Friday, April 25, 2014


While in the hospital saying goodbye to Babooshka, Nelya had asked Irina to ask me what my favorite color was.


On Monday night I headed over to my neighbor's house to bring them dinner.  When thinking of what I could possibly do to help during this hard time, dinner seemed to be the first thing that popped in my mind. I wasn't planning on staying, but you can't enter a Russian household without being filled with love and food. Nelya prepared four cups of tea, and motioned for me to sit in Anna's chair. The flowers I brought the family Tuesday night were sitting by her chair, they again thanked me for the gracious gift and returned their gratitude in the form of a small box.

Nelya motioned for me to open the box. As I untied the blue satin ribbon that held the box together, my eyes came upon the most beautiful topaz necklace made by Nelya. Irina spoke in Russian and Leon translated, "It is semi-precious, the stones." It wouldn't have mattered if it was made out of plastic, this necklace instantly became incredibly valuable, it was in memory of Anna.

We shared dinner together, while laughing and talking. Leon shared photos of Anna they had printed for her funeral on Monday. Her clothes were hung on a aluminum hanger in the hallway with her white shoes beside them. I couldn't believe she was gone, it is all still very surreal. Leon said I could go look into her room, as it was just how she left it. Her twin bed perfectly made pushed against the wall. Her little vanity area where she got ready for the day and upon the wall hung the photograph I had given them for Christmas.

After dinner we shared chocolate, a very Russian tradition. Nelya said it was chocolate covered birds milk and was something Anna enjoyed. As I left they house the insisted upon giving me more food.

"Niet," (no) but they wouldn't accept that reply.

"Ya tebya lyublyu." Irina corrected me and said, "Ya tebya lyublyu vas," is plural. 

I carried a handful of chocolates down the stairs and over to my apartment. Goodnight my friends, goodnight.

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