The evil attacks on Kiev and Ukraine are shattering my heart in a very personal way. I am Ukrainian on my mother’s side. My grandmother, Eva Stupki, came to the United States from Ukraine when she was a teen-ager. During the sixty odd years that she lived here she barely learned to speak English (she refused) and she never learned to read or write in English or Ukrainian. She yearned to go back home to Ukraine….but it never happened. She always wore a babushka and I remember she was mostly gloomy and very feisty.
Nanny grew up on a farm outside of Kiev with eight brothers and sisters. One day her father was driving his horse and cart filled with farm produce into Kiev. He never returned. The story in our family was that he was captured by the Cossacks. In the early 1900’s young Eva begged to go to the United States. Her mother only agreed if Eva would marry first and cross the Atlantic with a husband. Her family found her one…a much older, infirm, horrid man. She married him. She couldn’t bear him. When they debarked at Ellis Island she turned left off the gangplank and he turned right, never to meet again.
Once connected with Ukrainians living in Cortland, New York, Nanny met my grandfather, Harry Colton. He was handsome and educated, having been brought up in a Russian Orthodox monastery in Kiev.
They married! She never bothered to divorce the first husband. If anyone dared to bring it up she waved it away wth a dismissive gesture.
Am I illegitimate? I like the idea.
Be well my fellow writers. Any strange ancestors in your family?