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A tribute to...

Halina Urbaniak

Published: Tue 27th Jul 2021

"A tribute to Halina Urbaniak

- by Rick Urbaniak

Halina Urbaniak was born in 1926, in the USSR to Evgenia and Mihail Anikeew. Halina had one sister and two brothers. With husband Henryk Urbaniak (deceased) she had two children, three grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Mothers of the world are the cherished, the revered, the adored, the loved, the treasured icons gifted to humanity.

Tasked with endless endeavors, their self-inflicted impediments extend into broader spectrums of burdened rituals.

Their mercurial devotion to succor and nurture supple nascents, from an endowed cradle into maturing and educated adults, fulfills life's cycle of ubiquitous generations.

They are perpetually on guard and alert. Their immediate responses provide comfort- cushioning arms, hugging and tenderizing the universal distressing calls gravitating to "Mamma".

Halina uniquely epitomized an impeccable natural doting and voyage laden devotion. Her devoir intensely sacrificial - A doctrine consigned to family, delineable throughout millennia on matriarchal dynasties. Her hand of approach endeared her with epaulettes of stratospheric distinction. Halina's tender bridge of empathy, inherently spanned and encapsulated hearts with instant rapport.

An afflicted child - stoicism a feature incubated in theatre of oppression and war. The brunt of communism inflicted poverty and hardship to the remainder of her family after father, Mihail, a church deacon, was arrested as a political prisoner. Secondment followed- operating an ice breaker on the coast of Vladivostok. Halina's grandfather (on her mother, Evgenia's side) operated as an artisan jeweler before restriction took effect so wealth and aristocratic connections were conspicuous.

Halina's mother Evgenia and father Mihail's and her four siblings relied on handouts from friendly Church affiliates.

At 15 Halina was corralled with others on the streets by invading Nazis and wagon railed to German labour camps in Germany. Deprived of further education and torn away from her mother, she survived on instinct and a discipline for self reliance and preservation.

At war's end, marriage to Henry followed (Henryk was a refugee of similar circumstance from Poland.) Halina was transferred to Naples by train and then offered the choice of Brazil or Australia. She sailed to Sydney with her husband and first child, on ship General Black, possessing nothing more than a box trunk, a hinged case, a bath basin and the clothes on themselves. After arriving in Parks NSW, they were accommodated in Nissen Huts. Henryk was to fulfill a two year contract in Orange with the family reunited at weekends. Shortly, a second child was born.

Halina applied herself to employment - a human dynamo workaholic- she worked as a cleaner at Parks General Hospital. She embarked on an intrepid move to the unknown in Adelaide in 1952. Halina gained employment at a private nursing home in Beulah Park. She also worked in a small goods factory, Clements juice bottlers, a dental clinic and the highlight- she was one of three cooks at a popular venue "Tropical Coffee Lounge", owned by two Greek gentlemen, "Rob" and his brother. Tropical Coffee Lounge was located on the corner of Rundle Street (now Rundle Mall) and James place.

The 1960's were Halina's stellar Halcyon days. At her radiant best and spiritually alive, she initiated a land purchase, contracted a builder, and together with Henryk paid off the house in five years. In 1964 there was a reunion with her dying mother Evgenia, not seen since 1941.

Dictionaries, lexicons and language are limited in their description form for superlatives describing Halina's ethereal mannerism, ethos, mellow character and the selfless energy she applied to motherhood.

Dearest mother, I appraise with adoration with an investiture for honors in your indelible quest in standing as the Holy Grail, at the pinnacle of mothers. You personified grace, style, infectious love, a trait of instant smiles and were a herculean trojan for work - sustaining and future proofing the family unit.

You triumphed like laurel victors of old - the best of the best. You possessed an aura and radiance. A beacon on high beam mode. An inherited pedigree from Eugenia, a gentleness levitating exalted plus a reservoir of goodwill flowing.

Your expiring breath leaves an emptiness impossible for welling tears to fill. The pain is impossible to heal. The shock reverberating cripples heels.

Love and joy

Now pain and grief

A stroke of paralysis severely laments and arraigns me.

From youths obscurity her years grew epic

From that strength the tide of age wore more regressive

From her chilly summers and blizzard winters

The seasons pelt took a declining tilt

Affliction by atrophy upon a gilded age

The grandest lady shrunk infirmed

Vale dearest mother

Love's sacred render eternally infused.

Tender your spirit whispers rebound about me.

Fly the cosmos angelic spirit

Sprinkle benevolent stardust with gentle goodness you bring.

-Your dedicated son Ryzsard

With special appreciation to the Palliative Care unit RAH Doctors, Georgie and Michell and team. Modbury Palliative Care Unit, Dr. Catherin and team. The numerous Doctors throughout the new and old RAH, including Doctor Peter Penglis. Special thanks to the long serving GP. Doctor Bowler Fitzroy and Hindmarsh Clinics. To My Aged Care for making stay at home care possible. To Trish Carmody and the serving team at RONS and their attentive approach to Halina.

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