Archive for January, 2009

Nurlan believes everyone should know their family history

My grandfather’s name is Aubakirov Gabdulla. He was born in Semipalatinsk in 1908. His father’s name is Aubakir and he worked as a teacher. Gabdulla grew up in big family; he had four brothers and one sister.  My grandfather was the third child in the family. When he was eight their family moved to Ust’-Kamenogorsk. Gabdulla studied and graduated the high school  in Ust’-Kamenogorsk. After that he worked as the teacher of high school.


In 1941 began the World War2. At that time all men had to go to war and my grandfather went to war too.  Gabdulla was  commander of  mortar battery. His task was to specify a location of the enemy. Sometimes for exactness he had to cause a fire on itself. I think that not everybody can do it, so I think my grandfather was a very brave man. I am very proud of him. He took part in the Battle of Leningrad and was injured. After the war he was rewarded with a lot of medals and awards, some of it was given for valour and bravery.


At the end of the 1940s my grandfather worked in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Central Committee, also at that time he studied at a university in Almaty, his specialization was as teacher of history. Later he studied at the Moscow university.  In the beginning of the 1950s my grandparents moved in Kokchetav.  In that period the Communist Party organized the campaign of breaking fresh ground in this area.  At the end of a 1970s my grandfather worked in Council of Ministers and he retired in 1980. When I was born in 1986 my grandfather was seventy eight years old. He was very happy and he bought a baby-carriage for me. In spite of his age, he was very active and sometimes he walked with me in the park.  He died in 1993.


Next, my grandmother’s name is Zhibek.  She was born in Orenburg in 1918. My grandmother grew up in a children’s home.  She knew nothing about her family.  She studied in medical university. But she didn’t finish university because of war. My grandparents got married in 1941. In the war time she worked as a nurse and waited for her husband. She was very happy when he returned from war alive, in spite of that, his one hand did not move.  They had two of their own children: my aunt and my father. My aunt was born in 1945 and my father was born in 1965.  Also they cared about children of their grandfather’s older brother, who perished during the war-time. My grandmother was very kind and hospitable.  The last years of her life she had problems with health, she suffered from high blood pressure.  She died in 1979 of a stroke. My father was thirteen years old. The difference in age between my aunt and my father is twenty years, so my aunt cared for my father after my grandmother’s death.  I never saw my grandmother.

I think everybody should know history of their family.

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Marina’s Grandparents “Left a Trace on this Earth”

 My mother’s father’s name is Aldabergen. He was born in 1929 in Aktobe. My mother’s mothers name is Kimbat. She was born in 1928 in Uralsk. They got married in 1948 and moved to Russia. My grandfather was a farm labourer. My grandparents had a very large household, they were occupied with sheep-breeding, cow-breeding, horse-breeding, hen-breeding. They had many children – 11, but 4  died. My grandmother was a housewife, she liked plant-growing, sewing and embroidery very much. My grandmother died in 1971, her small daughter was 1 month and I never have been with her. Then my grandfather got married once again. He was a very strict, hard-working, diligent, a man of few words. My grandfather died in 1997.

My father’s fathers name is Gaziz. He was born in 1925 in Bashkiria. During Second World War he lost his parents, and his brother went to children’s home in Ufa. They could not find to each other for a long time. Their long –expected meeting took place only in 1959. My grandfather wanted to take him away to Kazakhstan, but his brother got married by that time and had two daughters, so he preferred to stay in Bashkiria.

My father’s mothers name is Malika. She was born in 1928 in the rich family. She suffered privations and went through many trials. Malika saw death of relatives, starvation, coldness. She had gift of foresight, prophecy. She could treat people for different illnesses.

My grandparents from my father’s side got married in 1946. They had not a lot of children – 7, but 3 died. My grandfather was a government purveyor, official in charge of procurements. He had sociable disposition. So he had many friends. He could turn his hand to anything. He stored up skins and wool. My grandfather died in 1991.

My grandmother was a collective farmer. She worked in the fields a lot – she gathered in the good harvests of potatoes, tomatoes, other vegetables. She gave birth to children, and right away went back to work. My grandfather’s mother looked after children. She loved my father and spoiled indulged him very much. My grandmother was also very hard-working. Owing to many-years physical labor she reached a great age and died quite recently in 2008. She was 80.

