What was the initial reaction of your husband’s family when they read this book?
Approving and appreciative for the way, I described mother Maria’s life. Rewarding and fulfilling for mother Maria who overcame hardships in her personal life and preserved inner light, faith, morality, justice and happiness.
How difficult was writing this book, considering the emotional content and the fact that it’s based on your mother-in-law experience?
I was deeply involved emotionally and sometimes worked from morning to morning with short brakes in order to go through one or another part of the book that contained emotional description. I could not interrupt my writing in order not to lose the connection with Mother Maria’s interpretation of the fact or event. Did I cry while writing? Yes, I did, and many times.
However, I must say that our mother Maria did not cry frequently. She tried to be calm, when she talked about some difficult, merciless or horrible events. I was hysterical reading her journal or listening to some of her stories. I asked her more than once, how she could stand the recollecting of life threatening events without crying. Mother Maria watched me with her pleasant smile and explained that she cried so much when it had happened that the Lord was probably sorry for her and one day she noticed that she was given the blessing to release her emotional pain. Otherwise, I doubt she could survive.
There are some parts of the book, where I was laughing or smiling, while writing. My family, including grandchildren, observed it, but they were very nice and did not interfere with the emotions I expressed at the moments of work.
Writing the books about unusually complicated lives of a usual family was the greatest honor that I experienced. I learned that for the first time in my life I was doing something meaningful for the Divinity, as well as for those people who were interlocked in hardships of World War II and red repressions in the former USSR.
Through the lives of my characters, who have lived in reality or who are still with us, I wanted to inspire the readers in making the right decisions at the moments of life obscurity. I wanted people to realize that depression and suicide are not the salvation of the life problems. Why should people choose darkness when our life temporarily loses its colors?
Are you satisfied with the end result of this book?
Yes, I am. The book “Mother Maria” is the first book of the trilogy “God’s Miracles”. It showed us, how global historical events influence or affect the life of every single person. Mother Maria has clarified for us, her children, how important not to lose the connection with the Divinity during the shocking turbulences in life. We are unable to change the history, but we can overcome the hardships and survive the challenging and scary life events. That’s why I was quite satisfied with the end of the first book.
Do you feel that you did justice to Maria’s story?
Yes, I do. Mother Maria was a clever human person, and she knew well her strong and weak sides. The hardships of life afflicted a weak, romantic and gentle Miss Maria. With God’s protection, Maria avoided the physical or psycho-emotional destruction. The adversity made her strong and sometimes, she declared that it made her too strong. Her “too strong” side induced her in making some decisions and deeds that later she was sorry about. In the second book “Home-Coming,” I described what cost her strong decision to arrive to post-war red Ukraine. At the same time, I’ve seen her humane, caring, kindhearted side in such a decision. She came to save her family. How can we blame her for it?
What methods of research did you use?
First: mother Maria’s journals
Second: materials of different encyclopedias, in order to be sure that mother Maria was accurate with dates and events of the WWII, annexing of the Western Ukraine and establshing there the red regime.
Third: Historical books, articles, documents of Howard University about WWII
Fourth: German geographical and historical materials regarding the events of WWII
Fifth: Canadian sources of Ukrainian historical materials about the events in the Ukraine in 1939-1958
Sixth: Ukrainian sources of Ukrainian historical events of 1939-1941
What’s the most important Teaching that you would like to bring forward to the reader?
We must remember that people are God’s creations. We need to keep this bond always strong, and the genuine connection with the Divinity will help us to find the feasibility of overcoming the hardships of life, preventing new life catastrophe.