Finally that great day Marek Vangard dreamed about for some
time did happen:thanks to the wedding which was just accomplished! Maria,not
Bartosz but Vangard up from now,looked fabuously in her gown: a blondie,smiling
and laughing,bursting with happiness every time she received greetings from the
relatives on both sides of the new family.They still stood on the steps to the
church,happy they have alraedy had the golden wedding rings on their fingers
which made them a wife and a husband.The Sun shone brightly the way it used to
shine in the best spring days of March.What a lovely Sunday was it!
-“It’s a pity,neither Tadek nor Robert are here.”- Marek Vangard let the
thought to cross his mind.Tadek,naturally,could not come.He was too far away,in
New Zealand.Besides,he still had some horrific problems.Of the nature nobody
would dare to dream about.He was surprised,however,why Robert has not managed to
arrive from Belgium where he worked seasonally,despite that he called two days
ago and informed him he was boarding a luxuary coach the next day.What happened?
He put the thought aside.There was no time to bother now with problems.Now,when
everybody in the family and invited guests looked at them.He kissed Maria and
felt thrilled she was his wife now.
Some classic limousines arrived in the church courtyard and first the bride and
bridgroom entered the most beautiful of the limousines,creamy white old American
Chevrolet which one of Marek’s friends bought in the United States when he
worked there.The columnade went to a nearby castle which with its many towers
looked absolutely picturesque,especially with the mountains seen in the far
background .This town they had their wedding,Bielsko-Biala,was unoficially a
capital of the mountainous region of the Beskidy mountains as much as Zakopane
was the unquestioned capital of the Tatra mountains,the highest ones in the
Carpathians,with Rysy Mountain reaching 2499 meters and Gerlach Mountain
reaching over 2600 meters above the sea level.
Once they found themselves inside the castle that part of the wedding ceremony
began which was called “wesele” in Polish and meant dancing and fun having
till the white morning of the next day.It stil was not as long lasting as it
used to be in previous centuries and even in the twentieth century and quite
often during the communist rule.This so-called "wesele" lasted then
for three days and three nights!The youngest of the guests were already dancing
to the tunes of a regional orchestra band.Tables were full of all imaginable
deserts,cakes,drinks as well as of traditional foodstuff cooked out of
pork,beef,chicken,veal,fish and other sorts of meat.First,naturally,everybody
was asked to try a light soup,then some cutlets in bread crumbs,and
then,finally,whatever one wished.When the evening time arrived and people were
hot from enjoyment,dancing,fun and laugh,evrybody was asked once again to sit
down behind the tables and have a spectacular dinner with turkey mixed with
pineapples and a rich variety of other green addition covered by a creamy sauce
in which there was added some sort of an alkoholic liquer.After that there was
time for deserts with rich amount of ice,the so-called cassatte ice,in which
there were even crushed nuts and which seemed to have all the tastes of the
world,from the white cream to cacao plus the wood berries,mixed finely,which
previously had to stay for a day or two in a special liquer,called
advocaat.After that nobody desired more eating.People moved to the dancing
floor.They knew they will be dancing absolutely to the white day of the next
morning.There could be no any other alternative.Even the oldest one among the
participants,Aniela Bondas,participated in the dancing.She would be happiest in
the world,as much as everyone else,if not the fact she had to tolerate the
presence of Marek Vangard's father,Josef Vangard.
-“How old he looks now! Nearly as much as I am! He’s got difficulty to move
at all!”- She noticed to herself when her eyes made a shot in his
direction.She hated him as no one else in her long life.She hated him for the
traumatic long years of drama her daughter and the mother of his sons,Emilia
Barton,expierenced while in the ralationship with him.
Josef Vangard,in the meantime,tried his best,and despite being seriously
immobilised by his illness which caused that the veins in his body were filled
with fat definitely too much,he tried to dance as much as he could.Especially
that he now danced with the wife of his oldest son.
-“Maria,only one more of my sons still didn’t marry.I hope he’ll marry
soon.A man without a wife is like a tree on a desert with no one even a drop of
water.I hope I’ll still be alive to see him getting married.Or…at least get
a card…”- He whispered to the ear of the beautiful wife of his oldest
son.She bursted with laugh and made funny mimics.The locks on her had flew in
the air while she turn her head over and over.She knew whom the father of her
husband talked about.
