The History Of 'J' Clan : An Enchanted CircuitWe all have families and each family's story is nothing less than Great.
I don’t know why mine should be different in terms that should be told publicly.
Maybe because I think that it is just - different.
Everything is related with my Grandfather. He was the corner stone of all that I wanted to be. However, in my early childhood, I was raised by my grandmother.
The full name of my grandfather is John Ostewich. He was all Polish, Pure Polish and nothing less than Polish. Nevertheless, when I had a chance to become friends with Avas Tarasimowich, he told me that the roots of my name came from Tatar family and Genghis Khan. Avas was a leader of Tatar in Poland who took care about local mosque in my city - Gdansk. It always sounded funny to me but still that is precisely what he said.
John Ostewich was a very well educated, well-respected and extremely talented man. The degree of his knowledge can be expressed in the fact that he spoke 6 languages fluently - His native Polish, Greek, Latin, Russian, French, English plus he knew some Esperanto.
The only person with whom I can compare my grandfather in respect to knowledge and spirit was John Paul II who spoke fluently in 11 languages. My grandfather was a prototype of Polish Pope, long before Karol Wojtyla became the successor of Peter in Vatican. Grandpa studied in the University of Stefan Batory, which was located in Vilnius. It is the oldest university in the Baltic states and one of the oldest in Eastern Europe. It is the largest University in Lithuania. During the time of his study, Vilnius was a part of Poland.
John Ostewich was born in USA. Precisely, New Britain - Connecticut. In the end of XIX century, the father of my grandfather left Poland and arrived in America, looking for a better life. Around 1887, he originated a soap factory in New Britain. Life was good. John was born in a loving and very healthy family. As far as I know, life of my clan, before the events which I shall mention later was almost perfect and harmonious.
Grandpa - a bright and brilliant man, decided to offer his life to God and become a Priest. His family was Christian Catholic since generations. He was sent to Poland to study which was best known to my clan: The University of Stefan Batory in Vilnius and next he was on the verge of becoming a Priest.
It was just 2 months before the final blessings of my grandfather becoming a full Priest. He and his friends decided to enjoy the last party before taking vows of full celibacy. They went to a very exclusive night club with live music and entertainment. The speciality of this place was so called ~ Fore Dancers. I could not find the meaning for the word 'Fore Dancers' but as I was explained, they were highly educated ladies who gave company to guests. Not prostitute or geisha - nothing of the sort, just eloquent conversation, dance, lighting the men’s cigars (my grandfather never smoked) and things like that.
One of the Fore Dancers in this place was my grandmother. Around 9 months since this night, my first uncle was born, and path of my grandfather as a Priest was totally abandoned.
I still keep thinking that the curse on my clan, which, from time to time, caused huge distractions in my family, can serve to be a balm on his broken vows and promises to God. The love was achieved and consumed, and the Paradise was lost forever.
I heard from several members of my family that my grandmother was Jewish but she converted to Christianity due to my grandfather. Certainly, none other than my father would be sure about that. However, as far as I know and experienced, she was totally a Christian Catholic. Nevertheless, I am sure that she knew the art of Magic. The manner in how she cooked, with big pots on the stove, adding and mixing things, and talking to herself all the time, would leave you with no doubts that she is reaching the spirits. To add to it, she had all this notion of folk superstitions. Like, you should never put loaf of a bread upside down, which can cause an argument in the family. Or, you should never shake hands with someone in a door fr
Life with grandma was all about the life of the huge garden we had. We took care of our little Paradise. Our life was changing, as life of our garden was changing through the year. Basically the idea was 'To make the garden so as to bore the most enjoyable fruits and keep them ready and handy through the winter.'
Fall was always busy - extremely busy. Jams, gelatos, jelly, fruit compotes in jars, fresh fruits stock used to be there all over the cellar. All had to be prepared for the cold times. Plus, what was extra was sold at the local market.
She always wanted me to remember that I am very precious and unique, and that one day, I will surprise the world. She taught me that the most important thing which should never be forgotten in life is God, Honour and Fatherland. She never used any violence but she talked. When she wanted something to be done and when you had different ideas about your time - she talked. Over and over again, repeatedly bringing forth all your mistakes and failures, it was a 24/7 torture. She used to convert all your problems into stories and talked to herself and you had to witness that. That was a very powerful a method and after awhile you was left with no choice but just to do as she wanted. She dominated household totally - inside, outside and all around.
Uh !!! Her stories were killers. She smoked a pack of cigarettes per day and lived into her 80s, which shouldn’t encourage you at all.
My grandfather soon found out that his first son is not his at all. It didn’t change his feelings much. He accepted him totally and raised the child like his own. My first uncle - Uncle Jerry, passed away just 2 months ago. He left his family in a deep sorrow and with the best memories of him.
The Influence of my grandfather on me was his constant presence and being in peace. He used to be sitting on a bench in the garden under the shade of a huge cherry tree and I'd suppose was meditating. He had a strong, healthy fr
Wake up at 6 in the morning.
Wash himself and get ready for the day.
Put the fire in all the furnaces around the house during winter and always in the kitchen.
