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.

 

let’s go celebrate

One year ago, today we left.

One year ago, today was his ‘big’ day.

But the leaving overshadowed his ‘big’ day.

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One year ago, today I published a post ‘Yes, today is the day we celebrate.‘, in which I wrote the following words –

You know what today is?  How could you forget, I have written about it for weeks and months now.

Yes, today is the day the new owners sign papers to buy our home.

Yes, today is the day we leave our home for the last time.

Yes, today is the day we make our way to Pensacola, Florida.

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Yes, today is the day we celebrate.

In today’s post, I write the following words –

One year ago, today we left Dallas immediately after signing papers of the sale of our house.

One year ago, today was his ‘big’ day; it was Gary’s 60th birthday.

But the leaving overshadowed his ‘big’ day; there was no cake or ice cream.

Today let’s celebrate Gary’s 61st birthday!

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Happy Birthday Gary.  You my husband and partner, my caretaker and friend, my rock of support.  You bring meaning to my life, my heart and soul.

For this I adore you and love you.

Happy 61th Birthday!

Now let’s go celebrate.

A Grown Man

Today is son #1’s birthday and he is 35 years old today.  When any of my son’s birthday come around, I am always amazed.  I am amazed these once little boys are now grown men.

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Image Provided by: Wikimedia Commons

Where did the time go?

For me I once recalled the thought of time slowly passing by and therefore the many years to live would take a while to come and go.  I remember having these thoughts in my teenage years while going through the routine of school, work, some play and passing of dull days.

That slowly passing time continued and life event changes came and went and there was a marriage and babies were created and a divorce took place, not to mention a serious depression, and suicide attempts.

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Image Provided by: dropalia.com

During those life event changes, those created babies who grew into little boys have now grown into men.

Where did the time go?

Son #1 is 35 years old today.

I loved you when you were created and as a little boy, and I continue to love you now as a grown man.

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Image Provided by: Dissolve

My love for you has never changed and never will.

Happy Birthday Son #1,

Dad

(NOTE: I am still in the hospital having my pain managed.  My hopes are that I will be released tomorrow (Sunday))

57 Today

Gary, Roxy and I hooked the RV on the truck and moved to Tampa a day early.

That took place yesterday and because of it, I am a little late on reading your posts and responding to comments.

I promise to catch-up today.

So, here is a little video of that travel from yesterday, and something important about today.

My mom, she worries

Today is my mom’s birthday!

Image1What can I say about mom, that I have not already written about here on my blog?

Oh, you may have missed some of my past words about mom?

Well, since you asked?

Here are some excerpts from past posts about my mom, a special lady in my life –

Post: Thoughts From Years Past.18

….I once called my mom pleading for her to leave work and come help me.  Mom was there for me, helping me get through a tough time as I found in the years to follow she would do on a consistent selfless basis.

Post: My Time in a Psychiatric Hospital

I looked forward to those visitations because each time I knew my mom would be there – not once did she miss coming to visit me.

Post: Thanks Mom!

My mom may not have always understood me and my actions; but she has always supported me.  She has never questioned my choices in life even when those choices were bad ones and she has always been there to help pick me up so I can continue to move forward. 

Post: Happy Birthday Mom

She was there for me in the most difficult dark days of my life and literally saved me and my life.  She has never failed to be available for me in so many ways, so many times, for so many years.

Post: Magnificent

My mom is splendid, grand and outstanding.  But more importantly she’s understanding, unconditional, accepting and loving.

In my post ‘Mother Mary‘, I wrote the following –

I made my mom cry the other day.  It upset me that she was crying; she was crying because she knows I am going to go through a major surgery to have my bladder removed and some other organs removed, and that my life will be different.  And, I guess as a parent we don’t like to see our child suffer; we don’t want to see our child struggle and we don’t want to see our child go through certain situations.

In today’s post, I want to conclude with the following words –

When I visited my family last month for Thanksgiving and it was time for me to say goodbye to my mom – I made my mom cry again.  Image3Well, I did not make her cry, she cried because she knew what was going to take place very soon.  Thanksgiving would be the last time my mom and I would be together before my surgery.  My mom, she worries – and so she cried when it was time to say our goodbyes.  I hugged her and told her not to worry, it all would be fine; it is all good, I will be okay.

I write this post, thinking she may never see these words, but she knows how I feel about her – I have never hesitated to let her know.

