July 1, 2017

Day 11: Closing acknowledgements

The final blog of my Poland trip is dedicated to my traveling companions. As I sit in a Warsaw hotel on the eve of our flight home, I am overwhelmed with appreciation for them.


She learned the Polish words lody (ice cream), niegazowane (non-carbonated water), tak (yes), nie (no), and dzienkuje (thank you).

She became instant friends with her second cousins, a sweet pair of girls whose English vocabulary far exceeds Evie’s Polish.

She tried new foods, much more bravely than I did at her age.

She befriended Polish dogs, even though she’s always been more of a cat person.

She helped us as navigator, key master, coin carrier, and unpacker of things.

She sat politely in rooms full of adults speaking a foreign language, through dinners that went on for hours. Her patience grew a little thin toward the end, but I was impressed by how long she lasted.

She embraced castles, old churches, and historic sites with genuine curiosity and respect.

She did as she was told, even when it meant ceding the MacBook to me in the middle of a Sim's wedding so that I could write my blog.

She made me laugh every single day.

My Mom.

She left the comfort of her condo in Fargo for 12 days of foreign travel, with the extra baggage of a broken foot and the emotional weight of returning to the country of her youth for the first time in 20 years.

She remained calm (at least on the surface) when I drove our 6-speed Skoda wagon along fast-moving highways, over narrow mountain roads, and into the most improbable of parking spaces.

She introduced me to cousins who became friends, shared stories of times long past, and helped me understand where our family came from and how we fit in.

She was always supportive of stopping for lody.

With a cast on her foot, she navigated narrow apartment stairways, uneven garden paths, and old cobblestone streets.

She sent me and Evie off for some adventures on our own, but she found creative ways to join us and do the things that mattered most. I’ll always remember our guided golf cart tour of Krakow.

She accepted help when it was difficult to do so.

She showed her kindness and generosity every step of the way, from reconnecting with long-lost friends and family to befriending our Ukrainian hotel maid.

I am honored to be in the middle of this 3-generation traveling party.

Evie and my mom both came here, not just with me, but also for me. For that, and for them, I will always be grateful.

No comments: