Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Distinguished courage

If you're like me, a Polish immigrant who came to America when she was 4 years old, you're lucky enough to have met Antoni and Bianca Rogozinski. They spent the majority of their lives together, and a large portion of those years looking after me.

From rides home to after school care to scolding me when I was watching soap operas, this was the couple that took the role of 'babcia' and 'dziadek.'

No matter if I was an awkward teenager or an adult struggling on her own, grandpa always said I looked beautiful...and like I had grown a few inches.

He told stories of the war in Normandy and showed us his medals. For 35 years, he wrote and published the Pancerniak with Bianca, a magazine for fellow veterans of the 1st Polish Armored Division.

No matter what he did, his loving and devoted wife was by his side.
It's amazing really, to have spent over 50 years with the same person. And it's also amazing that this man welcomed me, virtually a stranger, into his life.

Pan Antoni lived 99 beautiful years and while we will miss him, we can find solace in knowing that he's now at peace.

And no matter how tall I grew, he was always a giant in my eyes.

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