Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Skeletons in the Washing Bucket

I was reminded the other day about second families... but, not the "blended" or "step" families that we're used to talking about.

I was thinking about past, or secret families.

Let me explain.

I remember when I was about 17, talking to a friend of my third stepmother, Nada.
Her friend Ljubica was a rather large woman, who was clearly of peasant stock.

She was in her 50's back then, and was loud, and masculine.
She smoked like a chimney, cursed like a Russian Sailor and sometimes sucked her silver eye tooth loudly...and she didn't give a crap if you didn't like it.

She looked like she could kick the shit out of a man...I was pretty sure she could, even though I had never seen it happen...but, she also had the biggest heart.
If she liked you, you could do no wrong and she lavished you with as many endearments as she did homemade pastries.
She was a brutally honest graduate of the Sledgehammer School of Etiquette.
I shouldn't say "was"...I think she's might still be alive and living in Scarborough somewhere.

Anyhow, Ljubica was a cleaning lady, and she did industrial cleaning for my father. One weekend (yeah, I tried working for my father for a bit) I was paired with her to clean some apartments in a new complex close to the A.G.O., and over lunch sitting on the floor of an empty apartment with the radio on, we got to talking about pro-choice or pro-life. Ljubica told me that during the war, she had performed "many, many abortions", and she didn't see what the big deal was...she also told me that she left a family behind.
Two children, and a husband, and she didn't know where they were or what happened to them.

She told me that her story wasn't unusual, that many lost family in the camps and had to start over...move along with life.

Get over it.

There are so many things that are connected to war that we don't really think about, but when someone says it...you say to yourself, "Of course. It would have to be like that wouldn't it?"

I thought about her the other day.
I don't know why I'm telling you this story...I just am.