A Wedding To Remember!

May 22nd, 2018

It was wonderful that millions of people the world over could share in the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle! It was a truly magical wedding with all the grandeur of our favorite fairy tale. Elements of it will remain in our memories for a lifetime!

First of all, their union broke so many barriers. Meghan is an American. She was divorced, and her parents were a bi-racial couple. She is a well-known television actress as well! Now, thank goodness, all of these differences, which would have probably prevented their marriage fifty or more years ago, are no longer obstacles to their union. They are accepted and even embraced!

I thought that Meghan, now the Duchess of Sussex, wore a beautiful dress for the ceremony and an equally lovely one to the reception! Excellent taste! The veil, including the flags of all the parts of the British Empire plus the state flower 🌺 of California, was exquisite. It was truly unique!

I enjoyed watching the blissful newly-weds in the open horse-drawn carriage waving to all the people who had been waiting for hours, even days, to get a glimpse of them en route to the first reception, sponsored by the Queen.

The various celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey and the Clooney’s, as well as the various Royals, added even more elegance to the already lovely and stylish 🎩 wedding.

The choir was amazingly good, and the eighteen year- old cellist was beyond words! I enjoyed listening to him play so much!

All in all, watching on television the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, was a unique, exciting and memorable experience! I am looking forward to hearing about all the altruistic, compassionate and charitable ways they contribute together to humanity!

Hoping You Had A Beautiful day!

May 14th, 2018

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A Mother’s Day Memory

May 11th, 2018

When I was little, my family celebrated Mother’s Day in what may well be considered a highly unusual way, but, to us, it was perfectly normal. These early memories remain with me more than the later ones, which were more traditional… you know..taking Mom and the grandmas out to dinner and buying them a 💝 🎁 gift of flowers, candy or something else.

Those later memories are actually kind of nice, too, but ordinary, humdrum and therefore even blurry in my mind, compared to the earlier ones…the ones that I remember from the time I could actually remember anything until I was eleven. So bear with me as I try to reconstruct a Mother’s Day from long ago.

The day would start out normally, I guess. First, we would give our mom her gifts and cards 🎁 at breakfast time. But that was just the beginning of my Mother’s Day memory. I remember how we all got ready early and were out the door by eleven o’clock.

Then, we went to what I considered the very best florist in Cedarhurst, located on the south shore of Long Island. Not far from where we lived, it was also on the way to our ultimate destination.

So we picked out the most beautiful floral basket, and Mom filled out the card to Dad’s mom. (We had already sent some 😊 beautiful flowers to Mom’s mother and had seen her the day before.) And now we were ready for an exciting day where we would create memories that would last a lifetime to the little girl in me. And of course they did because there is still that wonderful feeling of joy that bubbles up inside of me when I relive those special days!

My paternal grandparents owned a summer rooming house in Arverne, New York, a bustling part of the Rockaway peninsula at that time when there were individually owned bungalows and rooming houses on just about every block. Each weekend Grandma, Grandpa and our bachelor uncle Ralph would leave their home in Brooklyn early in the morning to rent rooms in their summer rooming house, Millers’ St. Regis. As many Sundays as we could, my immediate family joined them, too: my dad, my mother, my older sister, Stephie and me. Since Mother’s Day always falls on the second Sunday in May, that was no exception.

I loved the ride to Rockaway Beach every Sunday from April to June that we were able to join the family and extend whatever support and help we could in the summer renting. For some reason, I remember only cool temperatures on those Mother’s Days from long ago. Mom always reminded us to bring a heavy sweater or wear a spring coat. It was usually cloudy on those Sundays, too, and only at certain times do I remember the sun 🌞 sneaking out in between the clouds. But the temperature didn’t affect my happiness and excitement, nor anyone else’s as I remember.

Along the way we would always stop off at Weiss’s Restaurant in Broad Channel. (You can google Weiss’s and see pictures of the restaurant as it was in all its glory! Unfortunately, it is just a memory now. It has been closed since 1973, the site demolished and replaced by a branch of the Queens Public Library and a playground.)

