Friday, January 4, 2019

#14 ~ 1974 ~ No turning back

Being a full time student and a new Mother had lots of challenges. I was always going, going, going. I was studying for tests while nursing, and falling asleep during the lectures. The fact that we did not have diapers or store-ready baby food had all of us constantly washing, ironing and folding. My hands were raw from the soap.
It was also a luck and a miracle that we were able to buy a stroller. We used it as a crib as well.
At that time we lived in one room and the other room was occupied by Ida's Ex husband, Isak. He was a history teacher in a local school. We shared kitchen, bathroom and shower. There was no elevator, so taking the stroller up and down the steps provided a great workout.
Felix started talking again about us leaving the Soviet Union. Now he had facts, stories and advice from the letters that were coming from friends and relatives abroad. I was beginning to see that we had no future, but it was so scary, frightening and worrisome to even think about it.
One morning in College, we had an announcement to report to the large auditorium for an important meeting. It usually happened only in the beginning of the school year. We  were all very happy, because we would miss our boring philosophy class. Once we were seated, the dean escorted to the stage one of the students, Michael and without any formal introductions, greetings, etc. announced: "Meet the enemy of the state, the trader, possibly enemy agent..." Everyone was stunned. We new Michael. He was a shy, quiet, always pleasant and smiling boy. The reason they made those accusations was: Michael and his family was immigrating to Israel. One by one professors and students were coming on the stage and were saying horrible, stabbing words to him. Michael was ghastly white, with tears in his eyes and his head down. He was only 18 years old and not prepared to this cruelty, humiliation  and accusations. It lasted for two excruciating long hours. I felt his pain and hurt.
I also was terrified. I thought: "I would rather die than go through this".
No caption needed!
Baby Masha was our source of joy and happiness. She was so beautiful! Every sound and move she made seemed like a miracle to me, a very proud and a very young mother.

Marina, Felix and baby Masha
One day I came home from school and went straight to the kitchen to prepare dinner. I took Mashoonya with me and put her on the sofa in the hall, so I could keep an eye on her while cooking. She was sound asleep. I heard the front door open and knew that it was Felix coming home from work. He ran up to the sofa, picked the baby up and was walking to the kitchen to give me a kiss. Before he reached me, a huge piece of the ceiling fell down, right on the spot where Masha was sleeping 3 seconds ago. We both froze in disbelief. I started crying, and shaking from the horrible thought of what would've happened, that she could be killed. For months I would wake up from the nightmare and thoughts what if Felix would be late, or did not pick Masha or...
At that very moment we both decided that no matter what we have to go through, what we have to endure, we must leave this town, this country, this life.
I had to tell my family about our decision and I knew it was going to be very, very hard. But it was NO TURNING BACK!

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