Shelter and Hostility
Nadia's uncle on her father's side lived close enough to them to see, from his own window, that his brother's family had been literally tossed out into the icy cold. He struggled for quite a while. Could he let his brother's children freeze to death in the cold? But what about his own family? What would become of them if he helped the family of a political prisoner?
"I'll tell you what will happen!" shouted his wife. "You'll get sent to a Gulag! And what will become of your own children? What will become of me?" she cried. His children were listening in quite intently. He reached for his coat, and his wife tried to pull it away from him. "I will not allow my brother's children to freeze to death, woman." He walked out into the snow and ice and brought Nadia, Maria, Boris, and their mother, Oksana, into his home.
Sara McCaslin is an engineer, a computer scientist, and a freelance writer.