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Agnieszka Pawlus
PolishOrigins Team

Joined: 10 Mar 2013
Replies: 748
Location: Poland

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Post Posted: Fri Apr 10, 2020 7:54 am      Post subject: What would my ancestors do? Your response.
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Here is an extract from our yesterday's emailing written by Zenon. I hope that you will get from it a bit of an optimism and encouragement for this difficult time. Thank you for all your uplifting messages!

Dear Readers,

We received an amazing response to our latest message ‘What would my ancestors do?’ https://blog.polishorigins.com/what-would-my-ancestors-do/

I didn’t want your stories and comments to be read only by me and our team. They are so important that they just have to be shared with more people to raise at least the same feelings I had reading them.

If we wanted to quote even a small part of your responses in this newsletter would be a long read. That’s why we decided to prepare a separate post on our blog. You will find it here: What would my ancestors do? - Our readers’ response: https://blog.polishorigins.com/what-would-my-ancestors-do-your-response/

Here I will quote a few excerpts to show you the spirit of your reactions.

These are not all and not full responses. I picked out for you these fragments which had the greatest impact on me.

I believe my father, who experienced the Great Depression in America, which brought poverty to all, who served in WWII where he fought for America and their allies freedom and was attacked on his destroyer ship by Nazis and Japenese, has seen much worse than what we are experiencing now with this Coronavirus. We can’t see the virus, but we know what to do to keep it from us personally and in our communities. My ancestors had great belief in God and resolve in knowing that things would get better and they were in some awful situations. We are free here in America, we must keep it that way. We must maintain our love for this country and the love for each other too. God Bless,

My grandmothers and grandfathers, all of whom came from Poland, each left “. . . their tiny village far away from civilization, to travel to a completely new world. . . " where they made a new life for themselves. They certainly were fearless young adults. They experienced many hard times and I'm sure had times when they wondered why they left their homeland.

What would my grandparents do today? They would persevere. Their decision to leave Poland, commit to a long and stressful journey to a place they did not know much about, and learn to live in a very different culture taught them to stick with it and that with patience their hope for better times would be realized.

My hope for the whole world is that we all learn something about peace and love starting within oneself, respecting everyone's life at every stage, lovingly communicating with each other without devices, discernment in life, and being here to help each other. I trust that God will bring out good from all the events.

They are heroes to me, these uneducated flotsam of Eastern Europe deprived of their country, their language, their culture suppressed in the land of their ancestors.

Two generations and 72 years on I sit, their heir, having earned a PH.D. having prospered beyond their imagination. Only by their will, their embrace of risk, their acceptance of mistreatment and their belief in possibility do I sit in satisfaction.

They fought America's wars, endured her depression and celebrated her rise and theirs to pre eminence. Grateful and humbled I am by their commitment to the future which is my present. Dzięki, babcie, dziadkowie.

They were hard working and God fearing people. I believe that is what got them through 5 recessions and 2 World Wars during their lifetimes. My Great Grandfather came from Upper Silesia to the U.S.A. in 1869 with a wife and two young children and the shirt on his back. By 1920 he had accumulated 715 acres of land. He died in 1924 and left 3 farms to his 3 living sons at that time. I think this shows that he was a very enterprising individual and provided well for his family. I am proud to be one of his descendants.

What my ancestors would do is unclear, but my grandfather left no doubt. He was resourceful and a survivor. I believe I inherited, from my dad, his pluck and nerve. I had a kidney transplant when 42 (33 years ago) and kept up a great professional career by working out. Five years ago June 1, 2015 I was diagnosed with non Hodgkins lymphoma at the Mayo Clinic. But I survived. My grandfather taught me that life is tough. It's often grim and not pretty. But there is much joy as well in our love of family, wife, children and friends. I know why Poland survived. The people have guts. We all need to be strong and disciplined like the Polish people during these last 200 or 300 years.

I am proud to be a descendant of the bravest group of people. I will channel their spirit remember their stories to get through difficult time. I will do as they did, pray, work with what I have, share with others, protect my loved one. Peace and love to all. Be safe. Stay healthy. Be prayerful. We will get through this....Together.

I just explained this to my daughter living in quarantine in NY. Sometimes I when I think I cannot deal with a situation, I think of my Busia and Dziadek. My mother was a 1st generation American, my father 2nd generation American. They instilled all the fire and passion of our Polish ancestors!! We remember and honor them thru traditions, incredible food and the language PROUDLY!!

See more reactions here: What my ancestors would do? Your response.

In addition to stories and reflections like these we got questions about how we are doing here now:

I'm concerned about how your staff is...I suspect that most of your guests now think of them as extended family. I'm guessing we would all like an update communication on how you all are and how you are getting through this...

I’m sure your business is similarly affected - how are you managing so far?

I hope you and your family and your team are all in good health. We are doing fine here. I hope your business can survive in these difficult times.

How is your family handling this situation? I hope everyone is healthy and making the best of it. My family is safe - anxious, but safe. My Mom has a staying home as she should, and she seems to be handling this well. My brother’s business business has taken a big hit unfortunately. Sure hope they can see this through. I’m sure your business is similarly affected - how are you managing so far?

First of all, I feel grateful that there are people, or actually as one of you aptly described, “our extended family” who are asking us about that.

Second, fortunately, healthwise the whole staff and our families are all in good health. Maybe only the fact that we need to stay at home and the uncertainty makes us more and more tired but this is what affects most of us in the world.

Third, as you can guess our tours were cut in one moment when Polish government introduced lockdown. Not only we have no revenue from our core service but some of our guests are either postponing their trips for more or less foreseeable future or canceling them. This means that we refund their deposits. We understand that. No one knows if it will be possible to travel in the next few weeks or even months.

We do whatever we can to survive this time. As you may remember from one of the previous newsletters, we accelerated the launch of our Genealogy Services https://polishorigins.com/genealogy-services/. We have first research orders placed and we are working hard to help you in uncovering your ancestry, finding living cousins or applying for Polish citizenship.

We are very happy that we can do that and at least to a minimal degree fill the gap of completely lost revenue. We will do whatever it takes to go through it together and find ourselves on the other side with the whole, intact team.

Have you noticed that among this information noise that Easter is just behind the corner Smile?! Even though it will be a very unusual Easter for many of us, most probably in smaller family circles, we wish you a blessed, peaceful time for you and your loved ones.

Wesołego Alleluja/Happy Easter from Poland!

Zenon Znamirowski and the whole PolishOrigins Team

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