Mom Wants A Diabetes Cure

Thursday, April 06, 2006

It Ends With A Love Story

That one love of your life...the one who you just knew was the one at first sight...the one who would change the course of your life and leave you...and when he left you didn't want to go on living....

After America liberated Germany, my grandmother was granted a job as a translator. She knew Polish, French, German, Russian, English, and various other obscure European languages. She helped displaced prisoners find their ways back home.

She also took a job at an Army mess hall. During down time, the other girls and she would play cards and "comment" on the cute American Army boys.

"Ooh, look at him, he's cute"

"What about that one over there, maybe I can be his girlfriend"

On and on my 21 year old grandmother and her young friends would go about the cute American Army boys.

My grandfather happened to be standing guard in the mess hall on that fateful day.

My grandmother had her eye on my grandfather and she made one of those comments to my grandfather in Polish, so cocksure of herself that she could say whatever she wanted to him and so sure that he'd look back with a dumbstruck look on his face unsure of what the hell she just said to him.

He answered her back in the same language.

She and the girls were the ones who were dumbstruck.

I picture my grandfather with that sideways smirk of his (picture Bruce Willis and you'll know exactly what I mean) knowing he pulled one over on my grandmother.

You see, his family was from Poland. His family immigrated to America and settled in Pennsylvania where he was born. When he was three years old, they moved back to Poland where he grew up. Right before WWII broke out, he moved to America to live with his brother.

He married that woman and brought her back to America.

Five children (the untimely death of one) and two grandchildren later, my granfather died of a heartattack in the Winter of '83.

I was 12 years old at the time. I remember my grandmother standing with her head resting on the fireplace mantel saying these words:

"The man who saved my life is dead. There is no reason to go on anymore. There is nothing here for me anymore. What do I have here? He's dead. I just want to be dead too."

After all she went through from the time she was 17, when she was first picked up by the Nazis, until 1983, when my grandfather left her, she couldn't find the strength to go on any longer. The love of her life...the one who saved her life...wasn't at her side with that sideways smirk of his.

Twenty three years later, she's still going strong at the age of 83. Since then, she has two more grandchildren and three great grandchildren...she's survived lung cancer...still walks for miles...and when she gets home from those long walks, she complains that she's getting old.

The End.


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