This year we have been together for 16 years, while we will be celebrating our 14th Wedding anniversary in June. It all seems such a long time, but in reality, it has flown. We have had great years, bad years and okay years, but all the way through it we have journey together and we have made it through stronger than ever, and I wouldn’t have it any other way as the journey has helped create the people we are today.
Over the last 16 years we have had many a conversation about Poland, the country of birth for Tata. We have talked about where he came from, Bialystok, why he left with his family and the road they travelled to get to Australia and the life it provided them. We have looked at old photographs from Poland, which are few and far between and listened patiently to stories about his childhood, growing up in Poland and also stories from Babcia and Dziadek.
We have tried to incorporate Polish traditions into our life and that of our children, tried to embrace the language (to no avail!) as we tried to honour their heritage on their fathers side. Don’t get me wrong we have also tried to honour the heritage from my side of the family too, but it is easier as my heritage speaks the same language and embraces many of the same traditions as Australians do.
Anyway, as the years went by, my curiosity and desire to visit this country that is now linked with my own life story and that of my children’s has increased. So much so that I have repeatedly asked Tata if he would consider living in Poland for a year or two just so we can move there and truly experience the Polish way of life for ourselves. For years my desire to visit and possibly live there has been loosely discussed and cheekily pushed aside. That is until 2013. What a start to the year!
So some 16 years later (and we are in 2013) and Tata finally tells me we can afford to send me to Poland. My first visit it not quite what I was hoping for as I wanted to take the whole family, but the reason behind it requires that we spend the least amount of money now for future prosperity. So I am in a state of shock, extremely excited, yet saddened as well that Tata and the children will not be coming with me THIS time.
So for the last two weeks we have been consumed with everything Polish and connected to Poland. I finally got over my desire to only travel with the whole family and accepted that if I want my true desire to happen, then I best travel to Poland in 2013, by myself and check it out.
Then a curve ball was thrown at me. ‘Why not take Phinee with you?!?’ Tata asks. ‘What?!?!’ I say… but after thinking about the logistics of it all and talking with Tata who convinces me it is the right thing to do, I accept the challenge and the honour of taking our older daughter with me to Poland, to show her the place of her father’s birth and that of his heritage. To retrace the footsteps of his beginnings – and all without speaking the Polish Language! – Heaven help me 🙂 or us!
So as our journey begins to materialise in front of our faces and the reality of it sets in. Phinee and I have set ourselves the task of researching Poland, where we should visit, things we should do and words we need to learn and understand in a hurry. We have tried to learn the Polish language before but it is so hard and we can’t get the right sounds for many of the letter combinations, but with no real reason to perfect our spoken polish words, the desire over the years just died off. But now we have a reason and our journey demands that we learn as much as we can in the time that we have. So hopefully now that we have a practical need to speak Polish we might learn and retain it easier.
So After 16 years – Poland is on the menu and I am ready to devour it 🙂