The Unexpected Present


Dealing With Uncertainty


I am heading over to see Yuri today, Day 9 in the ICU, still sedated and on a ventilator. I read an article (House & Garden, May 2021) that “when the world feels scary or uncertain, a sense of purpose can ground us.” So, I’m writing. And praying. And buying cat food. And remembering that my bird needs clean water and birdseed. And that Yuri and I have a wonderful circle of friends sending good vibes and healing prayers. I will tell him when I see him.

Three weeks ago it was Easter Sunday. Yuri and I were at breakfast sharing traditional fare when I stopped my usual banter and noticed his unusually quiet mood. He ate very little of the massive amount I made. I still cooked for a hundred on holidays despite it being only the two of us, a trait from my mother who felt it soothed her soul to feed the world and all creature inhabitants.

We noted that it was my nephew, Christopher’s birthday who shared a love of gardening, art appreciation, encouraging his own young children to make art. For the first time, Yuri mentioned that it was Kvitka Cisyk’s birthday as well. It surprised me but then, the longer we spend together talking, things pop up from our past lives that provide another layer of complexities in the wine of life.


Kvitka, professionally known as K.C. Cisyk, was a beautiful and extremely talented person. It’s no wonder she and Yuri were drawn together in their youths, singing and performing together from their summer camp days to early recording sessions in New York City in the early 1970s.

Their roads diverged– Yuri went on to become a founding member of Kinderhook and K.C. went on to sing on commercials “Have You Driven a Ford, Lately” leading to a hit song, You Light Up My Life that was eventually recorded by Debbie Boone. She succumbed to breast cancer early in her life. I believe the song Yuri wrote, I’ll Always Remember Your Name was a quiet personal dedication to someone who meant a lot to him.


Yuri performed this tune at the start of the pandemic, a year ago, and we recently decided it belonged on the album just put out Undiscovered Country. Sometimes you don’t know why things fall into place the way they do, but when we worked on getting the lineup of songs, it was a natural fit. No need for any other explanations.

Everyone has someone whose name will always be remembered. Music is part of the art of healing and I play music for Yuri during the time I am with him as well as reading the good wishes being sent to him. It helps so much. Thank you.

Related Articles

Yuri in Nature

Requiem and Repast for a Renaissance Man

Memorial Day is Opening Day of the summer season, yet for the past two years, Yuri and I spent the weekend and weeks following in the ICU. This year, on Saturday, family and friends gathered at a morning memorial service, requiem, and repast commemorating the 40th day since Yuri’s spirit and essence left his physical self, ultimately melding into the universe of our collective consciousness.
Sviato Yuri icon

On Name Day, It’s All In The Name

Today is Yuri’s name day. May 6 is St. George’s Day. Name days, these traditional feast days, hold a unique significance as they commemorate a particular holy person, often a saint or martyr, and celebrate an individual's given name. They are not just collective holidays marked by national calendars but personal celebrations
Yuri@Kinderhook NY

A Kinderhook Revival Reunion for Campers

It was Saturday night, April 25, 2009, when the band Kinderhook's rocking revival reunion with the campers from the 1970s took place. Like the rest of the crowd that filled the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Whippany, New Jersey, I anticipated a night of returning to my youth during the Plast Scout Camp years in East Chatham, New York, a stone's throw from their namesake Kinderhook Creek. That night, Yuri and I met. Eye contact.
Yuri Turchyn Violinist 2024

Yuri Notes: Wake Me Up From This Dream

I am sleepwalking and still reeling from having to write the words that Yuri Turchyn departed this world peacefully in my arms on Sunday, April 14, 2024. Time of departure: 15:05. Sail away.
CK+YT @Woodstock

Telling Our Story

We find a purpose in life, not just a lifestyle to live by, taking on life’s challenges with words, music, time stamps and postcards.

Air Guitar Wedding

Who, What, Why Is This Happening?


Grammarly Stands with Ukraine

Together with the UNITED24 fundraising platform, Grammarly is raising money for ambulances in Ukraine. We invite you to join the fundraiser by donating

 To all of Ukraine, we stand with you and are sending aid. To everyone else, we ask you to declare your support for the people of Ukraine, who continue to resist the unprovoked Russian invasion.

UA flag