Long before the fast food craze first began, Weiss’s, which catered to all tastes, not only existed, but thrived! You could eat your hot dogs, burgers, French fries, soda, coffee, and other delicious snacks at the outside location, where you could sit on comfortable benches under umbrellas or you could go inside for a fancy dinner experience! When we were in a hurry, we ate outside and considered it a special picnic lunch, but on holidays, we dined inside.

So on Mother’s Day, Dad treated all of us to a fantastic meal inside! And then, filled with wonderful food 🥘 and dessert, we were ready for Rockaway Beach and helping Grandma celebrate Mother’s Day while we extended our support in the summer renting!

Once we were at the roominghouse, much more fun and excitement were in store for my sister and me. Mom and dad helped with the renting, but Stephie and I had fun! So many memorable moments!

After giving our grandparents and uncle a big 🤗 hug and presenting Grandma with her beautiful flowers, we chatted, helped out with whatever we could and waited for our aunt, uncle and cousins to come join us from their home in the Bronx. During the summers, they also lived at the rooming house, which was just a block away from the beach. My Aunt Claire, Uncle Archie and cousins had a suite of three rooms on the first floor because they were a family of six. Usually, my uncle Archie spent only weekends at the rooming house because, being a pediatrician, he couldn’t leave his practice in the Bronx.

My immediate family had a very large room on the third floor with a cooking unit. There were two lavatories on each floor.

But on Mother’s Day and all the other Sundays we spent at the house during renting time, I have very special memories!

When our aunt and uncle arrived with our cousins, there was more excitement in store. My sweet and beautiful Aunt Claire was like a second mom to me. On Mother’s Day and those other special Sundays, I didn’t see too much of my older cousins, Peter and Kenny, but I had a fantastic time playing with my younger ones, Dickie and Cathy, who were close to my age.

When we could sneak away, we explored the rooms, looking for any souvenirs from past residents. I never found any. We ran up and down the front and back stairs and on one occasion even had a chance to explore the dark, scary basement and the mysterious old attic.

In the afternoon Dad rounded us up and took us to Mel’s, the candy store on the corner, and treated us to malteds, ice cream 🍦 sundaes or sodas. Yes, for us kids the day rang of a kind of paradise!

When evening finally came, we said goodbye 👋 to our family, but we knew we would see them again soon. Once we arrived home in Brooklyn, downstairs from our grandparents and uncle, who would arrive much later, Dad bought burgers and soda for us from the local coffee shop, and we demolished them quickly, enjoying every bite!

Stephie and I were soon tired from the day’s activities! So we watched just a little television and went to sleep with memories of the day bringing us a special kind of peace and joy!

Many of my beloved relatives have passed, but the wonderful memories remain! They always will!

Let’s make creative and beautiful memories every day with our family and friends! Those memories will last for life, for with God’s help, the right attitude, faith and hope, isn’t every day a kind of holiday and an opportunity for enjoying past happiness and creating newfound joy?

Love 💗 and Remarriage: Part 15

May 8th, 2018

The end of the series, “Love and Remarriage,” based upon my novel of intrigue in Czarist Russia, (entitled “Escape From the Maelstrom”, ) is now impending! If all the previous posts in this series haven’t pushed you to read the novel in its entirety, I am sure this last post will! I leave you with quite a cliffhanger, as you will soon see!

In step with the proceedings of the last post, two private marriages have taken place in Rabbi Abelev’s study. As we remember, Aleksandra and Feodor, now husband and wife, should be getting ready to immigrate to America. How are things going?

Let’s listen in as final plans are made.

“Alek told Feodor and me that he could not make plans for our emigration until the end of November. A date was finally set for the last Thursday evening in the month. We would leave via the Black Sea in a fishing boat,and then we would change boats at a port in close proximity. Finally, at another port we would board a larger ship that would take us to our final destination: Ellis Island, America. I was overjoyed that we would be leaving relatively soon.

