At my men’s group meeting this weekend, my friend Vian was observing that as we aged, most of us middle-aged men seemed to be emerging from a kind of chrysalis and that we were in various states of becoming ‘butterflies’. After a few chuckles at the metaphor, we had to admit that, on the back side of our middle-aged crisis, we were a lot more mature, a lot more comfortable in our own skins and a lot more grateful, humble and serene than at earlier

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Poland Remembered III

By Stu Whitley

This is the third in a four-part series.

The new museum dedicated to the Battle of Warsaw is a compelling place to visit. It opened the weekend we arrived, and the queue stretched around the block. But after being informed of Dad’s participation in the battle, we were afforded special treatment, moving quickly to the head of the line. Serious deference is paid to elders. People give up their seats on trains and trams; seniors are acknowledged in the streets, especially those who, like my father, wore the pin bearing the insignia of the resistance, a stylized ‘P’ with curving feet. He did not wear the Cross of Valour, awarded to him in absentia, for sustained courage in the face of the enemy. This an honour I only learned about recently.

Two days earlier, we had walked the street across from Saski Gardens,
where dad had been dug in. It is a broad roadway now, flanked with new
buildings for the most part. At the intersection of
Marszalkoska-Krolewska boulevards, he pointed this way and that with
his cane, to mark the presence of the German Army behind what were then
trenches in the park, and where lay the heaps of rubble in which he and

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