"Welcome to Polish Hill" it says in a mix of English and Polish. And welcome I have felt since I landed high atop this hill. From Marian's amazing sister Joanne to my most wonderful and gracious hosts Paul and Jordan who live next door. This is going to be a hard one to leave I can tell. Because it is a place you feel in your bones. I know that sounds corny, but it is true. There is love, there are neighbors who care for each other, there is community and there are bells that ring from the church so you know to go to Mass or take your chicken out of the oven.
The last 3 siblings in front of the house they were born and grew up in. (L-R Joanne, Marian, Sister Florence.)
Immaculate Heart of Mary Church/Kościół Matki Boskiej
Marian looks at his brother Raymond Sarnowski's name on the war memorial outside the church.
Seeing this hill through Marian's eyes has been amazing. You half expect the whole place to turn sepia and for the store fronts to go back as they were and the fashions to take on a 1940s look.
"Over there were two candy stores. And here was the shoe store. My best friend lived in that house." etc.
I can tell this hill is special to so many people. So many lives have begun and ended on this hill. So many stories, so many births, a blackout, a flood below, so many homemade pierogis and some good laughs.
I know more and more that we are just leasers on this planet and life was going on before us and it will continue after us and it is just a hope for each of us to have and treasure a Polish Hill of our own.
Because it is all over quick.