“I waited for my end, but fate decided to smile at me. I embarked on a journey that changed my life” – Real life

photo: Adobe Stock, travel overview


Morning breakfast and then walk to the shop. Sometimes I meet a friend along the way. Then clean up, have lunch. Just water the flowers on the balcony. An evening in front of the TV with tea and a piece of cake. I have a lot of channels, I got a cable TV from my kids. And now you can go to sleep another day has passed.

What is this life for? Where’s the point here?

This monotony is interrupted from time to time by the arrival of children and grandchildren. Holidays, name days, sometimes Mother’s Day. But because of this damn plague I haven’t seen them in months. First restrictions, then catching up at school and have trouble keeping a job.

And when you have so little to do and sit alone all day, you think of stupidity. What is this life for? Where’s the point here? When Wacek was alive, and Kasia and Marek were little, I didn’t have time to think. I didn’t wonder Am I happy my life could have been different. You had to cook it, wash it, clean it up. My sisters and cousins, my friends from school, lived the same way. We saw a different, better life on TV.

Last time I was on vacation when i was 15. Colonies by the sea. In our town nobody went on holiday, children played by the river in the summer.

When Wacek left the factory, he sometimes did a little renovation at home, but most of the time he went out for a beer with his friends. Did I love him? And I know? I had five sisters. As he suggested, my parents almost forcibly pushed me out the door. One less nourishing mouth.

Wacek was a good husband. He didn’t drink more than the others

Most of the money he gave me for a house. Sometimes he gestured. Once, on my wedding day, he took me to a cafe. For the 25th anniversary I got a pendant. Great, he had a heart of green glass. I have it to this day, I wear it to church on Sunday.

He loved children, played with them on weekends, learned to ride a bike and Marek also learned to ride a motorcycle. I didn’t have to ask him for help. Sam knew when to take out the trash, washed the dishes after Sunday lunch. The doctor at our clinic first mentioned the sanatorium when the children were still in school.

– Mrs. Lucyna, with this rheumatism you must go to the sanatorium. Not far, to Busko – she encouraged.

– Doctor, but how could I leave, and you? Husband, children, he is not going to leave them – I explained.

The doctor came back to the subject a few years ago, when Wacek was already dead, and the kids are long gone. I let myself be persuaded, although I was terribly afraid. I borrowed a suitcase from a neighbor. It took me almost a day to pack, I had no idea what to bring. I went by bus to Kielce and then by train to Busko.

I lived in the room with Mrs. Halinka, narrator of the sanatorium. I don’t know what I would have done without her. She showed me everything. For three weeks I had food right under my nose, nice ladies cleaned my room, treatments, walks and once I even got carried away for a dance!

I got scared. Tax office? SISTER?

That Wednesday I shuffled to the store as usual. On the way back I looked in the mailbox. I usually threw out flyers and other garbage. But this time there was a white envelope in the letterbox. letter? No one wrote to me, even the kids just called. I got scared. Tax office? SISTER?

Only my name and address were on the envelope. At home I put the letter on the kitchen table. I sat down and wondered if I should open it or maybe I should burn it better. But curiosity won.
“Dear Mrs. Lucyna. We are pleased to inform you that you have won one of the top prizes in our competition – A trip to Italy…“.

Contest? Trip? It must be some kind of scam. You hear so much about cheaters now. Probably, it will soon turn out that the trip is free, but you have to pay an advance, then another … But I decided to read to the end. The head of the promotion center of a company with a foreign name was signed under the letter. On the next page were the rules of the competition.

I started reading and something started to pop into my head. Margarine … barcodes … Secure! That was six months ago and I had long forgotten about it. On the margarine package I found a sticker that if you collect and send barcodes from ten packages, you can enter the competition.

I didn’t even read the prices then. But out of boredom I cut out the codes, I would eventually buy the margarine. Then I put them in an envelope and mailed them. At the end of the letter, there was a phone line that had to be called to pick up the prize. I called, which was bad for me.

– Miss Lucyna? I’m glad you called. And congratulations. Twenty people won the top prize. No, a passport is not required. Are you vaccinated? Yes, that’s great, you don’t even need a test. The company pays for everything. Flight, bus, hotels, meals, entrance tickets. And everyone gets 100 euros pocket money from us for small expenses.

I felt like in a series!

I promised to answer the question the next day. I called Kasia to ask if she thought I should go.

– Mom, ten days in Italy? Free? Secure!

– And how is this cheating? And they send me to a labor camp on the spot?

Kasia promised to check that everything was okay.

– Mom, don’t worry, it’s all legal. Get ready!

I called the company back and I have confirmed participation.

– See you at Okęcie in two weeks.

Okay. Right. Fifteen minutes after the conversation I started to panic. I haven’t been to the airport in my life! I can not take it. Besides, the planes are falling and I don’t want to die yet.

– Mom, everything will be fine. I will pick you up from the station and we will go to the airport together – my daughter comforted me.

I let myself be convinced. And I started preparing



I removed the blackheads from the coffee can. As always, I’ll take my neighbor’s suitcase, but I’m not going to Italy in old flip flops! I went shopping in Kielce. I bought a summer dress, thin pants, elegant but comfortable sandals and – on second thought – a bathing suit. I couldn’t swim, but I won’t walk on the beach in my underwear!

I bought a travel guide to Italy in the bookstore at the train station. At home I read everything about the places that were on the program of the trip. Old churches, palaces, vineyards… Two days ago I went to the hairdresser. And I went crazy.


– Miss Sophie, highlights!

All clients they started staring at me. And I, surprising myself, loudly announced:

– I won a trip to Italy. I’m flying in two days!

For two hours I was the star of the barbershop.

– Mom? – Kasia at the train station in Warsaw barely recognized me. – You are a beautiful tourist. You will see, it will be great.

I’m on the plane. Engines buzz. I cling to the chair. But I’m not afraid. The adventure of my life awaits me.

Also read:
“A sister with her family, she meets my parents and me every year. They wander for days and we have to serve them”
“My wife announced that she would not help me take care of my sick mother. In my opinion it was she who drove the poor woman to the grave”
“My sister-in-law” buried me “with my late husband. I would be a tortured widow, and I wanted to live on”


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