Found family Bratislava and Budmerice, and took a couple days for myself
Hello my darling friends.
I’m in Salzburg Austria tonight catching up on life.
Life has been so fast these last two days that I really had to stop a minute and take a breath.
It’s been so emotional for me that’s it’s very hard to write this post…to keep going on…
You see this next photo? It’s of the tiny Budmerice village flower shop where I stopped to buy some flowers for my cousin Kveta who I have’t seen for 47 years. I came to visit her with my cousin Zdenka, who so very graciously invited me to come stay with her.
I have two cousins in Slovakia who I knew about and had vague glimpses of memories of but haven’t seen since my very young childhood. You see, we escaped the occupied Czechoslovakia without being to tell anyone when I was very young, then we were banned from coming back until communism fell apart, then life and children and deaths…and there you have it. A life time passed.
Anyway, to make this incredibly emotional story short, I found my girls. Both of them.
And I love them and their families, and am so happy I have them in my life again.
Oh long story, long story. A life time story.
I am retracing my roots here.
Kveta still lives in my grandparent’s home, where she and Zdenka grew up with my grandparents after their parents both died (my father’s sister and her husband).
I remember this home; which the girls inherited.
I can’t explain the feeling of walking thru the gates.
You’ll have to pardon my tears.
The feeling of a loss in childhood regained, a feeling of family found, a feeling of belonging. I’m loosing all words. Anyone who has lost family and found them might understand, so I’ll just describe and let you feel with me.
Those hydrangeas were there when I was a tot walking down the garden.
That attic space.
That attic space is where we played dress up and dug thru trunks of old dresses.
These kittens are new but there were always kittens here.
This stall area.
This is where the Christmas pig was which was meant to be slaughtered.
I have a glimpse of some men being here with grandfather and one of them fell in and there was panic for his safety.
I remember that.
The garden where we used to run around and play.
Kveta on the left and Zdenka on the right.
Pardon our red eyes.
We were very weepy.
There you have it guys.
What a couple of emotional days.
I can’t believe I found my cousins and finally have a chance to connect in person.
I’m so happy.
This is the very gate which leads form the courtyard to the orchard and garden.
This is the same walnut tree.
Some Polaroid photos for my journal.
This path behind the village.
I have glimpses of us running thru the field.
There is the most amazing field here edged with poplars and cherry trees.
We ate cherries till we couldn’t eat any more.
And then this! The girls prepared some photos for me.
Would you like me to describe?
I could but I can’t explain what I feel in my heart.
That large photo of that handsome man in the middle. That’s my father who I never knew. Wasn’t he handsome? Just like a movie star.
That photo on the right hand side of the babe and the old lady. That’s me and my grandmother, and it’s a copy of the only photo I have of her.
That photo of the young child, bottom right. That’s me at about the time that we left the old Czechoslovakia knowing we would quite probably never be able to return.
My cousins carefully kept and preserved all these photos never knowing if they’d ever see me again or even if I was even alive!
And here: a family tree of sorts.
From the left: Family portrait with an aunt, both of my grandmothers (dad’s on the left and mom’s on the right), and my grandfather, my father, my grandfather, my grandmother and me.
That’s one half of where I come from.
One half is the grand and noble von Alemann family; who started the whole German race in 1218, and one half is the Miscovic family, who lived their own stormy lives I never knew about. Till now.
So there you have it guys.
I’ve left Slovakia now and had to leave my family for a while, (I will so be back).
And now for another emotional and personal journey.
I’ve driven all over the place. Thru Vienna and thru Linz, and now am in Salzburg.
I’m searching Austria for the perfect spot for my aunt’s ashes.
I think I found the right spot.
In the mean time, much love to all of us who search and strive to connect.
And even if you don’t, hug your family a little tighter for me tonight.
Whew emotional roller coaster.
Those of you who like the merry-go-round, this ride is a little too turbulent!
I’m so happy for you. What a homecoming! xoxo
A beautiful real life story!
Family ties are so very precious. It is heartwarming to see you reach out and connect with your cousins. A very happy day for all. Your childhood memories are vivid and that is pretty special too. Having a family home, and the multi-generational memories it holds, is nothing less than amazing. This story is what movies are made of. Than you for sharing.
Wow! Im so happy for you ,Veronica! What a wonderful adventure!
Debra She Who Seeks
What a beautiful reunion of hearts and souls and place! This post made me cry.
i remember spending an afternoon with my favorite i called her The Aunt (my dad’s kid sister) looking at old photos .. learning so much about my dad’s family .. so i completely understand how you feel .. my mom called hydrangea blooms snowballs .. the house she grew up in, in Brooklyn – not as far away as Austria tho sometimes it feels like that – had two bushes, one on either side of the front walk gate
What an amazing journey you’re on.
Thank you so much for sharing it with us.
Oh V I’m having a cry for you. How wonderful to be with your family and see your grandparents home. And your Dad what a handsome man .. thank you so much for sharing