Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Our Neighbour Viktor 1940-2011

Our neighbour Viktor was buried today.  It was a beautiful warm fall day.  The service was held at the house, actually outside in the yard.  Tanya and I went to pay our respects.  He was a good man and the neighbourhood will miss him. He had a good heart or доброе сердце as they say.  He always had a cheery hello and would often stop to chat if Tanya was in the flower garden.  My dogs will miss him, too, as he always had a kind word and a pat for each of them whenever he went by.

He was a man "from the village" all his life and worked hard.  He loved his cows and pigs.  When we moved here he had three cows and he and his son spent the summer putting up hay. Every morning at 5:00 all summer long he would pass our door taking the cows to join the others from the village where someone would herd them for the day and then he would go and collect them at night about 8:00. Sometimes the dogs and I would go with him to collect his cows. As the years passed the cow numbers dwindled to two then one.  We bought fresh milk from him the past two years.

Viktor's health was never good.  The doctor said just living to 71 was an accomplishment.  He was small and frail looking though his son and daughter are both quite tall.

We wonder now about his wife.  She is not physically able to look after livestock and cannot afford to keep the house and yard on one pension.  She may go to live with her son and his wife or her daughter and her husband but those are not easy decisions for her or them.

The neighbourhood is a little lonelier.

7 comments:

  1. Oh, the downside of getting old! You're either the one who dies or the one who gets left alone.

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  2. I love the idea of outliving expectations - but it doesn't make it less sad. I'll send good thoughts to his wife.

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  3. Reminds me of a man who lived up the hill from us. Every year he grew corn and it was like one of those roadway markers we always looked forward to seeing each summer. We always knew what kind of year he was having by the height of his corn. And we'd see him out there every day mowing his front lawn.

    But for you you'll always have that memory of him walking his cows up the road. A mental bookmark for the times.

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  4. Thank you for the comments. Viktor will be remembered.

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  5. I didn't get to meet Viktor, but I have pictures of both him and his wife taking the cow out. It's sad that he is gone.

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