“My father left my mother and went abroad with his lover. We barely talk to each other because I can’t forgive him. “- The real life

photo: Adobe Stock, Drazen

It may sound strange, but All Saints Day has always been my favorite holiday. I remember it from my childhood as a day when my parents were in no hurry. We spent it together from morning to evening. After breakfast, they dressed us warmly, wrapped our shawls, put on mittens, and we went to the cemetery together. He was nearby, so we walked and talked. They told us about the old days. They were reminded of various funny or interesting stories about members of our family whom we had never met.

I remember a–about my grandmother living in the country and couldn’t understand why the city people would come one summer and lay out in the pasture with blankets. They were elegantly dressed and had baskets of food with them. They ate outside while the villagers stood and watched them from afar, amazed at the sight of them. For whoever saw it, lie down in the pasture! It seemed incredible to them, country people, and the fashion for picnics was flourishing in the cities.

When we were at the cemetery, our parents would light candles and let us put them on the graves. Mom always had hot tea with honey and lemon in a thermos bottle. She poured it into the cork and gave us one by one to drink and warm.

– The Day of the Dead is, contrary to appearances, the moment when we must above all think of the living. Make peace while they are among us. Forget the conflicts, to be able to sit at the same table for Christmas – she told us.

Then we went home for dinner. Had a bigos or pork chop with cabbage. For afternoon tea we ate apple pie and in the evening we returned to the cemetery to watch hundreds of candles burn in the dark. The view was amazing. I don’t know if it happened every year, but that’s the photo I remember.

We began to remember parents

My husband Marek rarely went to the cemetery with his parents, because he had no one to go to. His memories of November 1 are associated with his father’s grave. he died of a heart attack when Marek was a teenager. Dad’s unexpected death cast a shadow over his future life. He wasn’t ready for this. Of course, no one ever feels ready for the departure of a parent, but the period of adolescent rebellion is extremely difficult and all losses are particularly painful.

The first time I spoke to him about it after two months of knowing him. The fact that he opened up to me changed our relationship. It was then that Marek showed me his sensitivity. I never saw him cry before or after. There I saw a wounded child who had lost his guidance and his authority. It was his father who opened his eyes to the world of technology and electronics. A world that fascinated him so much that it is to this day his passion, his pride and his ambition, as well as a source of income.

Technology has also played a big role in my life. My father is an engineer. Until he leaves his mother and leaves Poland, his presence was something constant and obvious to me. It was he who explained to me the intricacies of mathematics. He also bought my first computer and taught me how to use it. He helped my sister and I with design projects for practical and technical classes, and he fixed everything we broke. He was also our first driving instructor. That’s why I know perfectly well what the world of technology is.

Marek owes his father more than his love of technology. Tadeusz, or his father, unlike his mother, was unassuming. He was the one who taught her how to grow up and how to treat girls. I should be grateful to him for raising a nice boy. But at the same time I blame him for leaving so soon and left a void in my husband’s heart that I cannot fill.

His father’s desire is still alive in Marek, which is why it is so difficult for him to talk about it – even with me. I don’t stick my tongue out at him. When someone talks about their father from time to time, I see them swallow nervously and dart blindly through the sky. Only I notice it. I know then that all three of us participate in this momentary sadness – me, Marek and Tadeusz.

Last year we went to the cemetery in Szczecin, where his father is buried. The closer we were to our destination, the deeper Marek immersed himself in a state of reverie. There’s no better time of year for memories, so I shut myself up thinking of my grandparents. About Grandpa Janek, who I remember sitting in an armchair and cracking nuts for me and Zuzka, and about Grandma Hania, who knitted sweaters for us.

I wish I had known them so briefly and I haven’t had the opportunity to ask as many questions as I would like to ask now. About how they met and loved each other, their childhood memories, their happiness and what they think matters most in life. However, they will certainly remain in my memory as good and warm grandparents, who always smelled of yeast dough at home.