Love you mom – happy birthday!

Terry

Brother, it may be the chromosomes

I wrote a post back in September titled ‘Brothers‘, in which I ended with the following words –

The years preceding today, for the brothers, it was not always easy to embrace compassion, love and expression.

I think they are changing – what a nice birthday present for us all.

Happy Birthday Brothers.

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Image Provided by: vord.dvrlists.com

In today’s post, I write the following words –

This brother and I: maybe what we do not have in common is our chromosomes?

Today is my 2nd oldest brother’s birthday.  This brother and I have had little contact for most of our lives.  We seemed to have had very little in common for most of our years, and we still do in many ways.  But as we have grown older we have changed and come to realize as many people do; life is short.  The very little we have in common is no longer important, and now that we are becoming older – we realize what we do have in common.

We have the same father, who is starting to diminish due to Parkinson’s Disease.  We have a mother who is doing well, but has had her share of health issues the past several years.  Our parents are in their early 80s and us kids know this and realize as our parents are aging, so are we.  And I guess as many people age; sometimes our thinking changes, sometimes our attitude changes and in the case of my brother who I have very little in common with – so is our relationship changing.

This change came about recently and most likely due to my health issues.  Yes, I know, the recent health issue should not be a reason to bring us closer, we should have always been closer.  I think many families are not perfect and my siblings would agree with me when I say our family certainly is not perfect – far from it.  Being an imperfect family is fine with me and I am okay with my 2nd oldest brother and I becoming closer as I battle with my health issues.

I performed a search about why brothers can be different and not have much in common.  I was unsure what I was looking for with my search results and I certainly was not expecting clear-cut answers.  The results I did receive has our differences coming down to chromosomes and gene sequences.

For my 2nd oldest brother and I; well I think no matter our chromosomes or gene sequences or what very little in common we had; they still exist.  But I believe it is what we have in common that brings us closer together.  Parents, aging, health issues, changes in thinking, changes in attitude – that is what is bringing us closer.

I am good with having the improved relationship with this brother – he is important to me.

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Image Provided by: quotesgram.com

I embrace you and I love you.

So 2nd oldest brother, you may never see this blog or read these words – I am thankful our relationship is better than it ever has been.

Happy Birthday Brother!

A state of mind

I now call myself old.

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Image Provided by: http://www.jarofquotes.com

They say age is nothing but a number and a state of mind.

I now call myself old.

I googled ‘you know you’re old when quotes’, and received many different results.

buzzfeed.com has a list 56 Signs That You’re Definitely Getting Old(er) that includes the following –

You consider going to the post office as a “busy weekend.”

Crowded places easily frustrate you.

You wake up early on days you can sleep in.

You get teary-eyed during wedding scenes in movies.

You cannot believe people were born in the 2000s.

The celebrities at the Kids’ Choice Awards are complete strangers to you.

You just like to sit down sometimes.

Yes, I now call myself old.  But it is just a state of mind, right?

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Image Provided by: http://www.jarofquotes.com

My son #3’s birthday is today; he is 30 years old today.  I remember when he and my other ‘boys’ were born, then toddlers and preschoolers; and I remember when they were teenagers.  It does not seem long ago, they were going to school, playing soccer and marching in the high school marching band.  Time continues on, never stopping for any reason and then one day the younger one; son #3 turns 30 years old.  Yes, I now call myself old.

When I turned 30 only 26 years ago, I remember feeling middle aged.  I can remember feeling good about my life, my age and looking forward to what life had to offer.  Fast forward and now all my sons are in their 30s, I wonder how they feel about that?  I have not asked them how they feel about being in their 30s; I would be curious to know.

I realize age is nothing but a number and a state of mind.  But, I now call myself old.

I do consider going anywhere on any day a busy day and crowded places do frustrate me at times.  Every day I can sleep in, but I do not; I always wake early.  I do get teary-eyed during wedding scenes in movies as well as many other scenes especially the movies on the Hallmark Channel.

Are there people that were really born in the 2000s and since when did kids have their own award show?

Many times I just like to sit and think and reflect.  I often reflect on life, my life, my sons and the current day’s events.

I now call myself old because today all 3 of my sons are in their 30s.

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Image Provided by: http://www.pinterest.com

But, I realize age is nothing but a number and a state of mind.

Happy 30th Birthday Son #3.

