The wheel is still in spin
I want to take a moment to remember my father-in-law Ted Dubiel who passed away from cancer at 5:45 tonight. Ted was a good man. He was a simple man who loved his family and his garden. It always amazed me how much produce he could get out of a 10 foot x 10 foot patch of dirt. But no one came before his wife and children, except possibly his grand children.
Teddy was shaped by World War II. He would tell stories about how the Russian –- German -- Polish front was in farm in Poland. I could never quite tell if he was fascinated or repulsed by the war, but every time there was a show about it on TV, he was glued to the television. Ted worked as a solider for the Polish Army, in the coal mines of Poland, with the telephone company in his native country and as a cleaning man here in the United States. He worked hard and never complained. I am impressed on how much he accomplished with only a rudimentary command of the English language, in a strange land and without the hand outs immigrants benefit from today.
Ted was always proud of his Polish heritage and Pope John Paul II. When JPII went, I think his passing took a part of his heart. Like the Pope, Ted enjoyed his food. Some of the Polish dishes Ted loved were very strange to this American boy from the suburbs. But some we both enjoyed. Bigos (a stew of sauerkraut, sausage, kielbasa and mushrooms) and pirogue were favorites to both of us.
Ted's body left the earth today, but I think his spirit passed on when his wife died on July 3, 2004. He was ready to go and we take comfort in that.
Ted's cancer was diagnosed while my wife was in the burn unit back in the summer. I didn't tell her right away, because I wanted her to heal, but the day before the diagnosis, Johanna and I were talking about her father. As I mentioned he wasn't the same after his wife died and we could tell that he had lost his joy of living. Ted helped put Johanna out while she was on fire. She felt that he saw this as his last big deed before he could leave the earth in peace. It was very strange that she felt this way when at the time we all thought he was perfectly healthy.
But that was Ted; always a hard worker and always looking out for his family. He will be sorely missed. Rest in peace.