-“Don’t worry,father,Tadek will also get married.You’ll see it! Or…at
least,you’ll hear about it!”- Maria Vangard bursted again with all happy
laugh.Strangely,another unusual dancing pair found themselves next to them.It
was Emilia Barton,the Marek Vangard’s mother and her husband,Wolfgang
Barton.Emilia Barton exchanged icy looks with her former husband,the father to
his oldest son.A grimace appeared on her face but managed to smile to Maria
-“You look beautiful,Maria!”-She managed to smile to the wife of her son.
-“You also look great,mother!”- Maria Vangard answered and was surprised by
the realisation how really young and beautiful looked Marek’s mother,despite
being already fifty years old and how old looked Marek’s father,her former
husband! She had no time to think about it anymore beacause her own mother with
her own father found themselves next to them.They bursted with laugh and
exchanged some warm remarks among themselves.Even Emilia Barton and Josef
Vanguard fergot about their animosities for a moment.Emilia Barton was surprised
she no longer felt a hatred to the man who was her husband for long years
before.He was no longer the same as he used to be.He was an old man this
time,weak and nearly unable to move.He should have rather been her father than a
husband.Of course,she would never accept him as her father.Not as she remembered
him,despotic and beating her far too often.She could make a revenge now on
him,now when he was weak like a baby and she realised she would not do it.She
had no longer desire to be consumed with hatred.Nevertheless,she felt she had
enough.She needed to get away from the man who was once her husband.
-“Bolek,I must sit down for a moment.Sorry.”-She whispered to her husband
who looked far more younger than her former husband,and kissed him on the cheek.
-“Do as you wish,Mila.”- He answered to her gently and also kissed her.He
knew why she needed to get away.She went to the tables with empty chairs and sat
down on one of the chairs.
-“Heavens,how old he became! I can’t recognise him! I feel dreary he was my
husband!”- She thought.Once again she could not come to terms she lived for
two decades with someone,her husband,who was over twenty years older than she
was.She felt,therefore,unhappy now in that sea of happiness.She turned her head
away from that man who was her nemesis.He could not spoil her this evening.She
was determined to enjoy this wedding night.There was no place for unhappiness
here.She looked at the other family guests and observed them.Most of them looked
great.She was proud of her daughter,Dorota Starcz,especially.She danced with
Mirek Starcz in a fantastic way and was definitely the most beautiful woman in
this place.She should have been a fashion model and,in fact,she had once such a
proposal but rejected it for the sake of staying together with Mirek whom she
loved and with their children,Paulina and Kamil.
-“I don’t see Marek.”- She thought now and began to search him with her
eyes.When she finally saw him she nearly bursted with laugh.Her son danced with
his grandmother and her own mother! She watched them now,with a smile on her
lips while her mind was filled with the other two sons,one who was in New
Zealand and the other one who was late,for some reason,from his return trip from
-“How’s that possible Tadek lives in the West and is unable to visit us,at
least in such a day!”- She thought and could not apprehend that question.In
her mind West was West.Who was lucky to live there had good enough life and
could certainly afford visiting his family members.But with Tadek there were
associated some other problems.She did not know much about that problmems.Marek
was not much talkative on that.She was,naturally,concerned about her youngest
son.Why he did not arrive yet? What happened? Somehow she felt her youngest son
will arrive tomorrow.It was often like this: when you needed to come on time you
were late,because of some unforeseen circumstances.She was consumed by that
thought when suddenly she saw Marek,her oldest son,standing above her.
-“Mom,come,dance with me!”-He proposed her enthusiastically.
She began to laugh.
-“Oh,son,you better dance with Maria!”
-“I’ll dance with her but first with you,mom!”-There was a rhytmic music
and singing which was taken from the Elvis Presley repertouire.The orchestra and
their vocalist were quite good.
-“I saw you dancing with your grandmother a moment ago…”
-“Look,mom,she dances now with Bolek!”
-“Well,we’re also going to dance,son.”-She announced and stood up.
They began to dance.
-“Mom,grandma is still a good dancer.I’m astonished she’s got so much
energy!”- Marek Vanguard noticed aloud what he just thought.
-“Yes,son,she keeps great.Despite that she is already nearing eighty years in
-“I hope it’s genetic.I’d like to live as long as she does,and with so
-“I wish you that with all my heart,son.But above all that your relationship
with Maria is full of happiness and understanding all your entire life.”
