Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Polish Grandma

A friend of mine, Kinga, sends occasional group emails to her friends. I love the most recent one and wanted to pass on excerpts of it to all of you.

The background is that Kinga immigrated to the USA with her family when she was a teenager. She is now in her thirties and is a mother of five. Her sister, Sylwia, comments on my blog sometimes. (Feel free to set me straight on the facts Sylwia.) Last October, they "kidnapped" their grandmother who has lived in Gizycko, Poland all her life. From what I understand, she separated years ago from her husband when he moved to another city for a new job and she refused to go with him because it would mean leaving the only place she knew. So in the kidnapping process, they took her to Germany and then brought her to America to live with Kinga's family. It has been so fun to hear updates on her life in America, my favorite of which came this past Sunday:

"Yesterday we had a wonderful day together with the kids and grandma. We got a summer pass for the brand new outdoor Lindon swimming pool. I bought one for her and she is thrilled to be so spoiled she said. She said I overindulge her in the pleasures of life. We went swimming with all 5 kids and had a great time.

Grandma was very slow in the lazy river and was not making any progress but holding on to the edge so she won't be blown off with the strong current. I told her to let go, but she would not let herself go scared to go under or hurt her leg even though the lazy river is only 3 feet deep. So I just gave her a piggy back ride as fast as I could a few times around the lazy river. That was so much fun. She was screaming with joy. She would not go down the yellow slide, but promised me that she will one day, just not today. Then we all went to the hot tub. Oh, she has never experienced anything like it, the jets massaging her back and nice warm water. She said she could have sat like that all day.

Afterward we were all very hungry so I took everyone out to Chuck O Rama....Gma was so full afterward she thought she was going to die. I take Gma out to eat once a month and she loves it soooo much. In Poland they don't have all you can eat restaurants and when I told her we had something like that she did not believe me. Well since she came to America she has been to them once a month now. She said if they had something like that in Poland, then people would just come in the morning and go home late at night especially if they have the bathrooms here. I told her no one would do that, they would die of overeating. But I am sure grandma imagines herself doing that.

Afterward we went to Wal-Mart to buy Gma some things and us some things we needed. Gma loves going to Wal-Mart and sit in a big wheel chair and get pushed around the store or drive around the electric one. She loves window shopping. But always reminds us not to spend too much money because we can live simply if we try. She has in Poland. She teaches me to take care of my old things or fix them instead of buying new ones every time. But whenever I buy her something she talks about it for a week she is so happy."

I love seeing my America--the one with water parks, hot tubs, buffets, nice bathrooms, and cheap shopping--through the eyes of an 84-year-old who has lived her whole life without those things. As you can see in the picture above, taken at the Baltic Sea, Lusia is a spunky little old lady. I love that she can experience the fun things of America that we often take for granted. Thanks for sharing her adventures Kinga.


mindy said...

That is the greatest thing I've read in a long time. I love that Gma! I'm going to link to this.

Charlotte said...

That is cool. I often wonder what we take for granted looks like to those who have never had itl

Sylwia Lipinska Hardman said...

you got all the facts straight, expect on the picture Gma is swimming in a lake with a very rocky shore, not in the Baltic Sea. i thought it was funny that she was scared of the wave pool, but climbed on the jagged rocky shores of her lake all her life!