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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mother's Day 2017

Yes, tomorrow is Mother's Day. A day we recognize as the one person who usually supports and loves us in our very beginning of life from the time of conception until you or your mother dies. I say usually as most of us have mother's who will give us what we need to thrive and survive which the base is usually love.

Here are the important mother's in my life (including me in this so hopefully people can see where these important people fall in my chromosomes) and this is due to their influences and other important deals which, when women raise children, are passed along to their children which in turn cascades down and into me. This makes me simply - me.

Copyright on images used J. Fitzgerald 2017


I haven't really let it be known in past posts, but I'm not a mother. I have had some pregnancies which have NOT resulted in a live birth. And after a surgery almost 18 months ago, I will never carry a child - ever. Is it difficult and hard? You bet your sweet behind it is. However, there is one avenue which we're currently researching to still become parents - which is surrogacy. If we ever get this lucky, we're hoping someone will be kind enough to do this for us. It would be the best present EVER.


Some people have asked us about fostering and adopting. We've talked about it,and due to some family things this past year, we'll never go down this road due to our experiences this past year unless something else happens. Do I know what that is? Nope, but its never good to close those options.

However, this year we've experienced a bit of parenting so in a way this year I WAS a mother (in a substitute type of way) - for a short while.
Myself and a child we were helping out in 2016/2017. Taken March 2017.
Copyright on image J. Fitzgerald 2017
As you can see, we were both very happy. Unfortunately, he's not with us full time any longer, but it was a special time.

Women Not Exactly Mother's

There are women out there, like myself, who would nothing better than to have a child. However, it seems like no matter what we do, we are not blessed in them. Do them a favor on day's like Mother's Day - be kind to them? The day is extremely hard for those of us who fall into this category. In fact, I usually hibernate and stay away from the most of the TV and social media because it seems like everywhere you turn its there in your face. After awhile you just want to go in the corner and curl up and cry the rest of the day. Again, please be kind and look after the childless women. We do have feelings too and we intend to get forgotten during these types like many of the other children/family holidays.
Image taken from here.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Weekend activity challenge

My mate at GeniAus once had a blog post, and she gave us a mission (insert Mission Impossible theme here)...

I'm going to combine steps 1 & 2 and just give you the map mentioned in number 2.
1)  What states in the USA and what provinces in Canada have you visited or lived in?  

2)  Either list, or make a map of them (at the website) and indicate the following:

 red for states/provinces where you've not spent much time or seen very much.
*  amber for states/provinces  where you've at least slept and seen some sights.
 blue for states/provinces  you've spent a lot of time in or seen a fair amount of.
*  green for states/provinces  you've spent a great deal of time in on multiple visits.

Here's the states I've been to, etc (using the scale above)
Using the map software

How many have you been to? I dare you...

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Getting to know me

GeniAus has sent the following questions, which she got from a Facebook Genimate Pauleen shared this meme which came to her via blogger, Katrina. Its sorta like quick pass the questions around. 
People who know me, know I'm not a shy person and probably has heard some of these before. 

1. Who are you named after? - My mother. The story is when my mother found out she was pregnant, her and Dad sat down and had a talk. They had decided if it was a boy, it would named after Dad, but if its a girl then its named after Mom. Congrats its a girl...

2. Last time you cried? - Hmmm interesting one. Probably this week sometime because of the pain that our nephew, who's been staying with us, inflicts on me.

3. Do you like your handwriting? - In a short answer - NO. I loved in back in the 3rd grade but the teacher criticized me because it was so small, so I made it bigger and messier and now I'm used to it.

4. What is your favourite lunch meat? - Bologna and only one type.

 5. Do you still have your tonsils? - Yes

6. Would you bungee jump? - No, every time I go or want to go on one of these rides something happens so I stay away.

7. What is your favourite kind of cereal? - Lucky Charms or Frosted Mini Wheats - the big ones not the bite sized ones.
Taken from here
8. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? - Yes.

9. Do you think you are strong? - I used to be but age is doing its thing.

10. Favourite ice cream? - Any? Usually Mint Choc Chip, Chocolate, Chocolate chip, etc.

11. What is the first thing you notice about a person? - If they will look you in the eye or not.

12. Football or baseball? - Baseball - Yankees all the way!

Taken from here

13. What colour pants are you wearing? - Jean shorts.

14. Last thing you ate? - Chocolate Chip and Vanilla ice cream cone.

15. What are you listening to? - Cars do burnouts outside.

16. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be? - Any color blue or light green.

17. What is your favourite smell? - Anything baking.

18. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone? - Woman at the dentist office for my nephew.

19. Married? - Yep. It will be 20 years in May.

Barry Gittens took this at our wedding in 1997.

20. Hair colour? - Au naturel brown with red highlights.

21. Eye colour? Blue just like my parents.

22. Favourite food to eat? - Chocolate anything.

23. Scary movies or happy endings? - Happy endings.

24. Last movie you watched? - The hateful 8 which I hated and turned if off after an hour.

Taken from here

25. What colour shirt are you wearing? -Green with no sleeves.

26. Favourite holiday? -Hmm you can answer this as holiday like Christmas (mine used to be but no longer - I don't have one) or holiday as vacation. That is probably going to the US, but we won't be doing that for about 4 years at least...

