The Dryden Observer

Your Source for Dryden News

Jean (Genowefa) Kilanski – September 21, 1928 – May 18, 2018


Thanks for taking such great care of me. I will never forget you told me about saving my life running me up to the hospital in your bare feet when I turned blue.

Thanks Again MOM! My favourite bedtime story you would tell me every night etched into my memory which I decided to turn into a hardcover storybook to your elation as you were an avid reader.

I remember you asking me if I want some of my favourite Kaszki (porridge) breakfast every morning, and taking me to the ski hills for years where I learnt to become an avid mogul skier. Of course, there was swimming and Judo lessons too.

Mom, you were such a fearless competitor, telling me stories of your bareback horse riding days on your favourite White Horse(Shivak), no reins over fences! You gave me my business drive which was instilled when we had our own local newspaper business. I recall years delivering papers to stores and homes, collecting money and negotiating sales at a very young age. All this helped me in becoming Self Employed and running my own Business.

You put up with me as I, your beloved “RoadRunner” Teenager!! When I neglected my schooling, you became a school board trustee which encouraged me to make you proud so I pulled up both my socks and my grades!! Thank you for that! J After I moved to Toronto in an attempt to become independent and self-sufficient, you would visit me to ensure I was, “ON MY FEET” and grounded, helping me anyway you could. I’m so grateful you believed in me, and grateful you taught me how to save money and invest properly.

When I bought my first home, I felt your reassurance that I was heading in the right direction and that propelled me to buy several more properties and becoming a successful landlord(something you always wanted to do yourself but life has curves), so I owe so much of my success in real estate to you.

I loved when you visited me and we went to Jays games sitting in the wives’ section and behind home plate (haha, while you would chat up the baseball wives, Mom had an outgoing personality that was inviting). The Raptor’s games we attended and your personal favourite – the Tennis matches! That amazing day we were invited to the Players Lounge with Djokovic, Nadal and Becker! The smile on your face was unforgettable J You were so uninhibited, you had no problem walking right up to Novak Djokovic and starting a conversation! I recall on one trip back from the US, we were in the business lounge at the airport and in walked a famous poker player from Las Vegas (Yes! Mom had an itch for gambling, often visiting Vegas but always beating the House) and you went up to this gentleman and chatted with him until our flight departed.

I enjoy reflecting on every one of our dates, like the time we attended Andrea Bocelli and Phantom of the Opera, then there was your also favourite singer, Sarah Brightman’s concert, sitting first row, centre stage. When we couldn’t visit each other, we had thousands of phone calls discussing your favourite things, movies like Gilda, Gone with the Wind and Pundits. We’d debate everything from Tennis, to Science, to Politics, to Nature , as well as the state of the world, you held steadfast to your opinions and views.

So much sharing and discussion for hours. Knowing now how important and valuable our time together was, not holding on to our differences, bitterness or any bad feelings, I will cherish these moments in my comfort, for now I know what it all really meant. In more recent times, you started to have health problems being diagnosed with IBM (Inclusion Body Myositis) Debilitating Muscle Disease.

We sought out every specialist, and traveled to many health conventions in Canada /US trying to get answers. I would fly home when you took a turn for the worse giving you my love and comfort. I flew out to Winnipeg to take you to doctor’s appointments, while also coming home for Christmas each year. However, this was would be the catalyst of a slow deterioration of your health, but you soldiered on and I exhausted every comfort (New Furnace,Windows,Doors)and accessibility (easy access tubs, ramp) at your home. More of your smiles came while visiting Rome and your homeland of Poland.

We traveled the countryside of Poland which was your favourite part. You were astonished at all the infrastructure changes. (Mom took me to Poland in 1976 under communist regime, but her birthplace sure has changed since I took her in 2005. Mom’s past dates back to World War II when she was taken by the German Nazis at the age of 14 and forced to do hard labour for years till the War ended. This is where her fortitude derived.)

Mom you shared so many amazing stories of your Journey from when the German Nazis took you and your arrival in Canada. You were so proud of Poland (Poland now has influence and power in the European Union) and notable Polish women, particularly your favourite, Marie Skoldowska Curie, the only woman to win 2 Nobel Prizes. We visited our favourite composer, Fredrick Chopin’s home/birthplace too.

You loved his Polonaises. We also went to the Vatican as you were a devout Catholic and helped so much with your local parish back home in Dryden. On top of all the charitable work for the Hospital,- Meals on Wheels, Heart & Stroke. While In Italy, we went to Vatican City, sat in the Sistine Chapel admiring its lavish ceiling together. We had a gorgeous hotel room overlooking all of Rome. Your smiles overwhelmed me with pride and I felt so fortunate to share so many great memorable moments with you mom.

Our hugs at each visit were the warmest and we always expressed our mutual love for each other .

Our Love, Our Memories, Our Smiles will help me in my journey as I must continue on without you, but you will always be in my heart Mom and will always hold that special place as my one TRUE LOVE.

You’ve given me so much direction, patience, love, support and understanding which settled me into a secure place in my life and which I will continue to feel as my journey continues. I am so fortunate I got the chance to let you know what a great job you did Mom, and how proud I am of you.

Undying Love, Ever Dearest, Your Son Krzysiu (Christopher)

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