We ate sardines in oil on rye bread and fried shrimp and tripe stew and galareta, but not all at the same time. We drank tea. You peeled my apples and oranges until I was 19 and then some whenever I came home. You quizzed me on my spelling lists and let me listen to Super CFL in the car instead of Zenon Kwiatkowski's Polish Variety Hour on WOPA. I could always coax you into washing the dishes if I dried and put away, I so hated to get my hands wet, and slimy in the dirty dish water, still do. To say you spoiled me is a HUGE understatement.
Today you would be 89 years old. It's hard to believe you've been gone over 12 years. I last spoke with you on a Tuesday, you were so weak. Then Mom called Thursday morning to say that if I wanted to see you I should come soon. Whynot practically pushed me out the door, I thought if I stalled, you'd wait for me. I was afraid, afraid to lose you.
I almost drove straight through from J-town to Melbourne, the kids and I stopped outside of Atlanta, but I could only sleep a few hours so we piled back into the car and kept driving. We arrived late Friday afternoon. You were incoherent as I held your hand and kissed your forehead, I told you it was ok to go, that the kids and I would be fine. Whynot would take good care of us. We watched Wheel of Fortune together one last time. Saturday morning at about 3:30 you were gone. For months I couldn't drink tea without crying.
Happy Birthday Tatusz, I miss you, but we're ok.