To the First Teacher – From Her First Pupils (from the Bryansk Cemetery Monument to Nina Nikolaevna Ledneva (09.12.1921-07.09.1989)

List of Students1952Till we remember our loved ones they’re still with us.       Listen to the song: Anna German, “A Letter to Chopin”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              To the First Teacher

To the right the photo of the monument to our first teacher Nina Nikolaevna Ledneva (1921-1989) from Bryansk, Russia. To the left the photo of the list of us when we were twelve, and she was young and beautiful.

On the ninth of December, our beloved teacher’s birthday, a group of classmates got together to establish the monument on her grave with such a wonderful inscription “To the First Teacher from Her First Pupils”. Beside her grave was the tomb stone of her daughter Elena Vladimirovna Suslova (1947-1983). Mother outlived daughter for 6 years. We took part in funerals of Elena in 1983.

Mother’s grief was enormous. I remember that Nina Nikolaevna did not cry with tears as most Russian women do on this sad occasion. But the nature wept for her. The sky all of a sudden became overcast, the dark clouds ran out of nowhere, the wind started to blow and the water on our heads.

What did Nina Nikolaevna think at that moment?

How she could not protect her only daughter and the only son who moved to Moscow to get married and she never heard from him since.

“What was destructive in my children’s destinies? Oh, woe-woe, why is the life so cruel to me?”

I remember that we stood on the earth around Elena’s grave and swore to Her as we would swear to God.

Карандаши“Lord bless our teacher to withstand the grief, the harshness of her life, the all injustice which befell on her. Give her strength and forces to keep on.”

We prayed to the Earth and on the earth because the earth is pure and she can accept the bodies of those who died of suffering a lot from diseases, distress, disabilities.

The air listened and responded to the requests of human beings. This trait can be virtuous at times but more often than not it is evil. The evil (death) won.

So, it happened. Mother died six years later. Grief overcame her.

When I was visiting Bryansk in 2007, after our meeting indoors next day we came to the cemetery to recollect Nina Nikolaevna, it is a common tradition among the Russians, and we saw: above NIna Nikolaevna’s  grave grew the huge grass taller than the human’s height. I remember Klava to start to rip the weeds; by natural instinct I began to help her-to pull them out as well. To make the plot look nicer. There, at this spot, we, her first pupils, made up our minds to chip in to make a monument for her.

No sooner said than done.

These are the fruits of our decision.

Watch the show of photos sent by my classmates from Bryansk: “With Love from Russia”:

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