– It’s been a long time since you were at your father’s, huh? I asked as we stood over the grave.

– A long time ago. Maybe too long. Do you think he blames me?

– And was it unforgettable? I smiled and looked at him.

– Not. He didn’t like conflict. He was cool, calm, on point. A guy who looks for solutions, not problems. There aren’t many people like that today. There are also few watchmakers. And he was so precise and engaged. The best in town. Then there were lines for him. Today, he would have vacancies in the factory or he would have to retrain.

Instinctively, he looked at the watch his father had given him years ago.

– You loved him very much, didn’t you?

– Yes, even if I rarely told him that. Maybe twice. But he knew. He wasn’t sentimental enough to dwell on how he felt. And what was his sense of humor, you would laugh if you talked to him. He would love you for sure.

I saw a tear in the corner of his eye, but he quickly wiped it away. I took the tea cups from my purse – the ones that keep the heat in – and handed them to her.

– You think of everything. Thanks for taking me on this trip.

It was like an earthquake for us

We remained silent and thought.

– And you want to meet your father? he asked suddenly.

– He is alive.

– Exactly. He misses you?

I shrugged. Of course I missed you. But it seemed like there was nothing I could do about it. Since he left his mother and went abroad, I did not have frequent contact with him. And the one that was didn’t make me happy either. I carried too many unspeakable regrets to allow myself to be natural and honest. So I was not happy when I heard a familiar voice from time to time.

“Maybe one day…” I sighed.

– But it may not come one day. Let’s hurry love people they go so fast – Marek quoted Father Twardowski. – Mine is gone. You still have a chance…

– I will think about it.

It was a phrase like that, but I think it worked like a spell because I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Dad, who was my childhood hero, disappeared from my life a few years ago. It was after I left home, but I still couldn’t believe he had left his mother and made his life with another woman overseas. He blew everyone away with such a trick, and that’s when I started thinking about my own family.

The few weeks following his death were like an earthquake for us. Then I came to see my mother to help her put everything back in order. She would have lived in the same apartment, in the same city, among the same people, but her whole world fell apart and she had to somehow get up from the rubble. It was not easy. She was angry with herself, accusing herself of not being a good enough wife, of not being attentive to the signs.

Moments later, she had a fit of rage at him and the woman. I felt so helpless, I didn’t know what to say to help her. She was about to retire, but she quit because she needed a job in this situation. She bitterly joked that at least at the community center she kept the remnants of the culture, because she was unbearable at home. This, however, was not true. She faced it all bravely, but for real it must have been very hard on his soul. Dad left not only from her. In love, he forgot the world and didn’t speak to us for more than a year.

In the evening, at home, I stared at the screen of my mobile phone as if hypnotized. Finally, I dialed his number.

– Hi Dad.

– Peck, is that you? His voice cracked.

I said I was calling to ask what was going on with him, if he was okay and how it was going… with Lidka. It passed down my throat with great difficulty. I still couldn’t imagine him living with another woman. Just thinking that now it’s with her, and not with his mother, that he eats lunch, runs errands and probably goes out somewhere in the evening, tears came to my eyes. I have not yet gone on stage to sincerely wish them happiness in love. I still loved my father, but the bruise remained and the wound burst again.

– I’m fine, Peck. And with Lidka… He whispered softly and somehow hoarsely. – With Lidka too.

– I wanted to tell you, dad, that I love you – I said, although I have to admit, it was hard to get through my throat. I know I rarely call because I’ve been angry for a long time. But you can’t be angry all your life, can you?

– Truth. I love you too, Peck. Thanks for your call.

That evening, I felt a little lighter. On the one hand, I felt a little remorse towards my mother, but on the other, I knew that whoever my father was, I would have no other. I can’t condemn him for the rest of my life.

Marek approached and hugged me as if he knew that now it had to be done quickly. A moment later, a wave of tears flooded me. As you can see, the emotions were still running high. The feast of the dead woke them up.

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