Driving down the street our eyes caught the eyes of a babushka. Nadia. We pulled over and Mary hopped out of the van and hustled over to her (Mary has a soft spot for babushkas).
The second Mary sat down beside her, Nadia’s eyes lit up and she gave us a big, gummy grin and said, “Thank you for stopping! I’m so happy you stopped because I’m alone all day every day and just want someone to talk to." As we engaged in conversation, we quickly discovered her sense of humour. She was telling us that after the Ukrainians had de-occupied the area, an organization had come and offered her a food hamper, to which she said, “Don’t bring me a food hamper, bring me a grandpa!”.
A common theme with the people we talked to is resiliency. In Nadia’s case, coupled with resiliency is her spunk and humour too. We sat and visited, and though we couldn’t bring her a grandpa, we did give her a care package. We sang, we hugged and as we drove away, she sat on that bench in front of her house, with that same gummy grin, and waved goodbye.