Life is a Vapor | Genadiy Y. Kondratyuk


The tragic thing about tragedy is that it is unexpected.  It is like a lightning bolt which zaps life, burns whatever it touches and disappears, leaving us to deal with the mess in its wake. Death is a thing no one gets accustomed to.

That is how I feel about the news I received on the morning of October 12th, 2014.  My good friend and conveniently my cousin also, Genadiy Kondratyuk is no more.   A loud crash at midnight, rain, blur, a car accident — the tragedy was death.  Life is a vapor for all of us and his evaporated at age thirty-one.

There is a fine line between living and preparing to live.  Genadiy never walked it.  He always lived.  He did not await retirement to travel, nor worry about long term security, those things which people burn daylight hours for, hoping to taste life in the distant future.  For him, every day got lived with all of his senses.  He explored his town like he explored the world.  For each moment he spent at home in Portland, he spent four elsewhere.  Months in India, and Africa, and Mexico, and anywhere else his heart beckoned him to go.

He enjoyed many things, but when it came to food, he was a connoisseur.  He savored the curries of India and the fine chocolates of Belgium.  When a bite of something did not meet his expectations, he did not torture his taste buds but left his meal in search of the best for he always knew where to find the perfect phở or coffee house, even in cities foreign to him.

I will miss my friend and the adventures we have not taken, for this one he ventures alone.  I will miss his faithfulness, kindness, and generosity which was a genuine gift to me.  And as heaven smiles to receive him, I mourn— for I will miss him.