Nataliia Krylova

Greetings. My name is Nataliia Krylova. I’m 50. I have 2 daughters (28 and 16 years old) and a small granddaughter who is only 8 months old. Our family lived in the cozy town of Brovary, in Kyiv Oblast. I have 2 degrees: pharmacist and upbringer pedagogue. This made it possible to choose a profession that will give not only earnings, but also pleasure.

In peaceful times, we had calm and balanced life. I enjoyed working as an upbringer in a private kindergarten. Previously, I always came to work in a good mood and could easily fill the children’s day with interesting activities. This gave me inspiration and a lot of pleasant emotions, which I willingly shared with young fosterlings. At that time, knitting was something of a hobby that I didn’t pay too much attention to. After all, there were so many opportunities and pleasant emotions around me — life was literally in full swing. I did yoga, loved to read, and enjoyed the silence during my morning runs through the woods.  But on 24.02.2022, everything changed.

 The morning started at 05:30. Well, how it “started”… The war literally broke into my house, because I woke up to the sound of explosions. As we later learned, these were the first missiles that hit the military unit of my city. This morning divided my life into “before” and “after”. After all, I had never had such an experience before… Of course, I was very scared, but not for myself. I was full of fear for my children and my tiny granddaughter. So, on the first day we packed up and went to our relatives near Fastiv, and the next day our family went to Western Ukraine.

 Despite the relatively short distance, the road to a safe place lasted as much as 3 days. What did I feel? Despair, heartache, exhaustion… There were too many feelings, so it’s very difficult to name just one. Despair probably dominated. But we were lucky, because friends of our friends found housing for my family in Uzhgorod. So, I didn’t let my emotions run wild, remaining determined and ready to protect my children.

 After such a spontaneous move, I started volunteering. It gave me a sense of self-worth. But now I realize that I want to return to a full life, of course, as much as possible. Now I plan to start learning English. But for this, the desires themselves are not enough. Therefore, the question of returning to work arose. But how do I work as a upbringer when I’m filled with worries? Children feel the psychoemotional condition of adults very strongly, and I have almost no positive thoughts. So, I started knitting — it gives me strength.

 My mother taught me how to knit. She was a very skilled craftswoman, and could knit anything. When I was 14 years old, my mother showed me how to knit loops. And she said that now I can create anything I want with my own hands. But who thinks about knitting at 14? So, the first thing I knitted was a dress for my little daughter. Then I was 25 years old. Now I understand how grateful I am to my mother for teaching me this skill.

 Today, knitting is not only an opportunity to create something. For me, it has become a tool that helps to distract myself, freeing up space for reflection and conversation with myself. This is a real stress therapy or even meditation. And while I knit, I feel the presence and support of my mother. It also helps to calm down my panic thoughts, inspires me to concentrate on the good things. After all, when knitting things, I dream only of one thing — of PEACE in my Ukraine ❤️ I even imagine how on the Day of our Victory, I will buy myself a beautiful dress and will go home wearing it.