The year was 1923, and Genia was 13. Genia's father had just died. In 1923 , if someone had an upstruction of the bowels , they would have to wait until morning for surgery. Genia's father didn't make it until morning , and died at the age of 39. Having come from Poland just 10 years before, Josef had worked for his family because that was his responsibility. Josef's wife, a widow at age 35, and his children, Genia 13, Helena 8 (my mom), James 7, Stashu 5 and Casmier, 15, who was in a wheelchair for 10 years after being hit by a car, all had to "go on". The responsibility was then in the hands of Josefina ,the 35-year-old widow, as well as in the hands of Genia, the 13 year old girl. In 1923, there was no welfare. What was the family to do? Genia, forced to learn responsibility , went to work cleaning houses to help the family. Tending the garden and canning the food,tending the cow and selling the milk, Genia learned responsibility. This "learned "responsibility was carried on when her brother, Casmier died in 1931 and her mother, Josefina died in 1932.Genia took her brothers and sister, Helena(my mom) and raised them .From that Christmas Eve in 1932,Genia never gave up the responsibility ,until all the children were raised to adulthood and even after that until the day Ciocia Genia died at the age of 79. Praying the rosary and attending Mass everday for her family was her "learned " responsibility.This "learned" responsibility that Ciocia Genia , my Auntie Genia, had to learn in 1923 and later in 1932, and until the day she passed on to heaven,made be "value" family responsibility! I would like to think that Ciocia Genia, my "hero" and my "angel" is watching over the family and saying "family first" , that's your responsibility and you better learn it and carry it on!
Submitted by Anonymous
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