-“I love her,mom.You know it.
-“Yes,I know it,son…”
-"Are you happy with him? I mean Bolek.”
-"Of course,Marek.Absolutely so!”
-“I’m happy the more!”- Marek Vangard answered and smiled to his
mother.They danced a bit more till they found themselves next to Wolfgang Barton
who danced with Aniela Bondas.
-“Mother,I can no longer,I go to sit down.”-Emilia Barton said to her
-“Oh,daughter,me too!”-Aniela Bondas said.
-“Let’s go then!”
-“And we?!!”- They heard both men.
-“Seek new ladies!”- Aniela Bondas joked.
While sitting at the table,both women,a mother and a daughter who herself was a
mother and even a grandmother,looked at the dancing pairs.Somehow they felt they
needed to talk to each other.
-“Mother,Marek is astonished how’s that possible you have so much energy in
yourself.”- Emilia Barton said.
-“This is the force of my willing to do so,daughter.”- Was the answer of her
-“You see,my oldest grandson got married.I wanted to show to him and everyone
around here I can dance as before.”- She continued.-“This energy is nothing
but a will from within me.I really no longer have so much energy as I make
everyone believe.But I’m happy God let me to live so long and without too
serious an illness.When I look sometimes at young people I wonder why there
around the world are some of them who have to die because of that terrible
sickness…How is it called that sickness?…”
-“Yes,AIDS.Heavens!I can’t belive there can be such a desease in the
twentieth century! How’s that possible there are no medicines for it? Why the
governments do nothing? Or if they do something why so little? Why they spent so
much on weapons while they should spend on the reasearch to find a vaccine?!
Heavens,what a horror!"
-"Yes,horror,mother.I hope the scientists are really working on a vaccine
which will bring end to that horror.
-“May it happen as soon as possible! I pity those young men and women.They
should live! You know,my daughter,when I’m alone sometimes I cry and pray to
God at the same time,asking Him for miracle.I’m so old and I’m still
believing in miracles.
-“That’s the effect of you books.You read tonnes of them in your lifetime.
-“Yes,you’re right.I read books in every spare time in my life.They were the
only my enjoyment,the only my happiness,the only escape from reality which took
beating on me far too much a woman can nothwistand.Above all they saved me from
my solitary life.I had no chance to get married again after your father died.No
man would marry a woman with so many children I had and so poor.”
-“I’m so sorry for you,mother.”
-Don’t bother.Thanks to my books I won my war with solicitude.I’ve never
felt myself a solitary person.Books were my passion! Mila,and you?!…Tell me,do
you really love Wolfgang?
-“Yes,I love him.Thanks to him I learnt what love is."
They noticed how Marek Vanguard brought his father out of the dancing room to
the other room,holding him firmly and making sure he could walk without falling
down on the floor.
-"What a grandpa he looks!I can’t believe it! He is ten years younger
than me.”- Aniela Bondas had glaring eyes in which were sparkles of anger.
Emilia Barton said nothing.There was a silence between them for a moment.
-“Mila,sorry but I must tell you something.”-Aniela Bondas looked strangely
-“What’s that ,mother? Take it light,please."- Emilia Barton felt
worried at the sign of a serious look on the face of her aged mother.Aniela
-“Well,I must tell you this,daughter.Ever since then when I presurred you to
get married and forced you de facto to do so and soon afterwards learnt how he
treated you I felt guilty all those years! Ever since then!
-“Oh,mother,don’t say it! Don’t let the old wounds to get over to us once
again!-“Emilia Bondas interrupted her and felt she was panicking.
-“No,Mila,please let me finish…You would never believe how much I despaired
for what I have done to you! Your tears were my tears! Your despair was my
despair! I had even thoughts I get an ax,come over to the house where you lived
and chop him to pieces.I would finish in jail but you at least would be free to
have a life without a violence.Heavens,how I hated him! How unhappy I was when I
got to the point you must have hated me for what I have done to you…
-“I don’t stop.I want you to know everything.I was as much unhappy as you
were.But what could I do? Once you got married it was not possible to split your
marriage.Not at least in that traditional environments we lived in.I felt guilty
so much…”-Aniela Bondas lost her stature and began to cry. Emilia Barton
reached to her hands and took them into her hands.
