Today I am thinking, like a lot of people in Poland, about my ancestors who have passed before me. Today is the Feast of All Saints in Poland, a national holiday where many, many people take time to visit cemeteries and pay their respects to their ancestors. I was extremely fortunate, because when I was in Poland last year, I got to visit the graves of some of my ancestors and their loved ones.
I remember, most importantly, the cemetery in Faschivka, the town where my great-grandparents were from. There we saw the grave of his mother–though we believe more family is buried there. Also the grave of his son, Antoni, the brother of my great-grandfather, and the brother of my cousin Alicja. When I was in Pruszcz-Gdanski, I visited the graves of Alicja’s father, as well as of other relatives. And in Tczew, I visited the graves of Cousin Irena’s husband, brother, and parents. Again, a very moving experience.
Each time we visited relatives’ graves in Poland, we took flower, or votives, or candles, or a combination. It’s a sign of respect. And on All Saint’s Day, all the graves get decorated. They say you can see the glow of the candles and votives from miles away.
I have my candles and votives lit tonight. I am remembering all those relatives in Poland, all my relatives here, as well as my friend Alicja’s mother, my friend Janusz’s father, and a host of others. Oh yes, and especially my Cousin Sonja, with whom I had the privilege of touring Poland. I have not forgotten any of them I remember. S + P