Sunday, July 15, 2018

#38 ~ 1980 ~ DETROIT, MI

Our life was beginning to have rhythm, schedule, healthy beat and stability. Every day we went to work, on the weekends we played with kids and visited friends. Family Roost was one of the families that helped us. They had beautiful house, big and well behaved dog and always lots of treats for the girls. Everything in the house was with roosters. And I still have the sugar bowl and creamer that they gave us so many years ago. People's kindness and  generosity amazed me. Sometimes I would come to work and there would be a basket with toys or clothes for the kids. I loved working, teaching, learning and growing... The only sad thing was that my parents still had hard time obtaining Visas to join us. At that point they were in Italy, waiting permission to enter the USA. So, the hard part of leaving Soviet Union was done. One of the requirements for them get this permission was: we had to take on the responsibility to provide their housing. So, at the beginning of the year we started looking for the house big enough that we could all live together. It was still hard for me to imagine to be an owner of the house. It was still very fresh in my memory how we lived in Kiev in one room, sharing the kitchen and bathroom with Ida's ex-husband...
Anyway, our weekends were busy driving around with the real estate agent and looking at the houses. Finally we found a house in Berkley, the one we could afford. After putting 10% down, we were left with no money at all. But we were happy to move into the 4 bedroom, 2 story house that needed a lot of work.

Celebrating Elizabeth's 4th birthday in the house in Berkley, MI
Mashoonya and Elizabeth playing in the yard.
I loved coming to the Gym. I was training girls, sharing with them all the knowledge and experience that I had. Some parents were asking me if I would consider competing again...But I was happy with coaching, doing a lot of choreography and getting my team ready for the competitions and shows. Progress was evident almost immediately. I felt so much support, love and encouragement from my boss, Steve Whitlock, other coaches and all the parents, which gave me a lot of confidence and pleasure in return.
On March 23 we got a very exciting phone call that my parents and my brother are due to arrive next week. Oh, what an excitement it was!!! We could hardly wait until the time that we had to go to the airport to meet them.
My Mom and my all grown up brother.
In the late afternoon of March 30 they finally arrived. When I saw  my Mom and Dad, faces that I did not think I will ever see again, I started sobbing. We did not even talk. We just hugged and held each other for a long, long time. And then I saw my brother Eduard. When I left he was a pesky 15 year old boy and now I was looking at a tall, very handsome young man with FACIAL HAIR!!! It was just too much to handle. Tears, laughter, stories... Elizabeth was so tiny and she could not understand who are these people and why they are hugging and kissing her and Masha. After we picked their luggage and packed it in our station wagon, we were on our way home. Very happy, very relieved and very thankful. I could not wait to show them, teach them, share with them everything that I've learned and everything that I loved about our new home.                           


  1. Hey Marina and Happy New year to you! I just wanted to let you know that I was so thankful to of had you as my coach. To this day I still have dreams about going back and doing gymnastics with you coaching. I hope that you and the family are all doing well! You look wonderful by the way! :)

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