[10 years: Remembering My Aunt]

[10 years: Remembering My Aunt]

Zee and Luba (It was my first birthday, I think…)

I can’t believe it has been ten years and one day.

It was a Friday, September 5 of 2003. My first day of university. The beginning of a new era in my life.

But it wasn’t only a beginning of a new era just because of that.

In the morning, as I was getting ready to leave for my first class, the phone rang.

It was my mom. “Luba is gone. Passed away last night.”

I tried to wrap my head around the news, but ended up going to university and numbly listening to the teachers, meeting new classmates, trying to adjust.

And now it is ten years and one day.

Luba (my aunt) and Sveta (my mom). I think there are features I inherited from both of them.

I remember…

Luba, my aunt, was the artist in the family. She loved painting, she loved singing… anything connected to arts of some kind – she was interested in it. As a result, she was the one who introduced me to great museums, who took me to the theater, and who shared her paints with me.

When she was already quite sick, she moved in with mom and I. Back then, we had two couches and both of them were in the living room. I slept with my mom, and Luba had her own couch. On Saturdays, mom and I liked to sleep in and then lazily stay in bed a bit longer in the morning.

Not Luba. She was the activist. Since she once sang in a choir (hence a good and loud voice) and because she used to go to pioneer camps as an arts teacher (hence the knowledge of pioneer songs that were popular back in the USSR times), our mornings became more colorful with Luba there.

“The morning greets us with freshness!” she sang loudly at 7AM.

“Can’t we sleep some more?” groaned mom and I sleepily.

She also loved reciting poems, and I once joked that there isn’t a situation to which Luba is not able to recite am appropriate poem or sing a song.

It used to bug me back in the days… But now I wish I could wake up to her singing those songs again. Sometimes, I sing them to myself. It’s a little detail that makes me remember the good old times.

One day, she and I will sing those songs and recite those poems together.

Sveta (mom), Luba (aunt), Zee (me), Natasha (my cousin, Luba’s daughter)
  • Thanks sis for the walk down memory lane with you. She would be proud of you.

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