I recently paid a visit to my last surviving uncle. He lives a somewhat reclusive existence. All of his siblings have passed away and he is finally alone....left to his own devices.....and nobody around that he has to take care of.......just himself. He has a group of friends in his neighborhood......what's left of them......most of them have died off too. I have a history in his neighborhood. I was born there. All of the things that could have been, never happened. All of the things that could have been said, never was. All that is left is some memories, which I have hung on to and cherished. I never got to really speak with my grandparents. My grandfather had died before I was born, and my grandmother never spoke the English language. My recollection of communication with her was as follows:
"This is your grandson!"
My grandmother. "Booshe".......that what we called her. It was short for "babooshka" Both of my grandparents were from Poland. I feel an indescribable connection with Poland. I cannot explain it outside of heritage. She wasn't a bad looking woman either. She produced nine children from two marriages. Her first husband died at an early age. My grandmother always looked like an old woman to me. Obviously, in this photo, she was not old at all. I never had any hugely memorable moments with my grandmother. I never stayed overnight at her home. We never walked around the block or the park. I never had that kind of relationship with her. She was just simply......there. I do not know what she thought of me and I am not so sure she even knew what we thought of her. It is a void that I have often thought about.
So I cannot change the past.......I can only try to do something about the here and now......and try to have some effect on the future. In the picture shown above, is my granddaughter, "The Princess" with one of her great-grandmothers. She is having an experience I never had. And those moments in her life are now documented and shall never be forgotten. These opportunities do not simply happen on their own.....you have to make it happen. Unfortunately, these moments will soon exist no more..........that is sad. I doubt my granddaughter has any clue as to what is going on......or how ill her great grandmother is. When she grows up, she will be able to look back and be grateful.
For me..........at Christmas, all I have of my grandmother to hang onto....is my Polish heritage. I hear the Polish music and I think of her. I do not know if it's possible for her to know this, but I hope she knows she is remembered. Meanwhile, I will crank up the koledy and eat some kielbasa and sauerkraut.......wolf down some chruscikis and be happy. I couldn't be doing this if it wasn't for my grandmother giving birth to my dad.