Moja Polska Rodzina (My Polish Family)

Me and my cousin Steve.

Steve and my youngest child Elijah, who is catching up to him, height-wise.

So, my cousin Steve, whom I had never even heard about, came to visit me a  couple of weeks ago (his sister lives in St. Clair Shores). He is our family’s genealogist and came bearing gifts, the greatest of which was our family tree dating back to Poland, 1856. I am thankful that he found me by way of this very blog, or else I would have never known he existed. It’s a long story, but to shorten it just a bit, my grandmother was not so proud of her mulatto grandbaby (me). Whoever said blood is thicker than water was obviously not the czarna owca of their family. It was a sign of the times, I guess. What are ya gonna do? Sometimes that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. Life gives you lemons, you make koolaid, or something like that. Hmmm…. are there any other cliches that I can add here? Ah, yes, at the end of the day… at the end of the day, all that matters is that I was found. Laughing out loud (I just had to type that out)!

But I digress. Steve lives in Colorado with his wife Jane, daughter Emily and son Clark. He has visited our homeland (Poland) many times and even visited my great-grandparents’ grave. If you read my earlier post, which detailed my grandmother’s treatment at the hands of the Nazis, you may remember that my great-grandfather’s body was never recovered. So his grave is empty, it’s just a memorial really. Isn’t that messed up? Ugh! The atrocities! And for anyone to even dispute what happened way back when under Hitler’s regime, well, that’s just appalling.

Following are pics of my great-grandparents Helena Madalinska & Tadeusz Kryska along with a picture of their tombstone. I am very grateful for cousin Steve to share these with me. I would like to go and see their tombstone and hometown for myself one day, but ya know, I may get some crazy looks. I mean, look at me. Do I look Polish to you or do I look more Latina? Exactly! However, anyone that knows me, knows that I don’t give a damn what anyone thinks of me…. anymore. The most important opinion is my own, when it comes to acceptance and rejection. It took me forty years to get to this space and I like it. I like it a lot!

My great-grandparents. Look at the roundness of Helena’s face, this is where I get my fat face from. Wow.

My great-grandparents’ grave. My great-grandfather’s body is not in this tomb, for it was never recovered.

I guess I’ll go to sleep now. I have to be to physical therapy in a few hours and I’ll need my strength. I’ll post more pics as I get them.


Lenette 😉

One response to “Moja Polska Rodzina (My Polish Family)

  1. Elzbieta Stelmasiak

    Dear Madam,
    I found your blog, when I was searching in Internet some information about Helena Kryska. Maybe it’s hard to belive, but Helena Kryska was younger sister of my grandmather, Janina Stokwisz nee Madalińska. I am
    daughter of Lucjan Stokwisz (if your grandmother is alive, she will probably remember him and maybe me).

    I had a very close relationship with aunt Helena until end of her live. She was very full of life. I remember time when your grandmother and mother (she is younger then me) came out to USA. They arrived to America on invitation of Helena’s and Janina’s sister – Kazimiera and her husband Phillip Krent in early 60’.

    I read with emotion statement of your grandmother Anna (Hanna). Aunt Helena told me many of that stories, even about that Tadeusz Kyska shoe. Aunt Helena told me also that his symbolic grave in Poland (Łanienta near Kutno) isn’t empty at all. She buried that shoe in grave. She loved him very much.

    I don’t know if your grandmother is alive. Maybe I could write some letter to her? I have a lot to tell about aunt Helena and her sister – my grandmother. Also I have a lot of photos (even photo of Helena that you have). If you would like to contact, please, response that comment.

    Yours sincerely,
    Elżbieta Stelmasiak nee Stokwisz

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