Have his breakfast.
Some work around the house and rest.
I still remember the cold winter mornings in bed and the heat which he made by burning the wood and coal in the room furnace. It was an extremely pleasant experience.
He didn’t talk much to me but he adored all my help. He was always saying, “Good. Good. Very good.” An, I would readily die to hear that.
Only one time he called me to his cabinet, sat in front of his desk, and let me wait until he finished his writings. He always used a pen. Then he came to me, put his hand under my chin, and said in English, “boy”. After that he asked me to repeat. Next, we were repeating the word “boy” till the point when I sounded exactly like him. He went over in the same way with the word "girl".
“That should be good,” he said in the end.
“Listen.” he added.
“There are 3 stories to tell which you should know and remember forever.”
And he started.
“When I was travelling on a ship from America to study in Poland, a huge storm unleashed. We were certain that this was the end and it was just a matter of time before we would die. We were already sitting in the life boats wearing life jackets and waiting to be landed into the water. It would not change much, there were no chances. I prayed at that time and promised the Lord that if it is His Will that I survive, I will sacrifice all my life into his service. Suddenly, the storm all cleared out and we were saved.
Remember always ~ When you borrow you have to return.
I was very young and once...”, he continued. "I was invited by friends. They played cards and gambled, I didn’t want to play, I am not a good pla
Remember ~ Never play or gamble, even with friends. Nobody will play with you if you have nothing to lose.”
“Yeah,” he stood up from his chair and walked towards the window. Looking at the garden he said,
"There is the city out there whose buildings are reaching the sky. They call this city as New York. You have to go there one day and see that.”
This was my grandfather. When he died, the local Parson during the mass said before we put him into the grave,
“John Ostewich was a Director of our high school and the person who established the whole education system in our region after the Second World War. During the war, he was selflessly helping others, hiding them and saving them from the clutches of the invaders. When he received the highest medal for his courage and dedication, he said, ‘I didn’t do much. I didn’t wear any weapon. I don’t know how to use them.’
"Mr. Ostewich, You fought with your wisdom and pen that is much better than many others who used guns. You educated and showed hundreds of students the righteous path. They are holding now many important positions in our society and all over the world and they are your best legacy."
“In the end”, the Parson continued, "John Ostewich was my beloved Principal. I remember once, the book with our class marks was stolen and next was found burned. All accusations were thrown on me, but I did not do it. Scared, lost, and in despair, with my heart in my throat, I was taken to the Director's room to talk with Mr. Ostewich.
He had looked at me for some time and had asked,
“Did you do it?”
I said, “I swear upon God I did not do it, Mr. Director.”
Then he said, “You can go. Nothing will happen to you. I believe you. There is goodness in you.”
In conclusion, the Parson told us, “John Ostewich was a pedagogue, who with every one of His steps followed the rule - If you wish to teach Math to Jim, You have to not only know Math but you have to know Jim as well.”
My family mainly consists of doctors, teachers, artists and managers. The Father of my father was a teacher. Because he was teaching the Polish language, he was sent to Siberia in Russia. My father spent 5 years there from the age of 5 onwards till 10. Dad told me once that it was a beautiful place - very pure, natural and pristine but hard to live in. During winter, his mother used to be pulling him over snow in a woollen bag which used to be used to keep potatoes in for 15 k in minus 40 degree C temperature to get some milk and food. He never came back from this place. He always keeps some food stock in his home, just in case of need. He tries to save everything, just to keep it, just to have it handy for bad days. His mind is still in the frozen lands of Siberia.
My father met my mother by accident in Wroclaw, one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Poland. He was a student at that time, an athlete, swimmer and a champion. He was on the way to become a building engineer, she was learning to become a dental technician. During this particular day, she was hanging laundry on the balcony in her campus and one of her scarf’s was blown by the wind and fell down under my father's foot. He returned the scarf and they fell in love at the first sight.
In the spectrum of my family, you can find everything. My brother’s girlfriend has a sister and she married a guy who is from Turkey. He is Muslim and a great guy. He is a cop in the Toronto police force. Unfortunately, my brother and his fiancée due to certain jealousy issues split and their marriage did not materialize. Perhaps Curse again.
My clan was touched many times with several problems and challenges but we are overcoming them all. Grandma had always a talent to do business. After the war and repatriation, she opened a bakery in a new place and business did very well. We were busy and making good money. We had a big house and amazing garden. We were on top and all was going great. One day, one of our servants took all what we had collected and kept at home and disappeared. All money, family jewellery were gone in a snap of the finger. We had to start all over again. We valued money and its power tremendously but through the years we learnt and understood that they are petty papers.
I wrote this as I promised and as I was asked. Something real and not fantasy. It is real as much as it can be. Names were a bit changed for privacy protection of people involved. I hope I won’t be judged harshly for who I am.
I am a fruit of my clan ~ of my family.
My mother - Danuta.
She looks like Elisabeth Taylor to me.
I am sure she is in heaven now.
All the best mom.
Bolek 41-45, M 61 Responses 70 Jan 26, 2013