Be still my heart

By Phil Crossman | Jan 05, 2017

As those of us who inhabit the larger world know, New Britain, Conn., is an ethnic enclave, home to all things Polish: perogies, golumpkis, sausage, etc.

New Britain is where my first wife, Janet, is from. Since we parted 30 years ago, she and her partner, Peter, have visited the island and our grandchildren many times and we are always cordial to one another, which is not hard, since they are here to enjoy the kids and since Peter is an electrician who can’t bear to be inactive, and makes repairs at the Tidewater and here at our home continually.

Janet and I’ve gotten along for many years, but this year the evidence that reconciliation is complete came in the form of an extraordinary gift. On the day before Christmas, a FedEx package arrived and I settled in before the wood stove, opened it and completely lost my composure.

In all the years she’s been visiting, I’ve provided gratuitous lodging and have patted myself on the back for being so generous, but the contents of this package humbled the sanctimonious regard I had for my own capacity for magnanimity and spoke to healing in a way I couldn’t begin to match.

Inside was kielbasa, real kielbasa, 15 feet of kielbasa, frozen and in 10, 18-inch lengths. Be still my heart.

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