Sto-Lat, Sto-Lat!!

“Sto-lat” (One Hundred Years) is a traditional Polish song that is sung to express good wishes, good health and long life to a person. An English version of the lyrics are:

Good luck, good cheer, may you live a hundred years.

Good luck, good cheer, may you live a hundred years.

Good luck, good cheer, may you live a hundred years.

One Hundred Years!

If you were in Poland and it was making you nervous that you wouldn’t be able to pronounce the above words in Polish at a birthday celebration, do not panic too much. “Sto Lat” is often accompanied by vodka, which somehow makes the pronunciation much easier!

So why am I writing this post to you today? It was on September 27, 1917, that a little baby boy named Stanley was born to a polish immigrant couple who settled in Lynn, Massachusetts. Stanley was the youngest of 7 children and if he lived to this very day, Stanley would have reached that 100 Year “Sto-lat” landmark. This man Stanley that I am speaking about was my dear Dad!

Unfortunately, my Dad did not live to be 100 years old. He went to heaven peacefully on January 9th, 2009 (about 8 years ago) at the age of 91, while in the comfort of his home. On that very morning just before he passed, my parents had pre-arranged for a visit from their lawyer to their house to sign their updated last will and testament. Ironically, in just less than one hour after the attorney left my parent’s house, my Dad simply sat down on his favorite chair and moments later—- his heart just simply stopped.

My Dad was such a wonderful person who was loved by all. He never complained and rarely talked much about himself. When you would meet him, he genuinely was interested in you and your welfare and would take the time to listen intently to what you had to say. My Dad was the kind of person who loved his wife and family deeply, who was proud of his three sons, and who would always speak from the heart.

I really miss my Dad even after all these years. However, I am comforted to know that he is at peace and that he continues to lovingly watch over us (his family) from his rightful place in heaven.

“Sto-lat” “Sto-lat” my dear Dad ——- you finally made it to 100 years !  “Sto-lat” !!!

 

Unfortunately, unlike Terry’s Blog I do not have many current pictures of my Dad here with me in my RV in Tampa. However, I incorporated into this Blog a photo of my Dad (in his younger years) that you might recognize since it was previously used by Terry as the main character in a couple of his creative short stories.

Also included is the only video that I have of my Dad probably taken about 10 to 12 years ago and a photo although a bit dark of his Urn, favorite hat and a photo of my Dad’s smiling face proudly showing “The Drabczuk smile”!

Also included below are a couple of other personal comments about my Dad:

 

From my mother Stacia (his wife): What can I write about my husband?  He was the best thing that ever happened to me.  I’m sure glad I accepted his New Year’s invitation to go on a date when he called me on Christmas Eve in 1947.  That was the beginning of it all.  In May of 1949, Stan and I married.  He gave me 60 years of the happiest times of my life, but most of all he left me with three wonderful sons – Jan, Gary and Randy.

From my brother Jan (his oldest son): Growing up I always remember that my Dad was there for me. He would come home usually after working overtime and he still had time for me. He was there for both my happy and sad times. Dad gave me the direction, education and love that has made me successful in life. Every day I wish I could be more like him. Wish you were still hear Dad. Happy 100th birthday.

From my brother Randy (his youngest son): I can’t believe my dad would have turned a 100 years old today.  I also can’t believe it’s been over 8 years since his passing.  Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him.  He was a wonderful father, husband and man of this world.  He was a friend to all that knew him. My dad was the type of guy that could walk into a room of strangers and then walk out of that room with every one of those strangers becoming his friend.   He made everybody laugh.   Growing up with my dad provides me with some of my best memories in life.  He was always supportive of me and encouraged me to excel in everything I did.  No matter how busy he was with working extra hours to support our family, he would still find time in his schedule for me and that made me feel special.  From the simple things in life like coming up to tuck me in bed when I was little or the difficult things like coming to the hospital when I was in a car wreck, I could always see in my dad’s eyes how much he loved me.  Even as an adult, when I went back home to visit, I could always feel my dad’s love.  I only wish I could be half the man my dad was. I love my dad, I miss my dad and I wish my dad a Happy 100th Birthday!

Here’s to my dad… “Na zdrowie!”

From my sister-in-law Gail (my brother Jan’s wife): Stanley was always a lot of fun and happy to see anyone who walked into his home. He made everyone feel welcome and could not wait to chat with you. He made me feel like part of the family from the first meeting. I will always love and miss him as his daughter in law. He will forever be missed.

 

From Terry (my deceased spouse, written several months ago): Gary’s father is now gone from this world, and I only had the opportunity to be in his company twice.  From the memories of Gary and his family and the short time I knew him; he was an extremely patient, funny and easy-going man.  A son, a brother, a husband, a father, a respected man.  He is missed and now a memory, but he is not forgotten.

 

33 thoughts on “Sto-Lat, Sto-Lat!!

  1. This made me feel emotional… I could feel the deep love and devotion your father had for each one of you, and that each one of you had for him. It sounds like he was a very wonderful father and person! What an awesome tribute to him!

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  2. What a wonderful man …. there is no greater gift than warmth and generosity of spirit to all you meet. All the tributes from your mum, your brothers and from Terry echo your words – that this was a man in a million … i am grateful to you for sharing this lovely testimony to what human kindness should be. Happy 100th, Sir and may your spirit infect us all and remind us that we should be more like you 💛

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  3. Okay…Derrick. Thanks for letting me know about the video working in the Original post here. Last night when I was trying to look at it, it wasn’t working for me so I thought I would repost that video as a Part 2 incase others were having problem with it. Maybe it has to do with the computer one is looking at the blog on and who has what programs on theirs ? Also, since your Dad was born so close in time to mine, who knows, maybe they crossed paths somewhere in life in their earlier days? Gary

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  4. What a sweet tribute you have here. I love the video, and the hat…really made me smile. It says so much about your family. It also reminded me of my eastern European roots, heard so many songs/ phrases with all those consonants !! Thanks for sharing, Gary.

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  5. Such a lovely, heart-warming tribute to your dad. I’m glad you had him for so long and that you all enjoyed him and his fun-loving character. Birthday wishes to your dad, I can imagine the kind of celebration that will be going on wherever he is: my parents used to have a Polish neighbour, whenever New Year’s Eve was approaching he would make a trip home and be well stocked up with extremely lethal Polish vodka, which he lavished upon his neighbours up and down the street on New Year’s Eve (which lasted all night!)

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  6. I love this post. Your father and Terry certainly spent the day together I bet….love all the wonderful tributes to your father. He sounded like a wonderful man. Thank you for sharing with us. loved the Birthday song at the end….XXkat

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