Maria Zielinska





Every one of us has only one life. We all wish to live it the best, the most beautiful way possible. We wish to leave a trace of us behind. We fight, we struggle, we make mistakes.

Sometimes we can fix them and sometimes it is no longer possible.

Many of us desire a calm life, without turmoil, without even a sense of responsibility for the things we have done. Let the whole world crash and burn as long as it is not on our backyard…


The author of the memories described in this book is certainly not to be considered a passive person. Her goal in life was to take action. Aiding her fellow man represented a challenge she intended to meet since she first realized that nursing was her calling. Writing down her memories begins in June 2011, when she and her husband come to Munich to join their daughter, who has been trying to put her life in order for the last couple of weeks. All three of them are aware that they have come here to stay. In Poland they left behind decades’ worth of life, effort, and work that bore no fruit. Maria, taking up the job of a caregiver in nursing home, at the same time starts writing down memories going back over a dozen years. It is a form of saying goodbye to the world of her past. For the fact that it was to be the end of her life in Poland dawned on her already back when she had to sell their wedding bands so as to afford the journey to Germany, as it did when she had to sell the beds of her patients from the Family Nursing Home, some of them for scrap. Sorrow permeates this book. Yet, it also constitutes an attempt to seek out causes, even within oneself. There is no shortage of harrowing descriptions of events that make one’s skin crawl. The reader is glued to the page, because he or she wants to know what happens next. These memories draw you in, since a real life emerges from them. Some of the events read so strange as to seem unreal, particularly those borderline metaphysical in nature. Yet these events took place and had an impact on the life of the author and her family. It is a burden difficult to carry. Being rejected by her parents and sister left a painful mark on the already forty year old woman, who, being trusting and credulous, held on to an idealistic view of the future. Her husband and daughter offered their steadfast support for all these years. They too believed in the idea of a family nursing home. They aspired to establish a place where no one would feel abandoned, and the ill patients would receive professional care. Today, six years after moving to Munich, they lead a rather different life. Each one of them experienced his or her fair share, and their afflictions have determined their ability to carry on working. Maria can no longer perform the job of a nurse or a caregiver. She has already worked in the kitchen, with a computer, and cleaned in a nursing home. Her husband has worked as a caretaker, a janitor, as an electrician. After he was told to work at the height of 8 meters with no protection or prior training, and before another day of work at 5 in the morning he suffered a stroke. He underwent a year-long rehabilitation. Stress was the only apparent factor behind the stroke. Maria’s daughter, after working in Germany as a nurse for seven years, can only carry weights up to five kilograms due to a spine condition. Naturally, this spells the end of her nursing career. The fact that she took up health care management studies gives her a chance at future prospects. She will have a job and a life to speak of. What Maria and her husband will have left is to hope for another miracle. And since there have already been a fair few miracles in their life, they are awaiting another. In the book, Maria devoted a lot of space to practical advice on how to treat a bed-ridden patient.

Detailed descriptions of these treatments represent a treasure trove of knowledge for everyone willing to perform such work, at home or otherwise