I have no words, and also a thousand words. I am profoundly sad and helplessly angry at the same time. What is happening in Ukraine feels surreal, yet it is horrifyingly, heartbreakingly real. It’s taken me days to get words down because nothing that I write could possibly encompass and explain the horror of what’s happening on the ground or adequately express how I feel. I humbly try now because the Ukrainians deserve our attention.
Don’t look away
Don’t choose to ignore
It’s hard to watch. But watch. Don’t go on with your life as if nothing is happening. Acknowledge what is happening. Don’t gloss over the egregiousness of Russia’s actions if your children ask you what’s happening. Talk to them about it. Tell them why it is egregious.
This could easily be you,
had we been born into different circumstances.
These people–these brave, resilient, courageous people, that I have lived with side by side for the last year and a half–they are truly the most remarkable human beings in the face of adversity. What they feel for their country is an intense pride, an unparalleled sense of duty and service, a ferocious nationalism, and ownership of their fate and the future of Ukraine.
They will not give up!
They will not back down. Women will fight. Older men will fight. Young couples will say goodbye to one another so that young men can fight. Everyone will do their part. And there will be no complaining. Only a sense of duty and love for their country, and a need to do what is necessary to try and preserve the life they knew and had only one week ago, and for the last 30 years. I’m sure you’ve see the heroic stories from regular individuals on the street. This is how it goes. These are Ukrainians. My heart is shattered in a million pieces for these people, and their country.
My family and I were posted to Kyiv, Ukraine in August 2020 and evacuated in January 2022. As I try to figure out how best to process what is happening, I thought I’d share life stories on social media of some of our Ukrainian friends before the war– families of some of my girl scouts, a guitar teacher, a gardener, preschool friends, a 71-year old housekeeper and more. All of these people are still on the ground in Ukraine.
This is Sergeii. He helped us garden in the summer months and shovel in the winter. Sergeii is kind and gentle, fair and honest. He doesn’t have a family of his own but he loves children and is incredibly patient. You would never catch Sergeii having a bad day; he always had a smile on his face. This is a little video clip of Sergeii teaching my youngest son how to put down grass seed and take care of our yard. I have spoken to Sergeii three times within the week of the Russian invasion. He has chosen to fight and has been issued a gun. Please pray for his safety and the safety of all Ukrainians. Pray for the future of the Ukrainian nation.
How to Help
If you want to help Ukraine, here is a list of resources that show how best to support the country at this time: https://www.cidi.org/disaster-responses/ukraine-crisis/…#StandWithUkraine
This is not an original post to World Moms Network by our contributor, formerly in the Ukraine, Loren Braunohler. This post first appeared in Loren’s Facebook feed but was modified for WMN with the author’s consent. Images appearing in this post are attributed to the author.