-“Mom,please,listen to me.”-She said.-“Yes,I blamed you for some time for
what happened to me.Because I got married to a man I did not love and more,I did
not want.I did it against my own wish.I followed your order.I was so naïve.You
told me then:’He is rich,he’s got a house,an enterprise and in the end does
not look so terribly.And love? Love will come one day!’-You told me.But the
love never came! I blamed you,yes I blamed you!”
-“I wanted your best,my daughter.I thought he‘ll be good to you!You know how
we lived.In what a poverty! So many people to feed!"- Aniela Bondas still
-“Yes,I know,my mother,you wanted my best.But you chose the wrong method.You
can’t order one to do so.I mean to get married.Despite this I understood one
day that I could blame myself as much.You see,you read a lot of books in your
life.I saw many films.There were women,whether in that books or that films,who
were not afraid to say:”No!”.That was my mistake and for that I could blame
only myself and when I understood it one day,I stoped blaming you,my mother, and
I blamed just myself.I should have been able to say:'No!'Believe me,please,I
don’t blame you and will never do so.I love you,mother!
-“Really,Mila,do you forgive me?”
-“Yes,I do,I absolutely do so!”
They have fallen to their arms,a mother and a daughter who found themselves in
the end the way as they were long time ago,that is innocent to each other,and
proving that it is never too late to return to that innocence.This time they
both cried from happiness.
They heard a voice of a chief cook who called everyone to the table in the
dining room,dried up their tears,got up and,holding themselves by hands,went
Not everyone had strength to dance entire night.Only the younger among the
family members and invited guests continued to do so.The older ones were
returning to their homes after midnight.Aniela Bondas was one of the few lucky
ones who could have a rest in the other part of the castle.Emilia and Wolfgang
Barton were invited to stay overnight in the house of her sister,Hanna
Ropuch.The rest of the night passed fast,just on sleeping,and when Emilia and
Wolfgang Barton appeared in the guest room of her sister she was already seated
there with her husband,Ryszard.The clock showed eleven a clock in the late
morning.Somehow,they were behaving strangely.They did not smile and exchanged
stranged mimics between themselves.The TV was on and they pretended they are
interested in what they saw on the TV screen.Emilia Barton began to feel she
made a mistake she agreed to come to her sister’s house.There was a reportage
about the Pope John Paul II on the Polonia channel so they switched to that
channel.There was a pilgramage of the Pope born in Poland scheduled for next
-“Our Holly Father will come this time to free and independent,capitalist
Poland.”-Emilia Barton said aloud.Hanna Ropuch looked at her furiously.
-“To free and independent Poland?…Mila,what don’t you say! He will come to
a country,his native country,naturally,which is on the brink of bancruptcy!
Look,how a large unemployment is there in our country! People have to emigrate
or go abroad to seek a job! Our pensions will be worth nothing before long! How
many old women,as old as our own mother has to go to the streets and beg for a
bit money! What a shame!…”
-"Oh,sister,you overexeggerate!It’s not that bad! Yes,there are some
people begging in the streets but not because they are dying from hunger and
cold.We have many charities they can go to.Caritas for example…
-“This is a drop of water in the sea!"
-”Better this than nothing! Remember,America was not built instantly to its
present weight.It will take time to rebuilt our country because of the
devastation the communists left after themselves."
-“At least people had free medical services then,free schools,free
vacations…Everybody had a job…"
-“Forget that nostalgia!It was everything living on the borrowed
time.Remember,we as a country owed over forty billion dollars to the overseas
banks and countries,due to the mismanagement of the communist rulers! Thanks God
they are gone!"
-“But what I want to say is the present rulers are not much
better!"-Hanna Ropuch still disagreed.
-"Mila,Hanna,stop this quarell.We can do nothing when it comes to
politics.- Wolfgang Barton tried to calm down both ladies.
-“Mila,I don’t like your son.Marek is so,I would say,arrogant! He thinks he
is better than we because he does some business.Shit,there are people who do
much bigger business!"
This was too much for Emilia Barton.She became red on her face.
-“You’re not better,sister! Always making problems!"
Hanna Ropuch jumped to both her legs.
-“What have you said?!...How dare you!...In my own house!...Go!...I don’t
want to see you here!"
Emilia Barton could not believe what she saw and heard.She was white on her face
now.Slowly,she stood up and looked at her husband.
