A couple of days ago I visited my native town Berehove (Transcarpathia, Ukraine). Of course I stopped there to see a house where we lived when I was a child. For me this house is associated primarily with my mother.
I remember my mother from early childhood and she always looked wary. Only much later I learned the cause of her constant anxiety. I was ill. Seriously ill. I refused to drink mother's milk as a baby. From what it was replaced, I also refused. But I loved sugar, wrapped in gauze (in those days people did so to calm the babies). Sucking this sugar, I calmed down and fell asleep.
I had a disturbed metabolism and I grew very weak and sensitive. This sensitiveness later helped me in life, but when I was a child, my mother did not know about this, and constantly took me to a doctor. Any puddle, which I certainly had to measure in depth or at least in wide, immediately caused me a runny nose, growing into an inflammation. And if I fall under the rain (my favorite amusement) we had to go to the hospital immediately.
Having seized the moment of permanent health, my mother arranged me to a kindergarten. It was a hot August morning and my coming to the kindergarten in a winter hat looked rather strange. The teacher pointed me to my place in the children's line and famously replaced my winter clothes with a summer one. I was delighted!
This first and last day in the kindergarten I remembered from the episode when one part of our group was pushing a small car on wheels - a kind of children's attraction - while the other part was riding. Then the groups changed. This lasted until we were invited for dinner, from which I decided to refuse in favor of the rest of the children. I liked to play in the railwayman, that's why I also refused supper. I ate breakfast already at home.
Mom was very upset by this turn of events. And in general, I often upset my mother, whereas I could only compensate for my pranks by taking care of pets.
It was a snowy winter. I was five years old. Leaving for work, my parents left me closed in the house for a long time. And somehow, sitting burying myself in the veranda window, I mechanically stopped my look at the guard, who was guarding the military warehouse near our house.
The young guy was clearly bored and decided to joke with me. He bravely threw the carbine and aimed at me. I already saw this in military films, so I hid myself, crawled to my coat and grabbed a log from under the stove.
It was not easy to knock out a huge window, but I decided at all costs to get out of the "dangerous place" and find my older sister Katya in school. Although I hid my hands in my pockets, but the traces of blood on the snow betrayed the direction of my movement.
The school was about twenty minutes away, but I had no idea how to find Katya among the crowd of pupils in the same form. After turning around at the entrance, everybody suddenly evaporated somewhere as soon as a loud signal sounded. I also had no choice but to return home.
At home, the weeping mother and father were bustling about beside the blood-stained windowsill and, seeing me, were overjoyed, as on my birthday. Washed and fed, I fell asleep in my mother's arms.
And I remember the joyful waking from my mother's kiss. Wanting to please my mother, I tried to wake up earlier, but every time I was late. I dreamed of a time when my mother would be proud of me. Maybe that's why my morning, instead of playing with other boys, started with the circumvention of neighbors. We lived in a large ancient mansion, divided into 8 apartments. "Aunt Nina, can I bring you something from the store?" - I asked my neighbor every day. And I ran with an empty grid "around the corner", where the grocery store was located. I loved to be busy. I was set as an example, which means that I did not have much authority among the boys.
So it continued and when I went to school. I often missed classes because of the common cold and my mother, as before, with great care and sad eyes, kept busy with me and led me to the doctors, trying at least to somehow minimize these passes. I liked studying.
Years have passed. The next August came and together with my sister we were preparing for September. In the summer I turned eleven years old. In those days I lived with memories of a great children's holiday, which my mother arranged for me. After all, almost all my school class visited us!
The expectation of the school suddenly was overshadowed by the information about my mother's illness. I was terribly surprised. After all, it seemed to me that moms did not get sick. And when on the 30th of August 30 the doctor came to our house and said that my mother had died, I could not even realize what had happened. How so?! Who died? Mama?! My the most native person on the Earth, who was for me an air, all good and warm at the same time?! How could she have died? And why am I still alive? With these thoughts I went to bed and woke up in those days ...
My mother was buried. There was a feeling that I had a heart out of my chest.
When I was already an adult, the wave of that pain began to roll up more and more often. The pain for every missed moment to do something good, joyful, pleasant, something that, even if for a moment, will smooth the mums wrinkles around the eyes and from which her face would shine with joy. Pain from the feeling of unfulfilled son's duty. It seemed to me that I would have to live with this all my life.
And every time when the woman's face appeared before me, I looked closely at its outlines, looking for similarities with my mother, while my heart tried to catch the warmth of my mother's kindness. Over time, came the insight: my mother was a real Sun and to feel it in myself, I also have to become it for others. Only then I can pay my son's debt.
Today I know the secret of happiness. It is enough for a person to share warmth and care with his environment. It turns out that my mother completely fulfilled her duty. She managed to raise a happy man.
Now it's my turn.