Adam’s Christmas Memories Tree

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“I love you, with a love so great that it simply couldn't keep growing inside my heart, but had to leap out and reveal itself.”

― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

 

Dear Granddad

I’ve never forgotten …

T’was on the Eve’s before Christmas, we’d decorate your Tree

Hanging shiny baubles while naming each member of Your Family.

 

Although, you could never speak too much English,

Your emotions (to me) weren’t so hard to distinguish.

 

I’ve never forgotten …

That look on your face;

Tears of love were streaming down with so much passion and grace.

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I’ve never forgotten …

Your loved ones all vanished, in horrors of that War.

I really wish that was something that you hadn’t saw.

 

I’ve never forgotten …

That you couldn’t voice your pain and beseech,

Your translation from Polish to English … too hard to speak.

 

I’ve never forgotten …

We spent so many happy hours together

And I instinctively knew, somehow, that you had, had a hard life

A Youth surviving within horrifying concentration camps strife.

 

I’ve never forgotten …

I had asked Nan why you were so sad?

She explained to me, you had lost all the love in life that you’d ever had.

Nothing could ever bring your family all back.

You’d tried to trace them, but there was nothing but blanks and 
cold black.

 

I’ve never forgotten …

That you had escaped from under tunnels,

Running from angry men, soldiers and gunners.

 

I’ve never forgotten …

I know that you had to flee for your life,

I wished I could have told you back then

Granddad, it wasn’t your fault that your family didn’t survive.

 

I’ve never forgotten …

That numbered tattoo on your arm

You’d cover it up quickly, as if to disarm.

 

I didn’t understand then, that this was a painful reminder

I was only a child, I couldn’t comprehend ‘why’ that war had happened either.

 

I’ve never forgotten …

Your childhood days were too sad to recall

I can see in hindsight now, that I’m older

Why you would defend yourself by building a brick wall.

 

I’ve never forgotten

Your memories were too painful to track,

I remember my moments with you

As an honour and privilege, then and ‘still now,’ when I’m looking back.

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I will remember …

You forever more,

I’m writing your story, so others abhor.

What War means to a loving family,

Destruction, poverty and so much sadness and lack of humanity.

 

I will remember …

To decorate my Christmas tree

In the way you showed me with much love and honoring.

 

I’ve been researching more about your Polish traditions

To ensure I follow on with your ancestral visions.

 

I will remember …

That we are to ‘fast’ on Christmas Eve

Wait until we see the first star twinkling before we eat tea.

Twelve vegan dishes to be set out on the table

To represent each disciple who was willing, loyal and able.

 

I will remember …

To set a spare seat on Christmas day for you,

So that you know we’ll be honoring your memory too.

 

I will remember …

To say Grace at our table,

In loving memory of a gentle loving man,

Who had long toiled and labored.

 

I will remember you …

My dear Granddad ‘Adam Jancowski’

 

I will never forget YOU …

Granddad, as this card is sent to Heaven in a big shiny bauble of love

On a first class, priority express-jet heading up above.

 

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Dedicated to My Granddad ~ Adam Jancowski 

He was only 44 when he passed over. Doctor's told us that he had died 
very young, due to the terrible circumstances he had endured in his life.Unfortunately I don't have any photo's, but I remember Him as 
my 'Giant' Grand, Gentle Man xox ( Hineni)

“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” ― Anne Frank

Many people believe that an additional plate on the table is a way to reunite with those who we cannot be with during Christmas supper. It can be for deceased relatives or friends who supposedly come during Christmas Eve to eat the food with us. On the other hand this symbolic additional seat represents Polish hospitality. No one should be left alone at Christmas, so strangers and also the homeless are welcomed to join in the holy supper. This belief derives from the times when Mary and Joseph were looking for shelter.

Lest we ever forget

“If we bear all this suffering and if there are still Jews left, when it is over, then Jews, instead of being doomed, will be held up as an example.” ― Anne Frank

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