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Bochkov, Alexei
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, 26 2007
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Bochkov, Alexei
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Age 25, from Moscow, Russia.

Alyosha was born in the snowy month of December, in 1976. We waited a long time for this baby, and, when he entered our home, happiness entered as well. Four years later his sister Katyusha was born. Lyosha was unusually kind and caring, and perhaps because of this the age difference did not bother the children, and they got along surprisingly. We always tried to do things together. We went to the movies a lot, read books aloud for many years, traveled to all the ancient Russian cities around Moscow, and built a summerhouse on the Yegorevsky marshes. It was there that our children grew up.

Since his early years Alyosha loved to help his father, who was no stranger to any job. By age twelve he knew how to do a lot on his own and was a superb assistant. Together with his father, they would fix our dear Moskvich car and other small repairs. They built a brick house and a well, and planted trees. There was excellent fishing around the summerhouse, and mushrooms simply grew everywhere, so from age nine Lyosha became an inveterate fisherman and mushroom hunter. We keep his rod and reels as souvenirs. Since age six he also was absorbed in chess, and played well. In second grade he taught everyone he would bring his chess set to school, while at home he arranged chess battles. Later he played less frequently, preferring to study classic chess moves.

He did not have a lot of friends, but they were long-term ones, still from kindergarten, elementary school, and childhood at the summerhouse. Perhaps because of this we are still very close to these boys. They helped us look for Lyosha during that nightmare. They
were the ones who found him.

He had one remarkable friend, Yuri Katagoshchin. The most talented and handsome boy around! In 10th and 11th grade he and Lyosha were very close friends and always together. Yura entered the geographic college at Moscow State University, but got sick the first semester. Within a year he was gone. Alyosha suffered a lot from this tragedy. Every year on Yuras birthday he gathered up classmates and they brought flowers to Yuras mother.

Alyosha graduated from the Moscow highway institute with a real mans specialty road construction machinery maintenance. He received an offer from a large construction company, and three months later he was sent to Novorossiysk on what was in 1998the largest construction project in Russia, the Tengiz-Novorossiysk Caspian sea pipeline. He was very proud and with gusto he described the huge scale of the project, and he brought home many photographs. This was for Alyosha an outstanding school of life, where he was one with demolitions experts, oilmen, and experienced engineers and mechanics. When he returned he was all grown up, a man with experience on his shoulders. Later there were work-related trips to Siberia, the far North, to the Urals, and to Sakhalin, where they were starting the Sakhalin-2 project. A half-year before the tragedy he was made chief mechanic for the firm. I worried about him outranking all those extraordinary men in Novorossiysk, the mechanics who had taught and helped him. Yuri Alekseevich Zolotov, the companys chief mechanic who was replaced by Lyosha, told me after the funeral that for eight years he had been looking for an apprentice to take over his job, and had found one at last (in Alyosha). He had very much wanted to meet the family in which such a remarkable fellow grew up.

He had a favorite girl, but in May of 2002they parted ways. Alyosha suffered greatly from the breakup, even withdrawing within himself a bit. Later, however, he got over it and began to meet with his friends more often. By August he roused himself and said to me: You know, mom, it turns out that there are still some good girls out there! When he was 17he had promised: Im going to get married early so that when the kids are grown Ill still be young. It never came to pass, however. He was never able to present us with grandchildren.

He loved the movie Forest Gump, but during the last October of his life he watched Emily several times. Katyusha and he watched every episode of the American series The Simpsons, and even named the dog after its main character, Bart.

Words will never suffice to describe the feelings that fill the heart when your 4year-old son washes diapers in secret (because mama is tired), or when your 7year-old child on leaving for school warms up some soup so that you can eat when you dash home for 10minutes on your break, or when this 11or 12year-old boy gets up at 6am on March 8th (International Womens Day) to bake his mother and sister a cake and then gets his friends to bake cakes for their mothers, or when your already grownup son comes back from a get-together of classmates and shares his impressions, in a whisper. He alone of the whole family would not leave you when you are sick. Thus was our glorious son, our Alyoshenka.

I have an incredible husband, a wonderful daughter, and two sisters, but that remarkable warmth that you get from a son, for some reason it is gone.

Dozens of time every day Ithink about our little boy, this good, bright, and dear boy whom we all need so very much. For a long time Iwanted to hear a ring at the door, open it, and there would be my Alyosha tall, stately, handsome Sometimes Iwake up at night and try to convince myself that all this was only a nightmare.

Of course, many mothers and fathers already know this. Going to your childrens graves is eternal suffering. My husband and Ioften go to see him, and we bring fresh flowers, and light candles And we try to come to peace with it.

Written by his mother, Elena Nikoaevna Bochkova.

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