12/17 is a sad day for my family. 2 years ago today, my Busia (Boo-shaa, Polish for grandma) passed away. I miss her still so much. She was an amazing person with a very full life. Busia was born in 1915, grew up during the Depression, and worked cleaning homes when she was just a girl to help support her family. During World War II, she joined the Women's Army Core (I think that's what it's called) and travelled Europe doing administrative work for the Army. She had lots of pictures of her adventures, skiing in Vienna, bombed out buildings in Berlin, and others that show an amazing history. After the war, she married my Dza-Dza (grandpa) and gave birth to my father when she was 39 years old. That may not be unusual now, but in 1954 I'm sure it wasn't the norm.
My Dza-Dza passed away in 1979 and Busia travelled the United States and Mexico with her sister, my Aunt Esther. She had the slides to prove it. I remember going to her house on Sunday afternoons and sometimes watching the slideshows of her adventures.
She was a generous and caring person. She was so patient with me when I was a teenager – there were a lot of weekends where I blew off going to see her to spend time with my friends. Looking back my heart aches because of all the time I missed with her. When I got older and realized how special my relationship with Busia was – she was the only living grandparent between my mother and father left – I started spending more time with her. She always groaned when she saw my clothes – whether it was tight jeans, a shirt that showed my belly, or high-heeled shoes. I think if she found out about my tattoos she would have fainted. She didn’t notice – or pretended not to – when I got my tongue pierced. I still remember her sometimes when she’d see me, or when I’d mention that the night before I got to bed at 3am – “Oh Boijia!” (I don’t know if that’s how it’s spelled.)
She wasn’t very affectionate and didn’t really talk about her feelings much. That was okay, because I knew she loved me even though she didn’t like the way I dressed or looked sometimes. When I moved to Arizona, she always sent me little cards and notes – and the one that made me cry was where she said simply: “I miss you.” I still have that note.
If only she were here now - she'd see Jeremiah and I know she'd be thrilled with him. Or see how well Shawn takes care of us, and be proud of that. Whenever I see a roadrunner, I think of her. She loved birds. I miss her so much. I love you, Busia!
(These are just scanned pics, sorry if they're not so great)