THE GRZYBOWSKI FAMILY
xi. AN ACQUAINTANCE
Around this time my acquaintance with Ryszard Grzybowski developed. He was visiting his close friend, Rysiek Wolny at the time I was visiting my sister. They were living in the house bought by his parents. Rysiek Grzybowski came to the UK from India in 1947 to join his father - a soldier, after he and his sister spent five years in an orphanage. They lived in Blackburn. There, he graduated from a three-year textile university and became a technologist - designer. When I first met him, he was employed in a weaving factory. Acquaintance and companionship, as is often the case, turned into love and we got married on February 15, 1958. We moved in with the Czerniaks but soon we got our own place in Park Lee Road on a hill, far from the town centre. Our first daughter Izabella Maria (Dzidzia) was born here on January 30, 1961.
Danusia and Rysiek with their children, as they now had a son Marek, decided to move to Bradford hoping for better prospects. Mother went with them.
The Czerniaks were left on their own in the big house. So when the opportunity arose we decided to buy together a pair of semi-detached houses under construction near the park on Palmer Road. We paid a deposit, arranged a bank loan for 25 years, and on completion, lived next to each other, separated only by a wall. We moved into a new, more comfortable house (because we even had central heating, which was still a rarity then) at the beginning of January 1964. We were already expecting our second child, who was to be born in July. Unfortunately, there were complications and I gave birth to my daughter in the fifth month of pregnancy. In those days, she had no chance of survival. We named her Alina Ewa. She is buried in one grave with her grandfather Klemens Grzybowski at the Blackburn Cemetery.
Doctors strongly recommended that in my situation I try to have a baby as soon as possible. It worked. In the beginning there were big problems with the pregnancy, but they ended successfully and on March 31st 1965, a daughter Pola Helena, was born. The joy and relief of a healthy, beautiful baby somewhat masked the sadness for the one we had lost the year before.
After a few years, more changes took place again. The Czerniak family decided to move to Preston, where they opened a very prosperous hotel. Their circumstances improved dramatically, although they were still working very hard. We stayed in Blackburn, but since Mother had moved in with us permanently, it became crowded. We were forced to look for something bigger. It was a good thing because around this time, things changed for us as well. Rysiek, thanks to his abilities, solid performance and generally very good reputation, was promoted to director. His salary automatically increased significantly. There were also additional benefits, such as a company car, fuel, and even a telephone paid by the company. Thanks to our improved financial situation, we could think about a move. We found a very nice house near Blackburn in the beautiful Wilpshire area. The girls had further travel to school, but we had a car, so in the morning ‘Tata’ took them, and they returned by bus. The house was very comfortable. The rooms were really spacious and most importantly there were four bedrooms, which was the goal, for everyone to have their own.
Several years passed in this way. Even though we were separated by distances then, we still met very often. We were a very close family and not only that, but also good friends. Three sisters, three brothers-in-law, six children and mother at the head. It was so beautiful until February 15, 1980, when our best, beloved, heroic mother died almost without warning. A small candle, that burned with a huge, warm flame that shone and protected us all our lives. We felt her departure very painfully. She was buried in Pleasington Cemetery in Blackburn. Years later, in 1998, our brother Władek died. We laid his ashes in Mother's grave.
After Mother's death, the Czerniak family decided to move to London, where Zbyszek and Basia lived with her husband, Andrzej. Long distances, from 4 to 5 hours by car, made contact much more difficult. So meetings were less frequent. On the other hand, we frequently saw the Wolnys until Rysiek retired. In 1996 we also left Blackburn for London to be closer to our children and grandchildren. After getting married, Dzidzia moved to London, and Pola and her husband settled in Cardiff. We bought a small house with a garden on the outskirts of London and we live in a quiet street, very close to a hospital, which turned out to be extremely useful at our age.