My grandparents lived in difficult time, went through wars and repressions, starvation and coldness. They did not receive any education, they could not even read and write. My grandparents slept too little, but worked hard to feed their children. They dreamt about their light future: that their children receive good education, find well-paid job live in the large houses, get married in time and gave births to many grandchildren. I think that they were happy people because they had left a trace on this Earth and gave birth to us.

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Murat’s Grandfather named Makhsut

From my opinion grandparents is a major part of any family, like foundation of house. They always can help you to solve different problematic situations and give good advice. And also grandparents love you for free, just because you are present in their lives.  In this essay I want tell you about my grandfather from my mother side.

My grandfather’s name is Makhsut and he was born in 15 September of 1930. His father was a butcher and mother was a baker, they worked for the government. My grandfather had two brothers and four sisters. Nowadays only two sisters of my grandfather survived. When Second World War began, my grandfather was only eleven years old boy. War time and also some years after it were very difficult not only for my grandfather’s family, but also for each family involved to this meaningless war.

Despite the hard times, his family survived. I think the major reason is because their parents had good jobs or to be exactly correct they had cereal jobs. Somewhere in this time my grandfather was between life and death, because he was bitten by snake. There was no opportunity to call a doctor or to give antidote, but to big happiness, my grandfather survived. You can wonder why? I can tell you. Because father of Makhsut found way how to help for his son, he sucker out all poison and put him into fresh mowed grass. And these actions helped to save my grandfather.

After completion of high school, he entered into the national university of Kazakhstan on biological faculty. But after one year, he got small damage on his foot and was forced to take academic break. Because studying on biological faculty requires being often in cold classes and his foot always hurt then because was too cold.

During academic break my grandfather was forced to go to serve in the army.  After that, he tried to enter into the university the second time, but there was no opportunity to do that.  On some day my grandfather met his old friend and he told him that in Uzbekistan he had a chance to start studying in current year. Grandfather went to the strange country without money and without any ideas where and how he would live. After arrival to the Uzbekistan and searching for university, he understood that there was no possibility to start study in this year. And he began to search for job opportunity, while he found job he lived in his friend’s dormitory. Dormitory looked like one big room with many beds and nightstands. Grandfather was forced to steal bread from nightstands, because he hadn’t any money.   But it was only three days and after that he found job in local factory. Grandfather worked on factory for one year and then entered in police academy. In 1956 he completed police academy and went back to Kazakhstan.

In 1957 he married my grandmother. They have two sons and one daughter, my mother. Grandfather worked in police force for more than 25 years. After retirement he was a director of bus station.  Now he is pensioner and enjoys life surround his loving natives and close friends.   

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Nuriya’s GREAT Grandmother

My grandmother Lati (in fact, she is my great grandmother) was born in 1910 in a small village at the foot of a mountain situated about 150 km from Almaty. She was the first child in her family. At the age of 5 or 6 she lost her mother who died of some disease. Since her father was a young man and the house needed woman’s hands, he married again. Usually it is hard to live with stepmother but my granny was lucky to have a kind woman who could love and replace mother. Granny Lati always told “though she wasn’t my mother, she brought me up like her own daughter”.


So, when she was 8 or 9 her stepbrother was born. Germans have a proverb “One child is egoist, two children are half egoist, three children are children”. But in spite of this, the family of my granny was united.


When my granny was full of age she got married (at that time Kazakhs could marry even at the age of 13) “bai”- a rich man whose wealth was estimated at thousands of sheep, hundreds of horses and cows. She became his third or fourth wife. The attitude of other wives of her husband to her was awful. They treated her as a domestic servant because she came from ignoble family and was the youngest of the wives. In the end, maybe unfortunately or fortunately, the newly married couldn’t be compatible. My granny divorced with a little girl on her hands. She took her little child and went 30-40 km on foot back to her father’s house. It was a brave and at the same time objectionable action at that time, because women were afraid of divorcing. She realized that people would blame her, it would be hard to rear a child without a husband but my granny was a woman of character and did what she thought best. I think it was really hard for her to live among people who treated her as a white crow (maverick) to some extent.