27. Beer or Wine? - If its between these two it would be wine. However, what about spirits? Vodka or Bailey's wouldn't go amiss.

28. Night owl or morning person? - Night.

29. Favourite day of the week? - Don't really have one. It used to be Saturday and Sunday due to no work, but being unemployed there is no weekend...

Interesting questions...

Saturday, January 28, 2017

International Holocaust Remembrance Day - UN's day of remembering

I have to admit, growing up I heard about what the Nazi's had done to the Jewish community during World War II. However, it wasn't until I started to actually research the paternal side of my family that it really started to hit home just what had happened.

The things that were done and said can never be undone - unfortunately.

Why had it hit home when doing research on my paternal side
I knew my paternal grandmother had come from Poland, but I never realized where she lived and how close she came to never making it out if she lived there when World War II had happened. People don't realize just how many others, other than Jewish people, were killed during this time.  Once I started to look up the area and the people, I realized just how close one of the camps were to where my relatives used to live. It was soul searching, humbling and eye opening.

The about 18 months ago, I was lucky enough to find a cousin that was still alive and lived IN Poland. When this happened, I was shocked as I was always told that everyone had died while growing up. My grandmother would have a sacred place in her dining room with pictures. She wouldn't even allow me to get close to them unfortunately. Anyway, as I've been getting to know my distant cousin, which has been proven by paperwork, we had once talked about the history and the Holocaust.

I knew we had ancestors which had been assassinated, murdered, arrested by the KGB and the Gestapo and for doing nothing according to the stories. However, during my research I hadn't been able to find any written records for anyone. I asked my distant cousin about this and he hesitated. I know this is a sore point, along with being under communism until the 1980s, so it was a tread very lightly area. I assured him that it was ok and I understood. It wasn't a lie - I did understand after reading some of the journals and watching some documentaries on it. I finally did get around to watching Schindler's List as I knew what it was about but had never had the money to actually watch it. I've also watched many documentaries on it as well as getting as many sources as you can is where you get more rounded education rather than just one or two main sources.

The Family and the Holocaust

However, the cousin did tell me about our family's involvement in the Holocaust. I have to say even all these months later, I am still stunned. Awed. And very proud.

My paternal great grandmother, Maryanne Slepowronska Wotjkowska was 1 of 4 children. Her sister was Zofia (or Sofia) Slepowronska who married Edward Wyrzykowski. Edward and Zofia are my cousin's grandfather.

From my cousin - my great aunt Zofia(Sofia)

From my cousin - my great uncle Edward
Taken from Wikipedia
 Edward was a government employee. In 1936, he was hired on as Mayor of Kobylka (which is near Warsaw in Poland). When the war broke out in September 1939, he remained at his post as mayor. He BIP or the Bulletin of Public Information or now called Bureau of Information and Propaganda. It was created in the Spring of 1940 when Germany occupied Poland. He knew German well which was a huge plus. What many people didn't know was he was also a member of Polish Underground State.

In this group, they would do things like:

 In short he was a collaborator of the Polish Underground Army. He was perfect for this position as he was a great organizer on top of being the mayor which he would have had access to the information Poland needed.
Flag of the Polish Underground State

However, this was a very dangerous place to be as if they were found out, they would have been murdered. As if that wasn't enough, Edward defended and represented the residents of Kobylka from the Nazi's.

This was putting it mildly about representing and defending these residents because our family did so much more.Here is a small list of what he had done for these residents:

  • Defended them against outward movement to forced labor in Germany
  • Looked after any refugees who lost their homes
  • Organized medical services and feeding areas for mothers with children whose fathers were in the war or had died
  • They hid many Jewish families and children
  • Placed children in the catholic monasteries of nuns for protection
  • Paid for their care within the monasteries
  • Made false Aryan documents

BIP helped and cooperated with him for the documents. Also, keep in mind, if anyone was found to be helping or hiding Jews, no just that one person died - the whole family was killed. Then to add insult to injury, the neighbors were killed as well. No one knew who to trust or not to trust because of this and everyone lived in fear. Further, because of this, some neighbors were not loyal either.

Below are some of the many documents my cousins' father, collected over the years on the topic. Basically they are claims from Jews who received aid from the family.

One of the many statements given as proof of help

An official document about help given

Another official document about help

Below are a few of the threatening documents/posters about helping the Jewish people or going against the occupiers.

I had to have these translated myself, but what an eye opener these are.

Further Sacrifice of the Family
Taken from Wikipedia
Not only were Edward and Zofia putting their lives at risk, but also their only child and son, and their neighbors and sacrificing so much for people, but they also had a personal tragedy as well. Edward's brother, Roman Wyrzykowski, was killed. He was an inspector of the local government of Dlugosiodlo. You can read about the town here. He was arrested by the Gestapo and taken to a concentration camp. There he was killed. It's name? Auschwitz.
Taken from here

That's right - Auschwitz. He was not a Jew. He was not gay. He was a guy who they took, arrested, and murdered - and Polish.

RIP - Remembrance (pic from here)

These are the people who should be remembered and revered on this day of Remembrance not because of its history, but because of their bravery. They never wanted acknowledgment of this because they were just taking care of their own in the best way they could. THESE are true heroes.