Good afternoon. My name is Yevheniia Gusar, I am 58 years old. My son, born in 1984, has a wonderful wife and two children. Their names are Tymofii (born in 2012) and Mykyta (born in 2015). I also have a daughter born in 1990, who is married and lives separately from me in the capital.
I am originally from Mykolaiv, but I have been living in Kyiv for many years. I have a higher education in civil engineering. However, I worked in my specialty only until the birth of my daughter. It so happened that my maternity leave coincided with the period of “reconstruction”. Those were difficult times, and the difficulties were added to me by the divorce with my husband, which occurred a year after the birth of the baby. From that moment on, our survival began.
Over the years, I managed to work as a spare parts saleswoman, commercial agent, even engaged in Herbalife (you won’t believe it, during this period I was able to earn money to buy an apartment). Then my ex-husband died (drowned), so all the responsibility for the children and their wellbeing fell on my shoulders.
So, I started working as a manager in a beauty salon. Soon I changed direction and became a sales consultant in a home appliance store. Here my career developed rapidly. Soon I already held the position of director of the Technoyarmarok store. But I decided to change direction a little, and started working first as a manager in the Terra Viva studio, and then “grew” to a commercial director.
After a while, a new stage in my career began. I got a job at production center of O. Yaremenko, where I took the position of assistant producer. However, in 2014, the war began… Because of this, I lost my favorite job… Since then, I have only periodically worked part-time, taking on any opportunity to earn money. I sew, knit, cook, clean, walk, and keep pets. In general, I am interested in any work for which money is paid and which I am able to perform physically.
I do not forget about personal development. I am interested in esotericism, sewing, growing plants and cooking. I love to cook interesting and simple dishes using recipes for healthy and useful food. However, normal life quickly “changed” on February 24, 2022.
I usually turn off my phone, setting my sleep mode from midnight to 7am. This is due to the fact that I live in a panel 5-storey building and have very noisy neighbors from above. They are constantly noisy at night. So, I have to sleep in earplugs. Therefore, when I heard the first explosions, I did not pay attention them, because I was sure that something was happening again at the neighbors’… It only seemed strange that it was quiet until 4 in the morning, but after 4 some unusual noise began. Something was happening, but WHAT?
I tried very hard to fall asleep again, despite the noise. I was in a state of semi-sleep until the moment when my phone turned on. That’s where the whole horror started… Immediately, messages started coming in that my son and daughter had called me many times. My blood just froze in my veins, because I began to have a premonition that something very terrible
This feeling appeared for a reason. Just a few days before February 24, my Soul was simply torn from some incomprehensible feeling. I felt like I was dying, and even falling apart into atoms… I just started crying… Tears poured down my cheeks in a hail. I was in such an incomprehensible condition for 3 days, crying from indescribable inner experiences… At the same time mentally, I said to myself: “Why are you crying, fool?! After all, everything is fine!”.
But at the same time my heart was filled with some painful premonitions… And now it’s February 24. At 7 am, I called my daughter and heard this terrible word: WAR!!!
My child’s worries and panic immediately overwhelmed me. My logical thinking turned off and my survival mode turned on. It was as if I was following a single command “Get ready, the city is being bombed! We are leaving Kyiv.”
Of course, almost everyone tried to leave the capital during the bombing, so it became impossible to leave somewhere instantly. My daughter and my husband took me out of the house and we all ended up in the apartment of my son-in-law’s mother. I don’t even want to remember the feelings I experienced in the first days of the war… I immediately start crying, because all those horrors come back to my thoughts again and again…
I remember how my body was petrified from nervous overload, how a huge cauldron of mixed feelings boiled somewhere in my soul: grief, confusion, fear, anger and fierce hatred — all at the same time.
