The commemorative days that Babcia and Dziadzia died, my father would lock himself in the kid’s room, as we called our family room, turn out the lights, pick up his bottle of Cutty Sark, and weep as he sang this song to his beloved parents until he fell asleep in the rocking chair.
I never really knew why he would do this until just before I left home at sixteen-years-old. Over the years, I learned that the lyrics talk about how quickly time flies, especially when one misses those they love. It is a melancholy song of longing and sadness, while cherishing the memories of those that are no longer with us.
Most people laugh when I tell them of my Polish cultural, if not genetic, heritage because I so clearly do not look like I’m Polish. What most people don’t know is that I attended the Polish mass at Our Lady of Częstochowa Roman Catholic Church in North Tonawanda, New York, when I lived there. I ate pierogi, golabki, kiełbasa, and chłopski posiłek. I know that our name, Glica, is supposed to be pronounced, “GLEE-tza,” and not, “GLEE-ka.” I learned to play the accordion so that my father could enjoy my rendition of the Clarinet Polka. And, I learned the words, and their meaning, to this music when I was very young.
I miss my father, as well as my mother and brother, today, so instead of just singing the music, which I’ve done, sans liquor, I’m remembering my father in writing and on video, as well.
Dziękuję i miłość ty, Ta.