My love, my hope
Don’t worry. Worrying is dangerous and can only hurt. I feel that you hurry but fear that you do not rush enough.
You come from afar because we all come from afar. What could we do? There was no other way, run away from death and memories. Even I, who did nothing and yet everything, survived so that someone could still cry, came from afar. Coming from what a life could have been. Were the expectations so unreasonable, or is it so pedantic to want a husband and a daughter and a place to be together and to build up a life, without everyone around you being wiped away and your home being burned to the ground time after time, is it so wrong to want a life that is not fraught with violence and death and lack and loneliness?
We come from afar because everyone believed in hope, even until everyone was dead, and only you, my incarnated hope, remained. And while the last inhabitants were withering away, those who had not yet been called to arms or heartache or other forms of death and could only choose to perish of dreary old age, I just kept on not dying. Because I knew that you too, my hope, were still alive. Because I felt that you were alive, I have never done anything but waiting, becoming so good at it, the best in the village, waited so well until eventually I was the only one remaining, to wait, waiting for you.
I can feel this is my last letter. Not because of a lack of will but because of a lack of power. Last spring I could not bring myself to sow a new harvest and my stock is almost exhausted. My arms are very thin and it takes my fingers untold trouble to hold this pencil.
I felt sad that you never wrote back but I understand that you can’t help it either that the postman has already been dead for twenty years, swiftly overcome by the news of the day which was that day and that from then on until the end of the Problems his task has been incorporated by the headquarters of the Democratic People's Army. And that you were not to blame, were not to blame at all that the Problems never came to an end. And that I am the only one to blame for your departure.
I've never been able to forgive myself for giving you away, but this inability for forgiveness is a selfish one, because otherwise you too would be called by death, just like dad and everyone else, and the price for your life was giving you away and do all the waiting alone. All they could promise me was that they, my Nadya, small Nada, dear Nadyezhda, that they too would call you Nadya, hope.
Oh Nadya forgive me, it was with the best intentions, but maybe we had indeed done better, like many others, to end our lives together. But I could not, believe me that I could not, you with those eyes of yours, and so I threw you into a life of orphanage, while I, old shrew, did nothing else but wait.
I dream of your hugs, your face and your voice and your stories, but especially your hugs. And while I, since the day I gave you away, exactly twenty years ago today, have never done anything else, and even when the last of the aged and crippled left or pined away, and even when stillness resumed after the militias didn't judge our village worthy of their losses and our women worthy of their rape, and even now, when for the first time after all this birds are nesting in our garden, I have done nothing but dreaming of your hugs. And while I feel you approaching, while I am hoping to be allowed to feel you in my arms once more, my sweet Nadya, I am now embraced by the gentle certainty of the impending end of a life filled with tears. I feel that you are alive. Do it freely and for us who died.