Symbiosis in Warsaw

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Living Vicariously

It's ironic that in wanting to better understand your Babcia and see the world through her eyes, you did the same for us getting to know you and Warsaw as well. This is really well balanced; the back and forth between conversation and introspection, the deliberate pacing of description weaved with allegory and allusion. Loved the reference to the red rooftops being a red brick shore with black starlings crashing against it, and how that imagery came back at the end as advice for better living. As for the guilt about not being there, you were. You gave her an opportunity to share her legacy with you and reflect on her life, and also not feel burdened by you having to be there for her passing. She was the caretaker when you were ill, she would likely not have been comfortable with you doing too much beyond those trips to the market and credit union. The experience of dying is a solitary one no matter who is at your bedside, and I hope when my time comes that my son focuses on the good memories we had and not how frail or not-me I was in the end. Your Babcia would have been very grateful for the time you spent together, and that your memories have focused so eloquently on the positive rather than dwelling on the moment of her death. Thanks for sharing all of this; Warsaw, your family, and inspiring me to be a better writer. Looking forward to reading more of your work. :)

Michael Penney more than 2 years ago


Go with God, that’s what we say in Lithuania too. I actually used to drink warm milk right away from a cow while I was a child, it was so tasty. I remember telling it to someone and that person thought it’s gross, I couldn’t believe! It’s the best when you heat it with honey, my mom used to give it me when I get sick. Anyways, very beautiful story :)

Marija more than 3 years ago


Beautiful story. Brings me memories of my babcia. Thank you!

Alina Zdrazhko more than 3 years ago