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His name is forever inscribed in history as the first person who saw the Earth not through the window of a spaceship, but right in front of him. But Alexei Leonov was also an amazingly purposeful and talented person. Since childhood, he loved drawing, and later painted professional paintings. The cosmonaut tried not to advertise his personal life, all the more he did not like questions about the tragedy that had happened in the family. However, Alexey Leonov lived together with his Svetlana for 60 years, and only eternity could separate them.
For the first time, Alexei Leonov fell in love at school age, when a new girl Varya came to them in the eighth grade. They clearly sympathized with each other and continued to be friends when Varya moved to another school. It was a completely innocent teenage love, Alexei was ashamed to even take the girl by the hand.
After Leonov entered the Chuguev Aviation School, young people corresponded, and then a letter came from Vary that she was married. At that time, the future cosmonaut did not even think about getting married, his thoughts were busy with his studies and the upcoming career of a pilot.
Alexey Leonov met Svetlana Datsenko right on the day of his 25th birthday. It seemed to him that he had already seen her a year before and was still thinking about the happy person to whom this beauty was intended. It turned out that it was fate that had prepared such a gift for him. On that day, Alexey walked with his comrades and saw a flock of girls hurrying somewhere. Svetlana was very beautiful, but for some reason she had very sad eyes. The young pilot liked the pretty girl so much that the next day he put on his flight uniform and was able to find Svetlana through his acquaintances.
The gallant officer did not leave the girl indifferent, she was surprised at his appearance and immediately invited him to go into the house where she lived with her parents. When Alexei Leonov saw in the room many reproductions of paintings that he liked himself, he immediately understood: this is fate. He painted himself and even thought at one time about entering the Academy of Arts, but the craving for the sky turned out to be stronger.
Alexey Leonov applied all his charm, charmed all the girlfriends of his chosen one, making them his allies, and three days after they met, the future cosmonaut became Svetlana's legal husband. And the next day I flew to Germany to my place of service. The newlyweds met only a few months later, when the pilot was able to obtain permission for his wife to come to him.
The dorm room, furnished by Leonov himself, became their first family nest. The pilot bought tulle and curtains, got beautiful bed linen and absolutely charming ladies room slippers. He was proud of himself, creating the feeling of a warm home in a military hostel. As soon as she crossed the threshold of the room, Svetlana simply burst into tears: she realized how attentive and caring her husband was. He became the subject of her pride, a constant reason for surprise and, of course, a source of happiness and great love.
After returning to the Soviet Union, they had to live for some time in the gym until they got an apartment, and after Alexei Leonov was enrolled in the cosmonaut corps, they moved to Star City.
Surprisingly, Alexei Leonov did not tell Svetlana about his love, preferring to replace the confession with the words: "I need you." He really could not live without his wife. Even in his own house, he was uncomfortable if his wife was absent. When Svetlana was nearby, he worked quietly, painted pictures, could stand at the easel all day.
In 1961, the first daughter of the Leonovs, Victoria, was born, and six years later, the youngest, Oksana, was born. Alexei Leonov loved his daughters very much, although he admitted: he and his wife looked differently at the upbringing of girls. However, he immediately added that the main thing in upbringing is love for the child, and which of the parents is softer or tougher is no longer so important. The cosmonaut loved it very much when the house was noisy, when the daughters came, and the house was filled with the voices and laughter of the grandchildren. Alexey and Svetlana Leonovs gladly received guests, they were very hospitable hosts.
The couple quarreled for 60 years of marriage only once. When Svetlana and Alexei were still young and were fooling around on the street, the wife dug her husband's sharp claws into the hand, tearing off the skin to blood. Arriving home, Leonov cut her nails. It almost came to a divorce. Fortunately, the passions quickly subsided, the mutual resentment passed, and after they lived together for 60 years, sharing in half all the joys and supporting each other in the days of difficult trials.
In July 1996, the eldest daughter of the Leonovs, Viktoria, died suddenly, suffering from viral hepatitis, which was complicated by pneumonia. Until the end of his days, this loss echoed with pain in the astronaut's heart.
Svetlana Pavlovna never sat idly by, she had two educations, medical and philological, worked as an editor of the editorial and publishing department at the CPC. She led a house, was engaged in raising children and grandchildren, enthusiastically planted flowers, but her husband always demanded her attention most of all. She loved her husband very much, so all the worries about him were pleasant for her.
Alexei Leonov considered himself a "correct" father, did not spoil his children, but loved them sincerely, was proud of their successes. And after that he simply adored his grandchildren, Danila and Karina. True, he admitted that he was too strict, being sure: only he knows how to do it right, all the others, compared to him, the "excellent student", know the subject for "C". And he added that in fact the children and grandchildren sometimes knew more.
He was a very creative and versatile person: together with the artist Andrei Sokolov he created stamps on space themes, became one of the scriptwriters for the films Orion's Loop and The Story of My Friend, wrote books, had 4 inventions and 10 scientific works.
Unfortunately, in the last years of his life, Alexey Arkhipovich was very sick, suffered from diabetes and in February 2019 underwent surgery on his legs. On October 11, 2019, the cosmonaut died. Svetlana Pavlovna is still very hard going through the death of her beloved husband, with whom she lived for 60 years …
The first cosmonaut and his wife, Yuri and Valentina Gagarins, could also celebrate the 60th anniversary of their marriage. Their happiness was bright, but very short. For less than 10 years they were husband and wife. But for almost half a century, she continues to love, believe and wait. Knowing exactly that he is not.
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