Friday, 15 May 2009
Constant heart: the story of my great grandparents, Alexandra and Timofei
Today I will tell you the story of Alexandra and Timofei, my great grandparents. For the LO I have chosen an old wedding photo (a photocopy) taken in Kursk, Russia in 1917. The red angel is taken from Marc Chagall's "Wedding", one of my most favourite paintings.
Red crowns are references to the Russian church wedding ceremony, when crowns are held above the heads of the wedded couple.
There is a pocket behind the panel with the photo, and it reads like this:
"Kursk, 1917. They called each other Shurochka and Timosha. Soon the Revolution will shatter their fragile world, and the lightening of the Red Terror will devastate millions of lives. They were in love, and they married. During the terrible waves of repressions and executions of 1937 Timofei was arrested and taken away in the black car. He was forced out of the car and shot dead for being rude to the KGB officer. Nobody bothered to tell Alexandra. She thought he was exiled to GULAG.
As many GULAG convicts had no right of correspondence, the absence of letters meant nothing. And there was always hope that one day your true love would be back... You counted days, years and hoped... You never gave up, a constant heart.
When Stalin died in 1953, and those who survived the camps returned home, Timofei's friends told Alexandra about his death.
Can you imagine waiting for more than 16 years to find out that your husband has been dead all this time?!
She never remarried."
Materials used: Stampington newsletter lace download on Basic Grey Boxer paper, antique ribbon, an old pearly buckle (got it for 5p at a charity shop!) and other bits and bobs.