“On the night before we were scheduled to leave Odessa, Alek told us to meet with the rest of our family in the parlor. When I heard the news, I looked nervously at Feodor,but he held my hand in his as he smiled at me. ‘It is all right, my dear, ‘ he said. ‘There is nothing for you to fear. I will be with you to comfort you, and our love will make us strong.’ As he squeezed my hand and winked at me, I felt more secure.

“When we all assembled in the parlor, Alek started to speak.

“‘My contacts have suggested that Katya and Elena leave Odessa with Grandfather and our new step-grandmother,’ he said, looking at Feodor and me. When we looked shocked at what he just said, Alek went on to explain. ‘When Grandfather and Aleksandra leave Odessa, it is inevitable that the rest of us will be seriously investigated by the authorities. My contacts and I believe that it will be too much for these young women to endure. For their own safety and that of the rest of us, it is best that they emigrate to America, too.’”

“‘What about Mother?’ Katya asked immediately. ‘It will not be safe for her to remain here, either.’

“‘We cannot go without our mother and father,’ Elena stated emphatically.

“Agnessa had tears in her eyes as she said, ‘I am strong and well-versed in the ways of our Czarist persecutors. I will be fine,’ she said firmly. ‘When you girls go, Grandfather and Aleksandra will take good care of you until we can emigrate, too, and the family will be reunited. Maybe one day Aunt Galina and Uncle Grigori will join us, too,’ she added, gazing for a moment at her sister-in-law and-brother-in-law, whose expressions remained emotionless. ‘Our separation will not be long, Alek tells us, and it is something we must do, my beautiful daughters.’”

You readers can only imagine how Katya and Elena reacted to this shocking news. How could they leave their parents? Then Alek explains what they will have to tell the authorities when there is an investigation after Aleksandra, Feodor and the young women leave Odessa.

“‘We will have to tell them that we were taken in by Aleksandra’s lies to us. We will say that we were misled by an immoral, unethical woman , for whom we mistakenly felt pity and compassion. We will be relentless when it comes to your past and your character,’ Alek continued, ‘Whatever lies about you we will have to tell are necessary to protect all of us. Although we know the truth about you, Aleksandra, the good woman that you really are, and the suffering that you and Dimitri had to endure, we must be good actors and pretend to hate you and accuse you of betraying us and convincing us to allow you to take my sisters away from us…. We will all declare under oath , if necessary, that we knew nothing of your past, and that we are as shocked at your leaving Russia as the rest of the community. And as far as Grandfather, we will testify that he was a victim of his own loneliness and innocence when he got involved with Aleksandra.’”

“‘So I will be portrayed as an old fool and all blame will be placed on my Aleksandra,’ Feodor said quietly.

“‘That is the only way, Grandfather,’Alek said.”

What a shocking change of plans! But there is more. I can tell you only a little more.

On the next evening when Aleksandra, Feodor and the girls are scheduled to leave, Alek tells them that there is to be a final change. Alek’s new wife, Catarina, daughter of the Rabbi and his wife, will join Aleksandra and the girls while Feodor will have to remain in Odessa. Only the four women will be allowed to leave!

Feodor’s reaction is the most emotional tirade in the novel! Does he ultimately accept the final decision of Alek and his contacts? Do the women arrive safely in Anerica and fend for themselves While they are there? Id there a new character who will emerge and help them? Finally, will the Daletsky family ever be reunited?

I promise that you will discover all the answers when you read the novel. It is available online at www.redleadbooks.com or www.amazon.com. You can also call the Red Lead Bookstore at 1-800-788-7654.

Grab a copy! The book is well worth reading! You will enjoy it!

Love 💗 and Remarriage: Post #14

May 7th, 2018

Aleksandra and Feodor had been happy 😊 for months until something finally happened to destroy their peace as well as that of the whole Daletsky family. There are always people who want to stir the pot, especially when a happy 😆 couple is in front of them and they envy their loving relationship. An example of such a gossiping, jealous busybody is Mrs. Gubin in my novel, “Escape From the Maelstrom.” She makes some incriminating comments at the first community picnic that Aleksandra attends.

“The next morning , Feodor, Anatoli and Alek walked into town to collect the table and chairs they had left at the rabbi’s house the night before. The men were noticeably nervous when they came back to the rooming house. I could not imagine what the problem was.

