Monday, May 28, 2007

An 86-year old young woman.

Catapulted into a new country using one of those many European low fare airlines called Sky Europe.
From Amsterdam, the Netherlands to Cracow, Poland: a 1 hour 25 minutes flight in a comfortable Airbus for 60 Euros (80 Dollars).

Cousin Jerzyk waiting with his Mercedes SUV at Cracow airport and first stop is lunch at cousin Olec’s house in Tarnow, a town in the south of Poland.

There Aunt Anka is met again.
An 86-year-old lady.
Sister of father.
Never married.
Never had children.
Worked all her life as a meteorologist.
A happy woman.

Her passion is playing the piano.
She moves with much pain and needs help.
But once behind the piano she plays like a young and dynamic woman.

The piano she plays has a history.
It was the wedding present of her father for her mother around 1910.
This was in Chodorow, a village about 10 kilometres (6 miles) from the city of Lwow.
Somehow the family has managed to save this piano and this is rather amazing when we remember what a devastation the German and Russian army have been causing in that area during the Second World War.
When the family was forced by the Russians to leave the Lwow area, they took their possessions and settled in Tarnow, a few hundred kilometres to the West and obviously the piano was important to them because it was taken with them.

Aunt Anka plays and plays and at one point she turns around, looks gently into the eyes and says: “This one is for you, Michalek”.
And plays another beautiful tune.


Skee said...

What a lovely story about the piano and your Aunt. I too have a piano from about the same time. It was a wedding gift to my Grandmother from her father-in-law. Unfortunately, I don't play very well.
Enjoy the time with your family.

robert Hill said...

How nice, Thanks