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Kresy Family group

​​THE GRZYBOWSKI FAMILY


CZESŁAWA RACHEL-GRZYBOWSKA



xii. REFLECTIONS 

Once I was asked what my success in life was. I replied that a marriage that lasted for over 61 years, but above all our two daughters. They are not only our success, but happiness, pride and joy. Good, healthy, beautiful, talented and hardworking. Dzidzia graduated in law from King's College, London. She married a scientist, Dr. Marek Szatkowski. They have three wonderful children - Zosia, Tomasz and Lidia. Pola graduated from medical studies in Cardiff. She married a medical doctor David Thomas. They have two, no less wonderful daughters - Rosie and Lottie, and we just enjoy our wonderful family.















Soon after coming to England, I turned 16. I have spent 71 years in this country, which is most of my life. When asked if I feel Polish or English, the answer is simple - definitely Polish. For many years I have been a loyal citizen of this peaceful, beautiful and friendly country – England but my homeland is Poland. So I was happy to hear that after long and strenuous efforts, I received confirmation of Polish citizenship and in April 2019 I was given a passport by Ambassador Arkady Rzegocki at the Polish Embassy in London. It took place in the presence of the Consul, my family and guests. I felt very honoured. I accepted it as recognition of many years of social work in Polish communities.

The years have passed and circumstances prevent any more trips to explore the world, and there were many of them and they were extremely interesting. Perhaps the most important one was the pilgrimage to the Holy Land following the footsteps of Jesus Christ, the audience with the Holy Father John Paul II and the trip to Iran, where in Tehran I was able to be at my father's grave on the 70th anniversary of his death. Now only photos and wonderful memories remain.

I had serious concerns about managing to write down my memories and whether there was any point as for me they do not stand out as anything extraordinary. Finally, I succumbed to requests and persuasions from my family, and even of strangers (especially English people) who, on various occasions, learnt in-brief of my life and of other Poles who reached England in 1946-1950.


While writing, I was forced to reflect and the conclusion is that my life was happy, except of course bad moments such as the premature death of people dear to me, but I try not to dwell on this. I still have one sister, Danusia and I am happy I have her. Considering my years, I am healthy. I have a very good husband (although there have been a few times that I wanted to strangle him, and it was not out of love!). It's great that we can laugh at ourselves. I am glad that we have a successful relationship that has survived a long time, and that we are mutually supportive in our old age. We have the best daughters Izabella and Pola, wonderful grandchildren Zosia, Tomasz, Lidia, Rosie and Lottie, dear close and distant family spread all over the world. So it only remains to rejoice and be happy in what life has bestowed on us.


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Go to previous page- Czesława Grzybowska Part xi

The world is not perfect, so life is not idyllic, but looking at mine from the perspective of 87 long years, I assess it very positively. Sure there were worse and better times, personal and family problems, but the worst for me is my memory of the two years, spent in Russia as a young child. A two-year period which must have been incomparably worse for despairing parents hugging children dying of hunger and disease. From the moment I was given food and lice stopped biting me, I began to be a child again.

I reached the age of ten in Africa, where we were given an oasis of peace and normality. I grew up far from my homeland, but a "little Poland" was re-created there and we were brought up in a patriotic culture and love for our native country.