“Agnessa immediately reacted.

“‘What is going on?’ she asked. ‘You all look as though you just saw a ghost!’

“‘It could be much worse than that,’” Alek said. ‘There were questions about Aleksandra, according to Rabbi Anelex. Some of the neighbors made incriminating comments.’

“ ‘Like what?’ I asked, starting to panic. Feodor, who seemed to notice any nuance of my emotional state, came to my side immediately and held my hand.

“‘It’s nothing to get excited about, my dear,’Feodor said gently. It’s just that some nosy neighbors speculated that there might be a connection between your arriving in our village and the missing widow of that distant relative of the Romanovs that they had read about in the paper. Mrs. Gubin, in particular,commented that your description matched the woman’s to a tee.’

“Before I could even speak, Agnessa asked Feodor, ‘So what did you say, Papa?’

“‘I calmly explained that hundreds of thousands of Russian women could match that description. I also told her that widows who are of this woman’s age often leave their place of residence and permanently move in order to start a new life. I said, ‘Mrs. Rubin, do you suspect every woman in her 40s who have left Moscow in the last few months!’

“‘And how did she react to your question?’ I asked.

“She was quiet at first as though contemplating what I had said,’ Feodor began. ‘Then she said she was sorry that she had jumped to to conclusions that were not really substantiated by the facts. I accepted her apology, and that was the end of it.’

“‘For the time,’ I said.

“‘Yes, for the time,’ Alek repeated.

“‘That is why we think it would be best for you and my father to get married as soon as podsible,’ Anatoli said. ‘Rabbi Abelev agreed to perform a private ceremony as soon as you and Papa are ready. It would be best if you two emigrated to America as soon as Alek’s connections can arrange it.’

“‘Feodor was still by my side, holding my clammy, shaking hand.

‘Will you marry me, Aleksandra, and go to America with me?’ he asked, getting down in one knee?’

“I looked at Feodor and then at the rest of the family before I replied as proudly and confidently as I could. ‘I would be honored to be your wife,’ I said, ‘and my dream had always been to start anew in a land of freedom.’

“‘I just happen to have a ring here,’ Feodor said,smiling. ‘I was going to propose over dinner one night, but this is as good s time as any. When we have been in Americs for a while, and I become a rich tycoon, I will buy you a bigger diamond, but I do hope you like the ring, at least for now.’ He looked so appealing that my heart went out to him.

“‘It is beautiful,’ I said,starting to cry. ‘I wouldn’t want anything else, Feodor.’

“‘Then Feodor held me in his arms as he kissed me lovingly in front of the family. I remember feeling safe and secure in his arms as the family clapped in joy and celebration.”

Love and Remarriage. Part 13

May 5th, 2018

Today we can finally talk about the joyful moments of the relationship between Aleksandra and Feodor. There will be some happy, very positive excerpts that clearly show their intense love 💗 for one another!

Let’s listen in to some happy 😆 moments in the lives of a man and a woman in love. First, we can see how Aleksandra feels.

“Everything felt different now. When I looked at Feodor, I saw my future husband, and my heart ♥️ filled with love. Just being near him, I felt more stimulated and alive than I could ever have believed possible. He made me feel that there was a strong possibility that my story would have a happy ending. In addition,I felt like part of a real family, and I even had hope that one day I could have my own child. Stranger things than that had happened, I told myself.

“When school was over the next day, Feodor was waiting outside to walk the girls and me home. We stopped at a country store for ice cream, and the four of us laughed as we attacked our sweet treats with abandon. I was at ease with all the Daletsky family, for I now felt as though I were one of them. Before long, I would be Feodor’s wife and a step-grandmother to Katya and Elena. I would be a mother-in-law to Agnessa , a step-grandmother to Anatoli, and Alek would be my step-grandson.”

A last excerpt for today is taken from a picnic at which Aleksandra and Feodor learned more about each other and got even closer.

Feodor was getting excited about politics, and Aleksandra is worried about him.