It was then, from the deepest depths of my memory, that the stories of my deceased parents began to emerge. They both went through World War II. My mother was fleeing from the Germans in a village in the Cherkasy region. Dad escaped from the barracks where young people were gathered to be sent to forced labor in Germany. When Mykolaiv was liberated from German occupation, my father volunteered for the front, and ended the war in Austria. His contribution to the victory was awarded with the Order of Glory of the 2nd degree, the Order of the Red Star and several other medals.
My parents didn’t really like to talk about military events. They only told me under pressure, when I pretended to write an essay for school. Only under this condition was it possible to find out a little information.
In general, that war was very much influenced upbringing of children. I remember studying basic military training at school: assembling/disassembling machine guns, shooting, throwing grenades, learning how to use a gas mask and provide first aid to the wounded and injured. They also always studied the rules of safety and behavior in the context of military operations, knew about dim-out and what requirements bomb shelters should meet… It was these memories that stopped the panic. There was a violent rage… But my heart and eyes kept crying! After all, even Russian soldiers are also someone’s sons and husbands…
Understanding how many lives will be lost… This is terrible… The world has changed forever, because from now on there is only the present moment, because in the next second you can lose your life.
I will never forget how I was consumed by anxiety and worries for my son’s family. When the bridges were blown up, he and his wife and children were cut off from Kyiv in the territory occupied by the troops of the Russian aggressor… Communication with them was so suddenly cut off, because the cell towers were simply bombed… Of course, my first thought in a war is to run away. But this impulse was dictated by panic and some animal fear. When my brain started working, I refused to leave Kyiv. What was I thinking? That I can’t just leave everything and run away. This is my Home, my Motherland, and I must share its fate. I also thought that our soldiers needed my support and fierce faith
in them! Because if I run away, I’ll feel like a traitor. A human who did not support the dedication and courage of our military.
As people say: seven deaths will not happen, and one will not be avoided. I also remembered that my home is my fortress, source of my Strength. Therefore, if I was born in Ukraine, it means that this is my place and life. Only at home I am most needed. It was from that moment that life was compressed into a single moment “Here and Now”.
The past seems to have disappeared, and the future is questionable. You live only now, in one moment, only you have it, it is about this that you need to think and worry about. In these difficult times, I am most motivated by the love of life. Oh, how I love LIFE. I want to live as long as possible and have as many happy moments as possible. I want to enjoy every moment and enjoy all the changes that are taking place. I am looking forward to good opportunities, interesting meetings, new people and acquaintances. I want to have these happy feelings and positive emotions! I hope to meet partners, like-minded people and those who will go with me to a new world – the world of Love and Development.
Now I use every opportunity and participate in everything that I have the strength to do. I try
to help those who ask (of course, if I can do it), support those who need it, and enjoy communicating with the people around me who come into my life. Knitting also helps to survive. Let me remind you that I come from the USSR! This is a country dominated by templates and junk. At that time, families had little financial resources, so I was forced to wear my older sister’s things. But I really wanted something new and original…
So, I signed up for knitting courses at the House of Culture when I was in the 7th grade. I had a wonderful and surprisingly patient teacher. A real craftswoman who shared with me the necessary knowledge, helped me work out my skills and gave me self-confidence! I am very grateful to her for this. After all, after these courses, my life changed significantly, and the acquired skills are still useful today.
I just love knitting. I love it! Hands are busy with fine motor skills, so it is easier for the head to organize thoughts and cope with endless worries. In the process, I think about how nice it will be to wear this product, how it will look on the owner. I also always develop the optimal scheme so that the item is not only beautiful, but also comfortable. It is important to me that the customer receives only positive emotions ))).
Knitting helps to dream and enjoy the moment. I can imagine my whole family returning to Kyiv again. How I meet my grandchildren who have now left for Western Ukraine… I dream of a future trip to the sea and even feel the joy from the sun’s rays and gentle waves. I don’t forget about everyday things. I really want to make renovation in the apartment, as well as to
buy a new phone and electric scooter. After all, life goes on, and I want to live many more interesting and pleasant moments!