Lida is my grandaunt, she lives in a foreign country which used to be part of the USSR. A lot has changed since then. I visit her once or twice a year. When I’m with her I always study her face.

Lida is 88 years old. Early morning, she goes away: a freshly ironed blouse, brooch and a drop of perfume, she’s always energetic, cheerful, smile on face because the despondency is a sin. Lida has a steel character, forged by a long and difficult life, she’s not one of those who allow to complain. Lida does not lose her sharp vision, clear mind and sense of humor, sometimes black humor. When I come to her, we immediately make plans for all the weekend: more precisely that’s Lida who makes plan because Lida is a commander. And here we go for a walk in memorable places, and I listen again to her stories and it’s still interesting.


The next day we go to the sea: "Nadia, take a swimsuit." If waves are too high, she says: “It’s impossible to swim in such a storm! Sit down and eat your ice cream.” I can’t go against Lida’s will, I don’t want to upset her and to see her pursed lips. At this moment, the sensation of age is lost, I’m sitting on the beach eating ice cream, sand is creaking on teeth and I’m five years old not thirty tree. Lida gets out of her pocket another stories about constant travels, hunger, husbands, childrens. The stories that make up such an uneasy life.

Lida is 89 years old. Her son dies. For the first time I see uncontrollable tears and complete indifference. Lida’s become twice thinner and more transparent. The body is suddenly tired and no longer obeis. If it doesn’t work she stays at home and all the dumb weight of four walls and photos on the wall falls on her.