Two sisters still at war
By Emma Palova
EW Emma’s Writings
This is part of the 100 Posts & beyond series
Today is a big day. As I write to the rhythm of the rain, morning chirping of the birds and to the frantic panting of my dog and husband, I still have my feet wet from the patio. I had to move the phlox and the moss roses from the garage out into the rain.
It’s May 9th, it’s my birthday. I was born on the national holiday in former Czechoslovakia. On that day, the nation’s capital Prague, the mother of all cities, was freed from the Nazi occupation by the Soviet Army. That was the end of World War II.
Many years later, I was born in the wee hours at 4 a.m. to parents Ella & Vaclav Konecny. My mom woke up to the cracking noises of fireworks announcing the anniversary of the victory.
“I thought it was war again, but then I realized those were fireworks celebrating your birth,” she said to me this morning as she wished me a happy birthday. “The whole nation celebrated.”
Mom says that to me every year, as the nature too celebrates the awakening after long winter.
“The nature blossoms on your birthday,” she says. “You always had the day off and a parade.”
The above note is one of the many reasons why I dedicated the memoir “Greenwich Meridian where East meets west” to my mother.
100 Posts & beyond
This post is inspired by Anton Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” and the constant friction that I have witnessed between sisters in this world.
Mom Ella and aunt Anna
As I watch people drop like flies around me, I realize how time is going by fast. I like the inscription on the clock in the living room, “Tempus fugit.” That’s why I bought that pendulum clock as one of the first things when I arrived on this continent in 1989 for $110. Not that I had that kind of money. I just wanted the clock so bad, that I probably borrowed money for it. It announces the time by boldly striking every full and half hour. My husband Ludek still has to wind it by hand much like the clock that the in-laws had at home in the old country.
“They probably wouldn’t even let us know if she’s dead,” mom said. “You write the wedding invite. She’s your aunt and godmother.”
We bought the card that had written “Sisters” in the sand on it in Venice, Florida.
“I’ll pay for her air ticket, but not for him,” Mom said angrily. “Anyna won’t be able to translate that. She’s not going to come anyway.” Anyna is a slanderous nickname for the pretty name Anna.
Mom was referring to my uncle whom we once fancied as “Jean” rather the ordinary Czech John. We took that from the French movies that we had devoured like crazy in old Czechoslovakia.
That was more than quarter of a century ago before the big family dispute.
“But we don’t even know if he’s alive,” I argued. “I’ll just write it and we’ll see.”
Unintentionally, we sent the invite off without any contact numbers or addresses. Subconscious at its best.
“Write it again,” mom said last week. “This is her last chance to make up with me.”
To be continued as part of the ongoing series 100 Posts & beyond
Copyright © 2014 story and photos by Emma Palova