy soldiers there. Playing this imaginary funeral ceremony he lined his toy soldiers in two rows, and between them he put a toy military helmet as if it was a coffin that he was putting into a grave. It was so evident to everyone who saw this imaginary ceremony… I will never forget it… It was a nightmare…

Читайте Далее = Leona and the Divine Providence =

В материале представлены кадры из фильма «Вдали от нее» от режиссера Сары Полли.

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