Archive for August 28, 2008

Laura K’s Optimistic Grandparents

            My grandparents were amazing people. Their lives were very hard however they were optimistic and happy all their life.  My both grandparents grew up in children’s orphanage because their parents died in the period from 1920s-1930s. There was a time when there was very limited food supply in our country, almost no food at all. There was a hunger and many people died from various diseases.


My grandparents got married in 1945 right after the World War II. They were both from Kustanai, Kazakhstan. I never saw my grandfather. He died in 1962. But from the stories of my grandmother I know that he fought against German Nazis during WWII and he came from the  war in very bad health condition. He was sick most of the time until he died. At the beginning of their married life he worked a bit and later stayed in bed for almost 13 years. Despite of that they were able to make five children. One girl died when she was an infant from some mysterious disease. Three boys and one girl left. I am the daughter of that single girl.


After my grandfather died in 1962 my grandmother was left alone with 4 small children. It was very difficult to raise them. In spite of that my granny worked on several jobs and was able to provide her children with food and everything they needed. She was very optimistic, strong and communicative woman. She had no relatives but she had many friends who helped her a lot and she did the same for others. For example, my grandma helped neighbor’s children when their mother died. Every time she would bring food and clothes to them. They remembered that all their life and they even became almost like our relatives.


From the stories of my grandmother I know how hard it was before, during and after the WWII. They had very difficult life. Now looking at her life I am amazed how she survived all of that. She lost her parents when she was an infant. In children’s orphanage they almost were dying from hunger because it was during 1930s when there was no food. She told me that they even ate rats. The bread was sacred to them. Because of that she would never allowed us to throw away bread or any other food. Laziness was not her thing she would take any food we don’t want and give it to the neighbors and amazingly there was always someone who was ready to take it. But we as children didn’t think about it because we didn’t have a time when there was a hunger in our life. Despite of the fact that my grandma was very giving and kind she also was very strong mentally and physically. After my grandpa died my grandma was left with 4 children and she was very young (she became a widow at age of 42) she never got married again and she didn’t have any relationship with other man. She was religious and respected her husband. Nowadays we don’t see many people like that anymore because it is a different society now.


          In conclusion, I would like to thank our grandparents for all they have done for us. They fought and worked hard so we could have a better life. We should appreciate that and never forget about it.


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