“Is it good for you to become so zealous, Feodor? Your enthusiasm could be bad for your health.”

“The excitement within me keeps me young and alive,” he said. “Wanting to kiss you so much, for instance, makes the blood flow smoother and stronger.”

“I see,” I said, smiling. “I help to keep you alive,” I said. “What a wonderful role in life for me to have!” I said, starting to laugh.

“Don’t make light of it, sweetheart. Those five years between my losing Nadya and finding you were incredibly harsh and depressing. I think it’s the loneliness and cruelty of life that kills people off long before their time.”

“I know, Feodor. ”Before I met you, I was headed towards disaster. The mourning, fear and tension were enough to tear the life right out of me.”

“But I did come along for you, Aleksandra, and you for me. I believe God brought us together to save one another.”

“Then no more talk of aristocrats or communists. Just talk of love and then let’s do plenty of eating. The food is calling, Feodor. It is so delicious. Agnessa helped me. We worked for a couple of hours preparing everything. There is even wine,” I said.

“You are so right. Today, we will eat and drink and talk of love and the future we will share. We will take a walk along the beach and pass around the beach ball we brought with us. And anything the least bit sad or thought-provoking will be off limits for us, a man and a woman in love. Is that right, my dear?”

“My answer was just a long and passionate kiss on his lips, a squeeze of his hand and then a hug that revealed all the love in my heart.”

More on my next post!

If you would like to read more, the novel is available online at www.xlibris.com or www.amazon.com. You can also call Xlibris at 1-800-788-7654. Amazon also has a feature, “Look Inside the Book,” where you can read the first few chapters of the novel without any cost.

Love 💗 and Remarriage Part 12

April 25th, 2018

When we stopped at the end of the previous post, based on my historical novel, “Escape From the Maelstrom,” Feodor had surprised 😮 Aleksandra by his passionate kiss, something that he said that he had wanted to do for a very long time. How did she react to the kiss?

The Kiss seemed to mesmerize Aleksandra. I wanted the reader to picture her sitting there next to Feodor ecstatically happy for the first time in months. She is in her own world of euphoria as Feodor tells her he will speak to his son and grandson. She is barely listening as he tells her that he knew what love at first sight was like because he had felt that way when he had met Nadya, his first wife and the mother of his children. He goes on to tell Aleksandra that he plans to court her with the intention of marrying her when the appropriate amount of time has passed.

But Feodor had not actually, in so many words, asked Aleksandra how she felt. So she asks him,

“‘Don’t you want to ask me first, Feodor, what I think,’” I said softly.

“In answer to my question, he gathered me in his strong arms again and kissed me as amorously as he did the first time. When he released me, he said with a mischievous smile, ‘I know from your kisses and the way you look into my eyes that you love me, too.’ And then with a deep breath, I returned his smile and watched with no resistance left as he winked at me and left the room to talk to his family.”

Yes, the love was mutual. What would happen next?

See the next post! Remember that the novel is available online at www.redleadbooks.com or at www.amazon.com. You can also call the Red Lead Bookstore at 1-800-788-7654.

Love 💗 and Remarriage: Part 11

April 20th, 2018

Is it too soon for Aleksandra and Feodor, the principal characters in my historical novel, “Escape From the Maelstrom,” to seriously proceed in their romantic relationship? There has been no closure for Aleksandra, and she has not allowed herself to go through any of the stages of grief. Yet, she has found herself connected emotionally to Feodor Daletsky. So what happens next?

Feodor refuses to be dictated to by his grandson or anyone else in regard to his personal relationships. Therefore, he confronts his son, Anatoli, and his grandson, Akek, when they return from work that day. Let’s listen in!

“When Feodor found his son and grandson a short time later, Alek apparently had no choice but to tell them both who he really was and why I was really staying at their home. The news brought out even more love in Feodor but made Anatoli very nervous.”

Alek warns his father and grandfather that no one can divulge the information that they were just given or they would all be at risk, but especially Aleksandra. They both agree.

“A man must do what he must do,” Alek said. “My country is being destroyed by both the Czar and the Bolsheviks. My contacts and I are fighting for a free Homeland for Russia in our own way.”