When five years passed, she met a man who became a father for her three children. It seemed that at last came an end of her unhappiness, but suddenly news of the Great Patriotic War broke in her house, which just was restored to happiness and poise. Again she was hit hard by her destiny. Her husband was called to arms. Hard times came not only for her but for all women throughout the Soviet Union. All women worked their fingers to the bone. Those who were in rural areas had scanty nourishment, all the food was sent to the soldiers who fought for the future of their country, children, and generation. I remember my aunt, who was in fact my grandmother, told that her mother always gave more fried wheat to her son because he was the only son, the transmitter of life and had a strong resemblance to her husband. My aunt always remembered that with indignation and laughter at the same time.


When the war was over my grandfather was considered as missing in action. In 1970s young pathfinders found his grave in Moldova. My granny reared her children alone, faced many difficulties of life but could keep her kindness, compassion and readiness to help others. She always told that people should do all the good to help each other and be kind-hearted, and even if a person whom you helped didn’t pay back in kind, God would do it. It’s like in Kazakh proverb “If you give with right hand, you will receive with left hand”. My granny lived to a great age and died at the age of 85. Though I was only ten when my granny died, I will always bear in mind her proverbs, which became principles (guides) of my life. 

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Yekaterina’s Cossack Grandfather

My grandfather, the army colonel and Cossack colonel, Litovchenko Michail Aleksandrovich, is the witness and participant of the events described below.


February, 1943. Fascists retreated from Novyi Oskol area, Velikhomikhailovka village, to Belgorog. They were a real crime, especially for peaceful population, the most part of which was represented with aged people, women, and children, as all young strong men were on the front. The punitive force learned out that two of my grandfather’s brothers were officers served on the front (one was a cavalryman, and the second was a pilot), and rushed into the house. They beat my grandfather, who was only 13 years old, and his father unmercifully with rifle butts. Half-dressed, they were dragged out of the house on snowdrifts. Fascists made them and other people to drive the cattle in direction of Belgorod, to feed their forces. My grandfather’s mother and sisters were kicked by fascists out of the house, locked in the bricked shed as other women in the village, and mined.


The thrilled were turned out in the direction of Belgorod. Military machines, tanks and weapons were driven with them. Snowdrifts were higher than people’s heads. The high road was shelled by Soviet artillery during the whole night. The Soviet column, in which the crowds of aged men, women and children were driven out together with the military equipment, was attacked with bombs from fascist planes. Those, who became detached from the crowd, were killed by shooting immediately.


Late at night they were driven in the village, left by people. The cattle, caws, and calves were taken to the previous Milk Product Firm’s house. All captives were pushed into the empty houses by 10-12 people in each and locked. Sentries were posted outside of the houses. More than 24 hours exhausted people were there without food and water. My grandfather with his two friends was warned: early morning at the dawn – shooting. My great-grandfather, Litovchenko Aleksandr Yefimovich, his neighbor Zabudchenko Vasiliy Ivanovich, and the distance relative Konik Nickolay Nickolayevich (who was more than 80 years old man), told my grandfather and his friends to not sleep, to not muffle up in the straws in the corners of hut, but to be ready and wait for a signal. Aged people spied when the drunken sentry who played on the mouth organ, finally fell asleep. Very quiet, they broke down the window and smothered him. And captives rushed away through the big ravines.


At darkness of the night, in the light of fire-bombs and trace of artillery shells, in the snow so deep up to the waists, half-naked, bearing and supporting each other they were running to Phuschevatoe village, where my great-grandfather’s friends lived. But they couldn’t go out of the valley as the light of a dawn caught them. Fascist saw escaped people and opened a fire from large-caliber machine guns. Owing to the deep ravines and huge snowdrifts, fascists didn’t follow them. On penalty of death, fugitives buried themselves in the snow and waited lying till the darkness.


Starving from hunger, frost-bitten, the fugitives managed to reach Phushevatoe at night, where they were met by friend. He hided them in straw of his shed and in one hour he, taking the risk of his own life, brought them the bucket of boiled potatoes and bucket of boiling water. After they ate he again buried them into the straw.


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Oleg’s Grandparents’ Life and Love

This story is about a real love between one man and one woman. It was a very difficult but at the same time a very happy life of my grandmother and grandfather (parents of my mother).  My grandmother was born in Saratov, it is in the Russian Federation and my grandfather is from Almaty.

