Finding family

Excerpts from my diary

September 5, 2013

Another great accomplishment of mine happened in July and August.  With my mother’s letters there were many stray envelopes as well.  Three were postmarked 1973 and one 2003.  They were to cousins in Poland that I had heard about growing up.  All the names blended together, so I was not sure in which generation they were.  The addresses were no doubt old and not relevant, but I was hoping that the letter sent to the 2003 address would get a response.  I composed one letter and sent them out to all four addresses.  I actually heard back from cousin Ewa.  As I figured out she is close to my age and she wrote back via email that she wondered why Cioca Staszka, my mother, did not continue to write, but figured she no longer could.

Establishing contact with Ewa was a break through.  I have so many questions for her and told her I would love to visit she and her family sometime soon.

October 24, 2013

I am on my way to Krakow, to visit Ewa and her family after communicating with her by email and by Skype.  I have been preparing for this trip for 6 weeks now and hope I have not forgotten anything!  Interesting to say that since I already left my phone in the cab and had to scramble to communicate with Alan via my IPad and use the Find my Phone application.  That app really works!  He was able to call the cab company and the cabbie returned the phone about 15 minutes later.  But what a way to start the trip.  Earlier in the day I had a manicure with Barbara and I was able to chat with her in Polish about the trip and as I have expressed to others, I am excited but apprehensive at the same time.  The reality is that this family I will be visiting, they are total strangers.  I guarantee that they must be thinking the same thing!!

I have practiced using the flip camera and the audio device but think I will practice some more when I land in Frankfurt.   I do want letters and some of the materials I photocopied at the Hoover Institution read to me and I will record it.  I also want conversations about the family audio recorded and the Ukrainian experience photographed and filmed.

So I am excited but as I related to Andy, I am so worried that it may not produce much substance, but how could it not.  Also I need that eureka moment where I get it – how/what thread/what direction the story should take me.  So my expectations are high, consequently I don’t want to be disappointed.

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