Then Anatoli says what is in his heart.

“In one way I am proud of you for your idealism, but in another more practical way, I fear for your life and possibly that of the rest of our family as well,” Anatoli said.

“‘Not if we each make a private vow of silence. Those of us who are fighting for a free homeland are true to one another, even unto death.’”

“Then you can expect nothing less of us,” Anatolia said.

“Yes,” Feodor agreed.

“‘And, if you are in love with Aleksandra, Grandfather, and she feels the same way about you, we cannot stop you,’ Alek said, ‘but when she goes to America, it is best that you go with her. You see, if you leave with Aleksandra, people will think that just the two of you were in a conspiracy together, and the rest of us were not involved. Then, later on, arrangements will be made to get the women out and you, too, Father,’ he said to Anatoli.”

Does Aleksandra feel the same way? Is there a marriage in the future of Aleksandra and Feodor? Can they possibly get married when Just a few months before, Aleksandra’s husband was murdered by the Romanovs’ henchmen?

To find out right away, you may want to purchase my novel, “Escape From the Maelstrom.” It is available online at www.redleadbooks.com and
wwww.amazon.com. or you can call the Red Lead Bookstore at 1-800-788-7654

Until the next post, good health and life!

Love 💗 and Remarriage : Part 10

April 16th, 2018

Although it often ends in frustration or much worse when a bereaved widow/ widower embarks upon a new relationship too soon after a spouse’s death, sometimes, the ending is more hopeful. It might not be a blind alley like marrying on the rebound or acting out of total desperation.

Although it is rare, a relationship that begins before the bereaved goes through the stages of grief can still possibly work. Two people who are depressed and at risk after losing the love 💗 of their lives can at times find consolation and security in another person who has gone through the same thing. Add chemistry and compatibility..and, who knows!

Maybe, it’s one in a million, but such a relationship could work! Who am I to say it is totally impossible? But I don’t recommend it, and I’m sure the majority of professionals (and others) would agree!

But in the case of Aleksandra and Feodor in my novel, “Escape From the Maelstrom,” there seems to be a chance that their relationship may lead to something real. Let’s see what happens!

In my last post we learned that the relationship between Aleksandra and Feodor was getting too intense. Although there was nothing physical yet in their friendship, the emotional attachment between the two was getting stronger and stronger.

Everyone in the Daletsky family from Feodor’s son, grandson, daughter-in-law and two teen-age granddaughters could not miss seeing the looks between their grandfather and Aleksandra as well as Feodor’s infamous winks at the lady. Alek, the grandson who was the family connection with the underground movement for a free Russia, had a talk with Aleksandra to ask her to please end the relationship with his grandfather before it left both of them broken-hearted.

Aleksandra, visibly shaken by the “talk,” decided to see Feodor only when others were present and to hide her true feelings. Months went by until one day Feodor had to find out what was going on and express his true feelings.

In Chapter twenty-two of “Escape From the Maelstrom,” Feodor enters the parlor where Aleksandra is playing the piano. What follows is part of their conversation.

“‘I have a feeling that Alek or his father said something to you to make you avoid me, Aleksandra. You have no time for me anymore, and I have so treasured our friendship.’

“‘My responsibilities at school have left me with little time for anything else, Feodor.’

“‘I know that you are busy, yes, but there is something more to it than just that, and I intend to get to the bottom of it, Aleksandra. As soon as Anatoli and Alek get home, I will have a talk with them, but until then I will do something that I have wanted to do for a very long time.’ Before I could even move, he twirled me around and looked into my eyes tenderly. His deep brown eyes were not merely kind, but warm and sensual. ‘Perhaps, I should not take this liberty,’ he said, ‘but I will, and it is not out of disrespect, my dear Aleksandra, but because I think I am falling in love with you.’”

“Before I could say a word to reason with him, he took me into his arms and kissed me in much the way that Dimitri did when we were first courting, and all our lives seemed to loom before us. I felt so protected and loved that I begged in my heart for the kiss never to end.”