I don’t know exactly where they met, I conjecture it was in Saratov. It was before The World War 2. My grandfather was 20 years old and my grandmother was a little bit younger. He was strong, clever, young man; she was as beautiful as an angel. They fell in love with each other from the first sight. It was the love for the whole life. In 1940 they got married.

But at 4 a.m. 22nd of July 1941 the World War 2 began. In 1942 my grandfather as a true patriot of former USSR went to the front to fight against the German occupiers. He served as lieutenant in field artillery. My grandmother with her mother and sister moved from Saratov to Karaganda. They served on the home front.

My grandfather fought about half of a year but then he was wounded by shell splinter. He sent the letter to his family and friends that he was wounded but they shouldn’t worry about his life and health because it was non-penetrating wound and it wasn’t dangerous. But as a matter of fact it was a severe penetrating wound to his stomach. For a long time he was going through a different courses of medical treatment in many hospitals in our country and abroad.

In 1944 he came back to Karaganda to the family and served on the home front. After the end of the war in 1945 my grandparents moved to Almaty. They bought a piece of land and built their own house. They graduated from teachers’ training institute and became excellent teachers. My grandfather was a teacher of algebra and geometry and my grandmother became a teacher of Russian language and literature.

In 1946 my mother was born. My grandparents gave birth to three children. But the youngest son died when he was about 20 years old (he was very ill); it was real tragedy for the family. Because of that reason I have only one uncle.  My grandmother died in 1998 and my grandfather died in 2007. Although they are on the Heaven I love them very much.

My parents work hard for all the time so that’s why I lived and grew up with my grandparents. My grandfather told me about the war, the fights and his wound only once, five or six years ago. And when he was telling his story he was crying, it was very painful for him to remember that terrifying time.

Indeed I’m very obliged to my grandparents. My grandmother fostered my love for music and classic literature and my grandfather taught me to be honest. They are always set me an example of real love, relations and life style. I’m very proud of my grandparents and they are always in my heart, soul and dreams!      

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Marzhan’s Grandmother Had Harriet Tubman’s Daring

Nowadays young people have scanty knowledge about their ancestor’s history, about their life. Same with me. This morning I called my mom to learn more about my family’s history. I discovered so many interesting facts about my great-grand mother’s and my grandmother’s life, that I decided to write about them.

My great-grand mother Musan was born in health. Her father was very rich man, he was a “bay”.  When Musan was very young, there were a lot of internecine wars, after one battle with neighboring tribe her father disappeared. After losing him, their family life became terribly hard. So Musan’s mother decided to marry her. Man from very rich family took her; he was old, much older than Musan. He was a “bay” too. After a while she bore him two children, boy Mukhtar and girl Kamash.  Then came the Soviet time and began different repressions. Musan’s husband was taken away, she never saw him again. She moved her family to Katon-Karagay region and settled down in Uril village. She worked very hard to raise up her children; she did not get married again.

At the same time repressions were continuing. Soviet government annihilated rich people. People ran away from Kazakhstan, most of them ran to China. My great-grand mother helped them, only she knew secret path through the woods, by virtue of this path people could pass the border of China. Musan went at night and came back at home in the morning. She helped many people to get a new life, but far away from home. My great-grand mother Musan was very brave, courageous, fearless, valiant woman, also she was ineffably beautiful and very intelligent. She was a devoted mother and fond wife. At her funeral came the whole village and even people from neighboring villages.

As I wrote earlier, my great-grand mother had a daughter Kamash. She was born in 1930, 1 of January. Kamash apa, as I call her, had a very hard life too. During the World War II she laboured in the field, helped her motherland in rear area, she was only eleven years old. In 1950 she got married to my grandfather Kabdrakhman. In 1951 Kamash apa gave birth to their first child, but after three years he died of measles. After a while she bore seven children, five girls and two boys. Time waxed on her, children were growing up.

My grand father was a very well known man, he was a hero, and he was rewarded many times. He had Order of Red Flag. But in 1976 he died from gullet cancer. So my grandmother stayed with seven children. It was very difficult time. She had to get very hard job on the brickyard to feed her children. All their work on this plant was hand work, people had to carry bricks, lay them down, and dry them. For all these work they were paid thirty ruble, when people on the other places got one hundred or one hundred and ten ruble. On this money my grandmother raised up seven children. She made everything herself: she embroidered “syrmak”; it is Kazakh national carpet, worked in the garden, sewed clothes for her children. She did everything at home, certainly children helped her.

