Ciocia Genia (Polish for Auntie Genia) was my hero. As Mariah Carey's song says, "A hero lives in you,we all have heroes in our lives to inspire us". My Auntie Genia was my inspiration. On Christmas Eve 1932, my Grandma Josefina (age 44) laid dying of breast cancer. Auntie Genia took her brothers and sister Helena (my mom) to midnight Mass. The little "male ptaszek" (little bird) that knocked on the window that Christmas night, took Grandma to heaven. Grandma joined Grandpa Josef and Casmier, her son in heaven. Auntie Genia was just 13 when her father died, but she went out to clean houses to help her mother in that year of 1934. Auntie Genia helped her "matka" (mother) to care for her sister Helena and 3 brothers, one of whom was Casmier who was in the St. Francis Hospital (named for St. Frances, the patron saint of little birds)"suffering"(but always smiling). Auntie Genia prayed the rosary and went to Mass every day for her family. She was there for her 19 year old brother when he died on New Year's Eve 1931, suffering for 14 years, hit by a car when he was 5 years old. On Christmas Day 1932, Ciocia Genia took her sister and brothers and raised them . That beautiful little Polish girl that sang Polish songs to the passengers on the German steamer, went to America in 1913, little did she know she would be the "hero " that raised her brothers and sisters. Little did she know that she would "inspire " my mom and my mom's children and all my cousins. As she looks down from heaven, she knows and always will know that Ciocia Genia: You Are My Hero!
Submitted by Anonymous
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