My babcia celebrated her 90th birthday less than two weeks ago. From as early as I can remember she has always been a solid part of my life. She's the reason for my gherkin and ham sandwich fetish. She's also the reason I crave food that makes my husband screw up his nose, like brawn and pierogi.
But the older she gets, the more she reflects on the past. Over the years, I've learned a lot about the events that shaped the strongest woman I know. I never heard them when I was little. She always kept her stories close to her chest. It's now, when I'm older and eager to listen to every word, that she opens up and releases the built up emotional nightmares.
She inspires me to be more. I want to write about a woman who encompasses unbelievable strength, heart and determination, just like her. A warrior who had to witness her mother bury two children in the garden, a foot outside the kitchen door due to the harsh reality of the Polish depression. I want to write about the beautiful soul who was given away as a child and sent to be raised by her aunt because her mother could no longer look after her. I want to write about the brave girl who was forced to become an adult when she was taken by the Nazi's and made to do things I can't even imagine. I want to pay tribute to her and tell the story of someone who was beaten by Germans simply because she didn't milk a cow properly. Or someone who can withstand childbirth and then be forced to work the fields mere hours later even though her daughter was taken away.
But who can do justice to a woman that inspiring?
Every story I hear fills me with awe. Her experiences are beyond the scope of a woman who has lived in a blessed Australian life. But I'll do more. I'll be more. Because of her. And hopefully one day I'll have words written in print to express what she means to me.
Sorry for the ramble. I needed the catharsis. xoxo