Kamash apa is wonderful woman. She is 79 years old and still lives in Uril, Katon-Karagay region, in her son’s family. You know, Kamash apa can’t do nothing, she is always busy, she darns broken clothes, binds socks and jackets. I love her very much; she is my ideal of woman. I want to be brave, strong, and firm as my grandmother.

I am really proud of my family’s history, I am proud that such heroic women are my great-grand mother and grandmother.

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My Grandmother Met Indira Ghandi

I love my grandmother, because she is very kind, careful, clever, magnanimous. In spite of the fact that she is 78 years, she still has a young soul. She likes to laugh, joke, and sing songs. I can ask her for any advice and she always will help in a difficult minute. Always in a course of all events, she knows all birthdays of relatives and my friends. It is always pleasant to receive from her congratulations. My grandmother is very glad to host visitors, she is sociable and always smiles. Her life had many events. Both were the difficult moments and pleasure tears, but always she found in herself the force to live, rejoice and hope.


She was born in 1932, in village near from Tselinograd (nowadays Astana). In those times when she was born the national economy collectivization took place. Because of the direct action and management from outside government, a lot of people died. Hunger and cattle failing led to death of more than 2 million Kazakhs. My Granny told me that a cannibal wished to steal her, but her mother rescued her.


Her childhood was very amusing. She tells us with pleasure how she went for a drive on a sledge, fished, went for a drive on a horse, carried one boots with the brother. It is a lot of interesting stories about a rural life. But the Second World War had begun soon and she had to abandon her native home to go to work in a factory. She was the seamstress. She sewed clothes for military people, and at leisure time sewed clothes for children. It was a very heavy time which remains in her memory.


After the end of war, she moved to Karaganda where it was arranged to work in a shop. Having worked five years the seller, Grandmother took on factory which made alcoholic drinks such as vodka, wine, beer. She told that many workers got drunk at work. Grandmother arranged much fun and always joked. For her diligence and her merits she was awarded with many medals. Granny had worked at factory for 36 years. She with pride says that she at outlived five presidents: I.V Stalin, L.I Brezhnev, N.С Khruschev, M.S Gorbachev and N.А Nazarbaev.


My grandmother saw Indira Gandi when she came in Kazakhstan. Indira was so pleasant to my grandmother that she has resolved that the grand daughter she names, Indira. From the date of my birth she brought me up and also my elder brother. When my parents were at work, my grandmother paid all attention to us. Her warmth, care, love surrounded me, even now. She strongly worries about my successes and failing, worries, always calls. Even when parents don’t let me go to disco club, she lets me go. She speaks that it is necessary to have fun while young. My family very much appreciates and respects our grandmother.


I have not written words about the grandfather because I do not know him and did not see him. I only know that when my Mum was one year old, they divorced. And anybody is more about him did not hear. However, I would like to see him, to talk, to know  how he lives. Grandmother has taught me that it is necessary to forgive people, to respect each other, fairly to concern everything, and go to the treasured purpose. I would say that my Granny has golden hands.  She prepares till now, doesn’t pay attention  to illness, but now it is difficult for her to walk. Nevertheless, she is optimistic. Every month she sends me half her pension so that I would have dinner. Probably much else is possible to write about her. I am very strongly proud of her, I love and I hope that she will live long and happily. She is my second Mum.


written by Indira

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“Deportation” of Koreans to Central Asia by Natalya

My grandfather and great-grandfather back in XIX century, immigrated to the Far East from North Korea, along with many Koreans who moved to Russia. The emigration of Koreans into the territory of the Far Eastern empire encouraged by the king’s government for the development of its huge unoccupied spaces. 