Dad’s Birthday

Today is my dad’s birthday.

Dad has lived 83 years on this earth today.

The purpose of this post was to write something profound.  A post about this special day; the day my dad was born.

I googled ‘birthday’, ‘why celebrate birthdays’ and ‘what is a birthday’, and I received many different results back.  Some of the results included websites of different religions and the reasons for celebrating one’s birthday.  Other results included websites that sell birthday related products and services such as Hallmark and Dave & Busters.  And then there are other websites with articles related to birthdays such as ‘Why Do We Blow Out Candles on Birthday Cakes?’, ‘Best Birthday Gifts For Boyfriend 2016’ and ‘Birthday Do’s & Don’ts’.

Well there was not anything I found as a result of my search that appeared to be profound, so let us move on.

Birthdays are important!

Dad’s birthday is important!

Dad and I go back a long way; back decades and the relationship was not always good, not always easy – but the foundation that kept us going was always love.

There are many posts I have written about dad – (if you are interested in reading – clicking the title link below will take to that post)

My Dad Who Taught Me Plenty

One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked…

I understand the words ‘I love you’

Anger Towards My Dad

A Letter From Dad

We Darn Near Lost Him

not many handshakes going on these days.

The shell of a man

The transformation of our relationship has evolved over the past 50+ years and today is one of meaning for both of us.  I know my dad felt years ago as I have felt in previous years; we failed as a father, we made mistakes, but we did our best.  Dad and I are very much a like even though we are very different.  Dad and I are dealing with health issues and we handle them the best we can, positive attitude and dealing with our illness one day at a time.

My dad and I are not the best patients: we both complain and we are both referred to as ‘a bitch’.  LOL, we really are, that is us – my dad and I.

Back to the foundation that kept us going – love.

Love may not always be displayed in ways we usually expect them.  My experience so far is love blooms as we grow older and though in the previous years it was not displayed in the usually fashion, it certainly is being displayed that way today.

My dad displays his love for me and I display my love for my dad.

You may recognize the right half of the picture below, as I display it many times here on my blog.  I decided today to display the whole picture; the picture that completes me.

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Happy Birthday Dad.

Love you,

Terry

Brothers

In my post ‘not many handshakes going on these days.‘, I concluded with the following –

Today, I hug and kiss my dad always without hesitation and the response is welcomed.  I do not kiss my brothers, but we do hug now – not many handshakes going on these days.

The first hug and kiss to my dad – I remember that day as if it were yesterday.

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In today’s post I begin with the following –

Today is my oldest brother’s birthday; he reaches 61 years today.  I have written very little about my twin sister and almost nothing about my brothers.  It is not that they are not important; it is I feel they do not necessarily play an important role in my life, the history of me, the current me, that which is me and is my life.

As mentioned in the above post, I do not kiss my brothers, but we do hug now – not many handshakes going on these days.

Recently, well these past several months; the relationship with my brothers has changed some.  Before Gary and I left Dallas last month, we had dinner with family including my oldest brother, the birthday brother.  As we ended our gathering, he asked about me and my condition and the expectations for the future.  I provided him the information I knew at that point, which did not include the chemotherapy that I am now undertaking.  At that time departing from dinner, he gave me a brotherly hug and said, I love you!  First time for my oldest brother to speak those words to me.

Since that night, there was another conversation on the phone and the same words were spoken to end the discussion.

I have always embraced compassion, love and expression.  Each one of these aspects of us is important, not just for us, but to others also.  My dad and brothers not always easy for them, are coming around to embrace these same aspects.  I believe it is never too late to express the importance of compassion, love and expression.

There is the other brother; another older sibling, the one for which him and I have had basically a non-existent relationship for most of our lives.  We are different, or so we thought until much later in life, that life in times that is now.  We rarely speak on the phone and actually see each other in person less often, very seldom and more often rarely.  We have had a couple of phone conversations in the past month, and spoke more to each other than we have in the past 5 years.

Last week, we ended our phone conversation and before we disconnected, there was a pause, nothing spoken, just a pause.  I felt him and I wanted to say something more, to end the conversation differently than we always have.  The time was not right, not yet, but it may be the next time it will be.

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Image Provided by: quotesgram.com

The years preceding today, for the brothers, it was not always easy to embrace compassion, love and expression.

They are changing – what a nice birthday present for us all.

Happy Birthday Brothers.