Friday, January 14, 2011

My Youngest Daughter

I rarely write a post without accompanying photos, and as you might have noticed, I rarely mention people in my posts.  This is because:
1. the focus of the blog is on crafts (and places)
2. I feel shy about asking others if it's okay to mention them in a post, and I don't like to intrude on someone else's privacy. 
However, today I make a big exception. Because:
1. Lately, my daughter, Aliona,  has recently told me about how she is planning/starting to write a book in order to share her story with a wider audience.
2. Many of you have been interested in her for many years now. 
3. She had some exciting news yesterday!!!

Briefly, she was born in the city of Nizhny Tagil, near Ekaterinberg, in Siberia, Russia. 
She came to Canada in 1997 at the age of six, along with her biological sister (age 9), to become part of our family.
For her whole life she has been coping with effects caused by early illness, institutionalization and neglect.  This has been very, very difficult at times, for those around her, but especially for her. However, through it all she has had an irrepressible streak of optimism.  I am so glad that she is doing so well now, with a job and an apartment of her own that she keeps really nice.

So, last night she called with the news that she is being interviewed to be the subject of a "movie" (maybe a T.V. documentary? I'm not sure) to tell about her life.  This is very exciting!  One of the workers at the John Howard Society is finding out more about the project for her.  The idea is for her as a young person to tell about her life from as far back as she remembers, through her experiences and to comment on what she's learned and her outlook on life now. 
Even if this doesn't pan out, it is amazing that she has this type of encouragement for embarking on her written work-  showing that there is an audience that is interested in her story.

It is with mixed feelings that I hear this.  As you might expect, I am very proud of her!! At the same time, it is a reminder of so many things that have happened over the past 13 years.  It was so hard at times.  One of my friends often commented that I should write a book and I would respond "No way, I just want to forget all this".  Remembering is painful, and makes me want retreat in tears, even though it is in the past now.  Maybe it is time that I learned from her-- one of the things she has said she wants to convey is that "you have to deal with things in your past and move on to today."


  1. Your daughter sounds like a lovely strong young woman that you take great pride in. Congratulations to her on this big step and I wish her the best.

  2. What a heartfelt story! And what a big step forward for her...and you! I wish her all the best as moves on to her new day!

  3. Wow. She is so right mom. You can't get over things. You have to get through things. Digging up the past, facing it, and sorting it all out is what makes it all better. : ) It's all good. : ) Amazing story!!

  4. Thank you for sharing. I wish I could give you and your daughter a big hug. You are so lucky to have each other.

  5. That is so awesome, Michelle! Good for Aliona! And how wonderful for you as her mother. Somtimes as a parent all we can do is weather the storms - looks like there is a rainbow developing for you!

  6. Experience is a great educator. It takes what we know and sifts it through life's joys and pain and comes through with new insights and wisdom...I too tend to forget the past - but the past has taught us lessons and insights,and it will be good for Aliona to look at it all, see where she has come from, through, and to, and in the process find healing, strength and the optimism to keep moving forward.

  7. Thank you for your comments. I know that there are lots of people who have interacted with Aliona over the years who are happy that she is doing so well. :)

  8. Michelle, this is very cool! I'm so excited for your daughter!


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