A friend who wishes to remain anonymous periodically shares a newsletter she receives from two of her friends in Ukraine. I’ll call them Daryna and Ivan. The homely details of their lives brings the war there home in a way no news report could.

With permission, I share excerpts from their most recent letter:

Dearest ___,  Thank you very much for your letters, congratulations on Easter and prayers to God for us, our cats and our country! We are always sincerely grateful for your love and all the good you do for us. Sorry for not writing for a long time. At the beginning of April, on the Orthodox holiday of the Annunciation, on the night of Saturday on Easter, a downed Russian Shahed drone fell and exploded near our house. 

It fell in the yard of a private house, next to the entrance of our apartment building…A big fire started. The blast wave in our house from the side of the driveway knocked out all the windows and glazed balconies. Wooden doors were knocked out on the landings. Our apartment overlooks the opposite side of the house, which was almost unscathed, but the glass in the large three-leaf window in our bedroom was knocked out. 

The first time the glass was broken in this window at the beginning of the war in April 2022…Thanks to God, no one was injured in the explosion, but a dog that lived in a private house in the same yard as the fire was killed. In many private houses located near the place where the drone fell, windows were broken, roofs were destroyed, and fences were knocked down. In our garage, which is located next to us, the door came off on one side. 

[Humanitarian aid soon arrived, food distributed, re-glazing of windows began]…We thank God that everything worked out! But we don’t know if it won’t happen again…Our area is shelled almost every day…Bombs fall on houses, industrial buildings, near stadiums, parks, where ordinary peaceful people suffer…

The Ukrainian troops are fighting heroically, but one feels tired of the continuous war and the lack of weapons. No one knows what will happen tomorrow, everything is very worrying and dangerous. It has been real spring for more than a month, it is warm and sunny outside, and there is almost no rain. All around is already surrounded by greenery. Fruit trees – cherries and apricots – were blooming very beautifully. This year it was very early, compared to previous years…Pears, plums, and tulips have already bloomed. We also feed yard cats. The black cat survived the winter hard, lost weight. We take care of him as best we can, but every animal wants to have its own home…

Although it is warm outside, there is little joy in the soul, war is very scary. Before the war, we always rejoiced at this time of year, but now there is only anxiety and fear in our hearts…Thank you for the beautiful cards. We always watch and read them with great pleasure. Dear ____, how are you and your and our friends? How is your health? We are always very happy with your letters. Write to us. With gratitude and prayers to you, Daryna and Ivan

It’s almost impossible for a citizen of the U.S. to imagine being invaded by a foreign power; to picture years-long warfare taking place on our soil; to contemplate living in the constant, stomach-churning uncertainty and anxiety of not knowing when and whether a bomb will fall on your LIVING QUARTERS.

Kind of puts my own “problems” into perspective.

Daryna and Ivan are people of deep faith who ask, above all, for our prayers. Might be worth spending a little extra time before the tabernacle.


  1. Drew Ellen Getz says: Reply

    While I have no friends or relatives in the Ukraine it is an unspeakably horrible thing that is happening to them. I would like to share this poem I wrote in March
    because many prayers are with them.
    In the Ukaine,
    Sorrow fills the sky,
    soaks the bloodied ground,
    seeps into hearts,minds and soul.,
    Devastation rains down upon us,
    our suffering cries out to Heaven,
    as our prayers rise up to Go.,
    Facing such evil we fight steadfast,
    as we scatter our families,
    searching for shelter for them.
    Still evil rains down, explodes all around,
    destruction, death, danger, fear everywhere,
    year after year, yet we fight on,
    we fight to live in our homeland,
    we bury our dead and fight on,
    to bring our families home again,
    we live, fight, pray and trust.
    Will you pray with us?

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      How absolutely lovely, Drew–many thanks for sharing this with us.

  2. Anonymous says: Reply

    Thank you for sharing

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      My pleasure…

  3. Thomas Brester says: Reply

    Thanks for sharing

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Not being able to enjoy the spring really got to me…we humans count on these seasons, and spring in particular, to lift our hearts, give us food for thought, mirror our own “seasons”….

  4. My brother has an app on his phone that alerts him whenever there is bombing in Ukraine. I thought it was silly at first, but not anymore

  5. Anonymous says: Reply

    sorry about the typo Drew


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