Stories that you confided to us

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Stories that you confided to us

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Olena Volodymyrivna Reshetniak

"The war destroyed everything we have built over the years"

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Overall, family is the most important thing in my life.

I never planned to be a mother of many children, but the twins were born prematurely. They were so tiny. People would call them "goners". We lived in Murmansk. I was a senior researcher at the regional museum, a scientific worker. My eldest daughter studied at an English grammar school. We left everything behind in order to bring up the boys and moved to Shchastia. My father lived here.

It was very hard. Only husband had a job. I took every opportunity to earn money. Thankfully, my children were the best in the class at reading, writing essays, and knowing English.

When they grew up, we got lucky. I was invited to the local Community Center to work as the head of the children's department. We put on plays for children and wrote our own scripts. I had my own group, the Entertainer.

Then I was diagnosed with cancer. Chemotherapy and long months of treatment followed. But we overcame everything because we were together. I always knew that my family was my hope and support.

Daughter graduated from school with highest distinction. All my children got degrees.

I went to work at the city library. We held such wonderful literary, dramatic, and musical evenings before the war! We discovered so many talents thanks to them!

I had my own page on the local cable channel: a special publication about the lives of famous writers was printed every month. The library became more popular.

Without doubt, life was not cloudless and easy, but we worked hard and supported each other. Three weddings took place at one-year intervals, not very crowded, but they were very merry.

It was only during the war that we realized that we were very happy people. On weekends, young people came around. We gathered at a large table or went to our country cottage, or watched wits and humour competition together. It was so noisy and fun!

Then my first grandson was born. Granddaughter was born before the war. I dreamed of reading to them, teaching them English, taking them to theatres.

The war destroyed everything we have built over the years. Now my children and grandchildren live far away from us, and from each other, too. Some people managed to leave under attacks from the devastated city of Luhansk, having only the most necessary things on their hands. And I've been running from one place to another for three years, trying to survive in my new place. I am so tired of buses. There is no other transport for us here.

Sometimes I get a feeling that we have been cut off from the rest of the country. Many talented people whom this city so required and gave lot of effort to make it a better place have left. Young people have to leave, because there is no work here.

For me, war is synonymous with the word "loss", broken ties. Now it is important more than ever to understand that you are not alone, that there are caring people who are ready to break the oppressive circle of loneliness and despair.

Every delivery of humanitarian aid is probably a celebration for the town. We are being remembered and cared for. The library doors are opposite the doors where the volunteers of the Let us Help Foundation work. Having received a package, readers often visit us. I know that many people share everything they have with those who do not receive any aid. Many take it upon themselves to deliver aid to those who are physically unable to come. Coordination of these actions, attention and care for the elderly are very important. I would like to express my gratitude to the Foundation and its volunteers. You do good that saves people's lives and gives hope. Thank you very much.

When quoting a story, a reference to the source – the Museum of Civilian Voices of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation – is mandatory, as follows:

The Museum of Civilian Voices of the Rinat Akhmetov Foundation

Rinat Akhmetov Foundation Civilian Voices Museum
Shchastia 2014 2017 Text Civilian's stories
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