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Our Vase's History By mich

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PostSubject: Our Vase's History By mich   Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:01 am

This is a life story of a vase that has been my family's treasure for a few generations now. Before WWII my grandparents lived in the Ukrainian city of Kharkov with my teen-aged mother. This beautiful vase was decorating the top of the upright piano. My mother was a piano student at that time and music became her career for life. Nineteen forty-one brought the war onto Ukrainian soil... air raids became daily routine. My family had to hide in a bomb shelter many times a day, and our loyal housekeeper put the vase away to save it from falling off from shaking.

In a hurry, she stuck it inside the piano, underneath the keyboard. A few months into the war, the occupation of Kharkov became a reality and my grandfather managed to take the family out of the city just days before the fascists stormed in. After a few weeks of horrible traveling my grandparents, with my mother and the housekeeper, settled in a small industrial town in Siberia. They lived there through the German occupation of Ukraine. My family's beloved city of Kharkov was liberated in August of 1943 and shortly thereafter they returned to ruined and looted city.

All their possessions were lost. My mother had to resume her music education, but she had no piano to practice on.

Somebody who survived the war within the city witnessed my grandparents house being looted and knew the person who'd taken my mother's piano. My grandfather found that person and offered him money for his own piano so my mother could play again.

When the piano was delivered back to my family home the housekeeper remembered about the vase.

It was still there, inside the piano, in one piece and as beautiful as ever!

My mother became a music teacher and played this piano many years. Later, I studied piano and played the same upright for 12 years. In 1989, I was leaving Ukraine for good with my husband and our son; my grandparents, my mother and our housekeeper were all long gone... I treasured the memories and the vase and couldn't part with it. I packed the vase in our luggage that was sent by sea to America.

It took 17 months for the cargo to get to the USA . The wooden box was broken in transit, and a lot of things were missing or destroyed. But my vase survived again, in one piece and still as beautiful as ever! The vase proudly decorates my bedroom dresser in our Michigan home now.
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