Photo taken in:LibliceYear when photo was taken:1963Country name at time of photo:Czechoslovakia, 1945-1989Country name today:Czech Republic
This is my daughter Sarka and Mrs. Kopska at the chateau in Liblice, near Melnik, where they spent summer vacation in 1963.
The building belonged to the Academy of Sciences, and as employees we could use it for recreational purposes, so we were there two or three times.
My wife and I had to work, but we'd go back and forth to visit them there. The grounds had a park where Sarka would play, a pond where you could swim...
Anci Kopska was an important figure in the life of my daughter. She was like a grandmother to her, Granny. Actually, she shifted all of her love to her. It was another generation that Mrs. Kopska took care of.
My wife was working, as opposed to my mother during my childhood, so it really was Anci who devoted herself to Sarka the most during her childhood.
Back then it was the custom to put children in school, Sarka also attended for some time, but Granny would always pick her up and go to the park or the playground with her.
She cooked porridge for her, when she was crying I said: for Pete's sake, let her cry. But Anci said no, that she can't let her cry. She was probably right, a small child constantly needs some sort of company.
So she'd go to her, console her, read her fairy tales, lull her to sleep...She definitely was more afraid for Sarka than we were. When she was sick, it frightened her.
We didn't concern ourselves very much with it, so what, small children tend to have fevers. As my granddaughter told me, my daughter still thinks about her a lot, and talks about her a lot, after all, Sarka did experience the most beautiful years of her childhood with her.
The photo shows Mrs. Kopska two years before her death. She had cancer, during the last years of her life she lost a lot of weight, became run down.
She died in the winter of 1963, at the Hospital 'na Frantisku', it wasn't a very good hospital. We did go and visit her, but we couldn't secure her quality medical care.
I certainly took her death as the death of another member of my family. It was Sarka who took her departure from this life the hardest, she cried a lot for her.