My grandmother arrived in Almaty when I was only a few months old. As soon as she came my mother returned to work. Thus, I was brought up by my grandmother. I often say to my mother that I do not remember her in my childhood because she was always busy and had no time for me. But I remember my grandmother very well.
Her life was very difficult similar to lives of all people of her generation in our country. She survived a famine and a war. Thus she was a strong-willed person. I know one story from her life. Once in cold winter in steppe her cart was turned over and she was staying under this cart for a week. She was still alive when she was found by her brother one week later.
She married when she was 16. When she was 28, her husband went to the Great Patriotic War and was killed there. They lived together for 12 years but did not have any children. Two years after the war she became pregnant with my father. I do not know anything about my grandfather. I just heard that he was married, thus he could not be with my grandmother.
She was a devout person. She started to pray when she was only nine years old. But she never visited mosque because she considered that it is not so necessary. If a prayer is sincere, you will be heard no matter where you are.
She died when I was 19. She was not ill before death. She just went to bed in the evening, and in the morning my mother – her daughter-in-law - found her close to death. She did not lose her consciousness till my father arrived at home. She waited for her only son and when he came and took her hand she passed away.
Unfortunately, as I mentioned before I was only 19 when she died. Now I regret that I was not a careful granddaughter. I regret that I did not ask many questions such as what is the most important thing in our life. I often recollect her.
Regarding my mother’s parents, I have seen them only in photos. They died before I was born. I know that their lives were also very difficult. My grandmother’s family was very rich, and after the revolution they were forced to flee abroad. Not far from China they were caught. On the way back my grandmother lost her husband and two children. Later she married the second time. Her second husband – my grandfather – was a railwayman, so he had some special food card. My grandmother married him not to die of starvation. My mother was their adopted child.