It was two years ago this month that my father-in-law passed away. I had held off on the third post because my wife asked me too. It was too close and personal at the time and I respected that. I tend to write mostly about the music and my kids but this helped me work through the grief back then and my daughter was amazing. It is also a tribute to my wife’s father who had quite a remarkable journey himself. You can read the first two posts here in Hard to explain part 1 and part 2. It seems appropriate to publish this in Memorial Day weekend. We will return to our regular programming later this week.
Saturday we buried the Jaja. My daughter was a troopper during the whole day. She held her aunts hand, hugged her Bobcia and was as well behaved child as there ever has been. She was also really, really sad. She sat up front during the mass sitting quietly by her Aunt and Mom. I was relegated to the crying room (that’s what it said on the door) as my son was a little needy this morning. It seems a little attention and a baggie full of cheerios cured us of that problem towards the end of mass. My sister and I talked during the ceremony and the little guy went back and forth between me and the aunt holding his cheerios. But my daughter was a trooper. She seemed to know who needed their hand held at any given time. She would lean on her Bobcia when needed and she held her Aunt’s hand walking into and leaving the church. She was giving the love as needed. At the graveside she did both but then came to her Mom for some holding of her own and then to me as she needed some love as well. When we came home she and her Mom vegged on the couches and watch some Create TV (PBS) and snuggled. Then she and her Mom went through the old photos of her Jaja. How vibrant and alive and movie star looking he was in black and white. Here was a man that survived WWII on his wits in Germany. He used to tell a story of how he was told to get on a train and he felt that one was wrong and snuck on another train. He said that decision saved his life. He believed his original train was destined for a camp. How after the war he signed up with the US army as a civilian police officer. That for serving there he garnered US citizenship and made his way to America. There is a nice pic of him in uniform with CP on the helmut and carrying a rifle. By the time my daughter met him he was old and a bit fragile. It was good to see pics of him vibrant and alive. A man with a future ahead of him. To his credit he doted on my kids. They loved him. He used to sing silly made up songs in polish and they would dance and laugh and give him hugs. My son said Jaja the last time he saw him, my daughter kissed him on the head. So goodbye Jaja and thanks for coming to America. Thanks for my wife and thanks for loving my kids. I hope to do so well in my life.