Jeans for Poland
There are many rituals in life, Weddings, Birthdays, Funerals and smaller occasions like school shopping, recitals and parent/teacher conferences. Some are serious and others seem miniscule in the grand scheme of things. However, it is in these rituals you find the fabric of our family, our community.
When I was a child, in the mid seventies, the USSR was alive and well. The Iron Curtain was clamped shut with my family from Poland stuck behind it. My Grandpa John often wrote them letters and sometimes he would put together a large box of clothes to send along.
Our school shopping was done once a year, sometime in August before the new school year began. A new pair of sneakers, a couple pair of jeans, maybe a new top, these were the essentials that got you through till you grew again. So when we got home, the next logical step is to cull the clothes that no longer fit. Every year these clothes were donated, but in those years we brought them to Grandpa John and he sent them to Poland.
Now, as a child, those boxes filled with our old clothes were quite curious. Who were the children getting my old clothes? Where was Poland? The most important question for me, what if our clothes didn’t fit our family in Poland? How would that be helpful? My Grandpa John assured me, our donation was a valuable one. If our old blue jeans didn’t fit, they would sell them on the black market, jeans from America were worth a lot of money in Poland. That stuck with me.
Here I am now, almost 50, and I’m thinking about those jeans for Poland. My Grandpa John passed a while back now and some of my family from Poland immagrated here in the early 80’s. I thought those times were behind us, but it may be time to go through the closets and the attic and see what I might find. Could be they will once again be helpful for the folks of Poland.
I pray for Peace