-“Well,we go and be sure we’ll come here never again!"- She announced.
Hanna Ropuch just looked at her and said nothing.
When Emilia and Wolfgang Barton got to their appartment in Katowice,the capital
of the Silesia region,they needed long hours to calm down.Her daughter,Dorota
and her husband,Mirek with their children,Paulina and Kamil,came later on in the
afternoon and learnt from them what happened at Hanna Ropuch's house.
-“She kicked us out.I’ll never forgive her this!”-Emilia Barton
concluded.They had some delicious cakes,coffee,wine and chatted on all possible
themes then.The yesterday’s wedding was the most important theme,naturally.It
was then when a bell rang and when Wolfgang Barton opened the door he saw Robert
-“Hello,Robert,come in!”- He invited him with open arms.He entered the
living room and kissed his mother,sister and the little daughter of his sister.
-“What happened,Robert? Why haven’t you come earlier? We thought you’ll
attend Tomek’s wedding…”- Emilia Barton inquired.
-“Oh,mom,there was a truck blockage on both sides of the German-Polish
border.The truckers demanded speeding up the border procedures so they
wouldn’t loose their time at the border.I can understand them,it takes
sometimes a few days before they can go further but it cost us,I mean the
private travellers,staying over twenty four hours at the border.Everybody was
raged but nothing could be done.
-“Shit,what a bad luck!”- Mirek Starcz cursed.
-“Yes,a bad luck.I missed the wedding.”- Robert Vangard answered.
-“Robert,undress yourself and sit down to the table with us.I make a dinner
for you in the meantime.”-Emilia Barton was already running to the kitchen.
-“Thanks,mom!”- Robert Vangard was happy he found himself among family
members in the end.He still had some trip before him left because his
wife,Barbara, and children,Szymon and Tomek,lived fifty kilometres away in a
picturesque village Orlica,which was situated in the heart of the Beskidy
region.Nevertheless,he desired to spend time also with his mother and sister and
other family members.He asked thousands of questions about the wedding,about
them and what new happened in the country during the time he was in
Belgium.There was some peacefullness now in the air and the enjoyment,and
feeling of fun returned to all of them.He was perhaps the most handsome of all
the brothers,tall and a blondman.But above all,he enjoyed talking and they felt
the same way thanks to him.
In the evening he had to go.He desired to see his wife and children.Emilia and
Wolfgang Barton went with him to the railway station.The train arrived and he
really had to go.Mother took him in her arms and kissed him on his cheek.
-Robert,promise me you stop drinking.You’ll see,you’ll be happy!"-She
begged him. He smiled to her.
-“Don’t be afraid,mom.I’ll manage it.”- He promised. Wolfgang Barton
gave his hand to him.
-“See you,Robert!-He said.
-“See you,Bolek.”- Robert Vangard answered.
He jumped to one of the carriages when the train just moved.Emilia and Wolfgang
Barton looked at the train which disseappeared slowly from their vision.
-“What a day! You know,Bolek,I have a feeling something is in the
air.Something tragic.I fear for him.He is so vulnerable."-Emilia Barton
expressed her feelings.
-“You mean his addiction?"
-“Yes,I mean it.He is a house painter and people treat him too often with
alkohol beverages.He is unable to say:'No.'"
-“Perhaps he’ll get over that matter."
-“May good Heavens let it happen!" - A sadness was sculptured on the
classic features of Emilia Barton. Wolfgang Barton took her into his strong arms
and looked in her face.
-"Mila,don't worry.Robert is a bright man.I'm sure he'll get over his
addiction.I love you,Mila,so much! You're the only my star under the open
air!" Emilia Barton looked up at the sky and bursted with laugh.
-"Bolek,there are many more spectacular stars on the sky.Look at
-"No,I look only at you! You're my only star!"-He repeated and still
kept her firmly in his arms.
-"I love you,Bolek."-She whisperred and knew he waited for these
words. They had a long kiss with which they proved to the world there could be
lovers in their fifties.
Afterwards,they decided to walk back to their appartment.They did so in
silence,the cure they needed the most….Nevertheless,they had impression the
Sky and the Earth were a monumental musical house in which there was performed a
divine act of Phantom of the Opera.And they loved it,as much as they loved each
other.What love could do!...To be continued…Author: Thaddeus Hutyra,e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED