It Was Family That Counted
When her eldest son, Robert, had his first child, Lennox, a year ago, Lyudmila Ksido was thrilled beyond words. Her first grandchild!
"It was huge, huge, colossal," said her middle son, Barry, who is 19. "She would be stressed out and she would spend a few hours baby-sitting for him and it would change her. I was in college in Buffalo and I would talk to her on the phone and I could just hear her smile."
Family was so important. Life had been tough, and then, through forbearance, it had gotten better. She arrived in this country from the Soviet Union in 1979, on the heels of a horrible tragedy. Her husband and brother were killed in a plane crash on their way to get immigration papers for the trip. But she had Robert, and she was determined to forge a better life.
In time she married Felix Ksido, and had Barry and Lawrence, 9, and they settled in Brooklyn. Mrs. Ksido, 46, worked as a consultant for Accenture.
When he was in college in Buffalo, Barry made a point of calling his mother almost every day. "If I missed a day," he said, "when I called her she would say, `Oh, now you remembered you have a mother back home?"'
On Sept. 10, he got back to his room late. It hit him that he hadn't called his mother that day, but it was much too late. He told himself he'd better make sure he spoke to her on the 11th, when he knew she'd kid him about missing a day. He never got the chance.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 27, 2001.