Lara and Babushka
Lara was visiting Grandma with her doll Babushka in Kiev.
Grandma would be taking her to the Chernobyl cancer center after tea. Lara didn't remember much about Chernobyl; grandma had tried to explain about Chernobyl; how it was like a big white storm with bad white stuff floating over everyone and everything. She had explained that Russia was not prepared for it when it came and so Kiev had rallied the little funds and docotrs it had to create this clinic. Lara cradled her doll and rocked her to and fro...She loved this doll and she lvoed her Grandma so much.
Grandma came in with some sweet apple cider;warmed by the stove. She smiled down at Lara and sat next to her. Lara smiled back;warmed by her Grandma's love. "Grandma? Can Babuschka have some cider too please?"
"Oh sure Lara! " She went back into the kitcken, poured some cider inot a small cup and brought it back. "Here!".Grandma smiled big.
Lara cradled her doll and gave her the semblance of a drink.
Lara reflected on her upcoming Christmas.On Christmas Eve, her family would go to the Russian Orthodox mass in teh big cathedral. That church had huge paintings all over the ceiling..lots of people,etc. and there would be candles and incense.
On Christmas day they would sit together in their living room with her mother's friends and open presents. There was always some small gift that her mom had managed to get for her..at great difficulty because their gas and food bills were so high. As little as Lara was she really appreciated her parents' travails and efforts. Then, her mom would cook a big potato meal (yumm!) including sweet potatoes and dumplings. Meat was expensive so they might not get that but even so...then after the meal they might have a fruit or a pudding. Lara loved to take a stroll after dishes with her dad. She smiled to herself.Not everyone had such dear parents who loved their kid so much..Ah.. but she did!She smiles and wrapped babushka up warmly in a baby blanket and held her close...