Would the relationship between Aleksandra and Feodor be among the few that could work, even under such bizarre circumstances? The next post will shed some light on this subject!

If you would like to purchase this novel, you can go online at www.redleadbooks.com or www.amazon.com or call the Red Lead Bookstore at 1-800-788-7654 .

💗 Love and Remarriage: Part Nine

April 13th, 2018

It is so easy for people to judge others in a variety of situations! Instead of making an effort to understand another’s situation, many become overly critical. An especially sensitive issue is related to embarking upon a new relationship after losing a mate in death.

In my novel, “Escape From the Maelstrom,” the main character, Karina, aka Aleksandra, is in a state of shock after her husband of ten years, Dimitri, is killed by the Romanov family, distant relatives of his, who, for some reason unknown to anyone but them, needed to have him silenced.

Karina was then on the run, knowing that she, too, was in danger since she was Dimitri’s wife and now, widow.

When friends in the underground bring Karina to a safe haven in Odessa, she finds a friend in Feodor Daletsky, the patriarch of a Russian peasant family, the grandson of whom is connected with the underground group. In just a few days, Karina, given the name of Aleksandra as part of her new identity package, feels safe with Feodor, and they become good friends. Even with the strong chemistry between them, neither Karina nor Feodor, a widower, knows that their friendship is leading to something more.

Let’s listen in as Alek, Feodor’s grandson, and the connection with the underground movement, warns Aleksandra of where her relationship may be headed and why it is not at all wise to continue on that path.

When Aleksandra returns to the Daletsky home with Feodor after an afternoon outing, she goes into the parlor while Feodor goes upstairs. Alec and his younger sisters are in there, but Alek asks the girls to leave and help their mother in the kitchen. Once they are alone, Alek talks to Aleksandra very seriously.

“We are all your friends, Aleksandra, but Sasha, Uri and I are the only ones who are fully aware of your peculiar situation, and we don’t want any entanglements for you. And as far as my grandfather, he is an old, good-natured man, who thinks too often with his heart rather than with his mind. I don’t want him to get hurt.”

Aleksandra was visibly upset by what Alek has said to her about her friendship with Feodor. Alek knows he is treading upon sensitive territory, but he goes on after Aleksandra tries to defend herself.

“He is my friend, I repeat, Alek. I would never hurt him.”

“But you are already. He seems to have taken quite a liking to you. My parents and I are not blind. Neither are the girls, although they may still be quite young. We can all see the looks and my grandfather’s winks. He is a lonely old man who is much taken with you, a pretty much-younger woman.”

Aleksandra denies any such physical attraction, but Alek continues, “I must do something, for I truly feel that, if I ignore what I have seen, you two will one day very soon fall in love with one another. He misses my grandmother very much, and you are obviously in denial about losing your husband so violently and abruptly. Both of you have entered a fantasy world, but you will be leaving us to go to America as soon as my contacts and I can safely arrange it. What will my grandfather do then when you have gone?”

“‘Please don’t cry, Aleksandra,’ Alek said. ‘I know how difficult it must have been
for you to leave Moscow the way you did, without even going to Dimitri’s funeral. You must be torn inside. The pain must be like a deep chasm, but you can’t turn to my grandfather to fill the gaps. You have to face your loss and go through the stages of grief as they come. If you don’t, Aleksandra, you may never be whole again, and in the interim, you may very well break my grandfather’s heart.’”

Aleksandra was at first angry and resentful to hear Alek’s warning and severe criticism of her relationship with the young man’s grandfather, Feodor. Yet, part of her knew there was much truth in what Alek, so mature for his age, had said.

Don’t many people in their desperation after experiencing the death of a loved one, unconsciously evade the stages of grief and attempt to escape from the emotional pain by beginning another relationship. But, as Alek points out in the novel, if you don’t go through these important stages of grief, you may never be whole again.

More about the importance of not rushing into a new relationship, but instead, waiting for a while and slowly grieving for the loved one…giving oneself the time needed to say farewell to that relationship before beginning another! Closure is so important to the one who is grieving!

More about all this in the next post in the series!