My grandmother and grandfather were born in Primorye: in 1908 his grandfather and grandmother in 1910, after they married, they moved to Khabarovsk. On that day in 1937, they had two young children. But Resolution of the ANC on 21 August 1937, all the Far Eastern Koreans were declared ineligible and unreliable, resettled in Central Asia. I will not tell a lot about the hardships associated with the fact of eviction. People were simply immersed in a boxcar of goods and were allowed to take only the most necessary. And in closed cars for months were removed from the Far East to Central Asia. People were not given food, water garnered for short stops. Far behind the train people some were shot with rifles from the cars. In the case of the death of Red settlers, who were guarding cars they simply threw dead bodies on the railway from the moving train. For only they know the orders, some people landed amidst bare Kazakh steppes, and the composition of the remaining people to follow on. To survive, people were forced to dig dugouts, threw open steppe and planted corn or wheat, which they carried with them. Nobody now can say how many people died then when moved nor how many died from hunger and disease.


 If the face, the eviction of people, it is called the innocent word “deportation” in fact this was the repression – and even cruel. And with regard to their made to deport, it was true GENOCIDE. People were subjected to repression, until 1957, were on special category, called special continent and settler. They were used in the most menial, physically hard work, of them were working the army of good and terrible, inhumane, as the camp inmates, incomparable even famous for its atrocities in concentration camps.  


In conclusion, I want to say about my grandfather and grandmother; they were uneducated because they lived a hard life, all their lives they cultivated rice in South of Uzbekistan. They had six children, only four survived. In 1962 they moved from Tashkent to Sary-Agash, where they live to this day. Despite my grandparents being uneducated, they gave and raised all their children with a decent education. They were very fair, honest and decent people. Despite the fact that they had seen a lot of cruelty and horror, they were very gentle and kind people. Unfortunately, my grandfather is not already 19 years ago, but when he left us, he had his own house with several children and grandchildren, and he was happy that we lived in peace and harmony.         


My grandmother is alive to this day, and I hope that she would be long with us. For 19 years, there is a lot to learn from her, she survived the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and she is glad that in life there have been many changes. People become free and it is happy. We are her children and grandchildren, a lot of opportunities, for example, my brother last year, traveled for three months in the U.S. on the exchange, and this is as much a likely now.

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Irina’s Korean Grandmother

I’d like to tell a story about a woman I’ve never seen. She was a usual person, one of millions in the world, but she is unusual for me. She is my grandma. All I know about her is from my father’s memoirs.  

She was born in the Far East and was deported to Kazakhstan in 1937 like thousands of her age. I know almost nothing about her childhood, just general and several unrelated facts. I think her young years were not so happy, because of starvation, a new, unfriendly place and the World War II. Her father had been executed before the deportation. Her mother was very overbearing and had three daughters (one of them is my grandma) from two husbands. My great grandma’s second husband was a teacher, a Principal of a local secondary school in Kazakhstan and had magnetic eyes of yellow color that was strange for Asians, so lots of people still remember him. And those are the scarce facts I’ve heard.            

During student life grandma met my grandpa, they studied in Kryzylorda Training College together. That time she was a future Russian Language and Literature teacher and my grandpa was a future teacher of Mathematics and Physics. After graduation they got an order to go to Kalpe village in Almaty District, near to my grandma’s parents.

Here their married life started. All the time after College my grandparents worked for a secondary school in the village teaching Russian language, Literature, Mathematics and Physics accordingly. They had three sons; my father is the middle son. Every summer they took a field and grew onions for additional profit. It was a traditional business for many Korean families (for plenty of families the onion growing was a main business and it brought much more money than teaching or other work). As my grandma was the only woman in the family she had to do or at least to manage all the related routines at home from cooking to farming and combine all these with her professional activity. An interesting fact that takes place in this story is that my grandpa had chronic stomach and intestinal tract aches, so he never took part in home activities. Besides, he went to Caucasus and other Soviet health resorts every summer, while his wife and sons repaired the house.

I wonder how my grandma dealt with so many things, but still there are lots of her students who remember her as a brilliant teacher. And their words affirm books, greeting cards, photos with thankful notes. One surprising fact which my father told me is that grandma while being in a hospital learned by heart a poem “Yevgeniy Onegin” by Pushkin! It is unbelievable! She collected a big home library including rare books and editions and made many-many other things we still use at home.

Unfortunately, she died at the age of 48 because of cancer. It is pity, but my father even doesn’t remember her date of birthday because they never celebrated it or may be because a birthday was changed every solar year (grandparents used to celebrate birthdays according to lunar calendar). Two years later after the death my grandpa got married again. But last summer he said: “I’ve never met and I will never meet a woman similar to her. She was a real wife and woman”. And I think he was right.        

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