Happy Birthday to Dmitri today; I cannot believe that he would have been 34 today. I have been thinking about him so much lately as I am in the midst of applying to residency and will soon graduate from medical school. I would have loved to do this with him by my side. I keep wondering which specialty he would have chosen and have narrowed it down to either Emergency Medicine (like me) or Surgery, but am leaning towards EM for him. Through EM, you can do a fellowship in Wilderness Medicine, which I feel like would be right up his alley. I really miss his presence, encouragement, enthusiasm, and support. He was going to be an incredible doctor.
It is also so odd to think that this time four years ago, we followed the election together and celebrated his birthday while studying for midterms. It will always be one of my favorite memories from my time in Grenada.
I hope that you, Alexey, Peter, his wife, and all of your family and friends are safe and healthy. This year has been scary and unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in my lifetime. I hope, maybe naively, that things can return to some semblance of normal as soon as possible. I’m not sure if you are able to have a gathering this year to celebrate Dmitri, but I hope that you know that there are so many people across the country and the globe who are thinking of and celebrating him today and every day.
A Letter from Valentina, November 4th, 2020
Милая Нина, сегодня Димин день. Как бы мне хотелось быть в этот день рядом с Вами, вспомнить нашего Диму. Мы очень, очень часто с Соней говорим о нем, вспоминая моменты из нашей прошлой жизни. Диме Господь дал короткую, но такую яркую и насыщенную жизнь. Обнимаю тебя, Нина. Большой привет Алеше
Нина Васильевна здравствуйте!… В среду сидели у разженого камина и искали что то послушать..вышли на акустический концерт Нирваны какого-то дремучего девеностого года. Мне почему то стало грустно и обидно, сначала даже не понял почему. Потом вспомнил Димана пусти слезу и допил, даже не верится что прошло три года. А сегодня по традиции пошли с Катей на Рейнир. Погода дрянь как и в прошлый год-ветер, холодно, снег до парковки, и видимость как в молоке. Точку нашли, посидели, выпили с Димой по Рейниру и развернули домой.
Three years since you’ve been gone and it’s hard even now to know what to say.
I’ve missed you every day; years go by and yet it still feels as though we spoke only weeks ago.
Can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked up the phone to call – whether to cry or celebrate.
I doubt that will change.
I carry you with me, forever and always, everywhere that I go.
With great love,
A Letter from Valentina – July 3rd, 2020
Милая Нина, как бы мне хотелось быть с Вами сегодня в День памяти нашего дорого Димы. Проходят, проносятся годы, а было, как будто вчера. Я очень скучаю по его задорной улыбке, теплой энергии, радости, которую он приносил в наш дом. Что ж, приходится мириться с тем миром, который посылает нам жизнь. Мы все разобщены сейчас. Большой привет Алеше и всем друзьям от меня, обнимаю
To me, to live one’s life with kindness, thoughtfulness and adventure is to have lived, and that is Dmitri. I think of him every day and try to add things that he has taught me into my everyday life. Every time we would be in the parking lot at a grocery store, he would look for someone in the parking lot to help them with their bags – he tried to do at least one good thing for someone else each day. If we were in a group setting, he would find the person being the quietest and befriend them – making them feel part of the group. He was such a special person, I don’t know anyone else who has his kind heart matched with his spirit for life and adventurous soul. He was always open to new things, always so much fun and always a friend to everyone. I feel lucky to have met him on a ski chairlift at Heavenly mountain in 2012 (it was a powder day and he was having an awesome time) and I feel lucky to have stayed his friend since. He spoke of his family and friends often. Living life without our favorite people is hard – to honor them every day is one way to cope. When I ask to help strangers, read a good book, laugh on a trampoline (I can hear Dmitri’s laugh in my head), pick up a guitar, ski a steep line, eat pho, drink a Rainier beer, I’ll be thinking of him. Thank you, Dmitri, you have enriched my life and I am forever grateful. He lived his life to help others, especially studying in the medical field, and he was always so humble. We all love you and you’ll never be forgotten!