Reducing a life to a mere pawn on a chess board - that is what war does. It wipes out lives as if they are without value, nothing, unimportant. In the melancholy exploding bombs, the damage seems irredeemable. It negates what had been achieved in a lifetime. 

A captain from the Ukraine stands before Loffie. He spent his life with passion to be promoted from rank to rank, to achieve the highest rank - Captain of the ship. He did this to build a home for his family and give them life. 

Now all had been reduced to pain, rubble and ash. The last news about his family had been received via friends. A cryptic message states that they are fine. They are trapped in a bomb shelter with other family members. They are hiding from the Russian bombardment that rains down on the city without discrimination and it does not matter whether you are good or bad, young or old, guilty or not guilty, against or for the war... At the time of the message they had been trapped for eighteen days in the shelter. 

Since then, no news.

No messages. Nothing to say we are alive, or a message to convey the most feared news... 

Simply nothing.

Communication with the Ukraine is almost impossible. A part of the Russian strategy was to eliminate all cell phone towers and all forms of communication. That they did... 

That is why the captain standing before Loffie is in a state, a state of absolute desolation. He has a million questions, but there are no answers. The fear that accompanies this, transcends all. When the news shows the brutality of bodies that are strewn in the streets like rubbish, you automatically look for something you may recognise - perhaps a shoe sticking out from underneath a sheet of plastic, covered in an attempt to disguise the cruelty of war. Perhaps there is a pair of blue boots that used to be the subject of teasing, or perhaps it is the new pair of trainers your son so desperately wanted and that you bought before you left home the last time. If you hear nothing about your family, if you have no information, each piece of plastic may hide the gruesome death that someone tried to cover up. There is every possibility that the sheets may cover someone you love. 

Please think about the immense weight of this situation. 

We appreciate your donation, support! Loffie Schoeman, Richards Bay

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Loffie Schoeman
Richards Bay