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Tradycja! (Tradycja!)

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Jakub Stilinski is a tired man. His wife’s dead, Stiles is on his way there with his lies and pills and panic attacks, and Bartosz is off in Poland doing his dual major doctorate in Polish Literature and Eastern-European Linguistics. He misses the close family dinners they had back when they lived in Evanston with Agnieszka’s parents, the routine of the Eastern Orthodox calendar that he’d grown up with. He misses curling up on the couch with his sons, holding them close, piping lullabies into waiting ears. He misses the way Eszka’s tongue shaped the words of his mother tongue, the way that it still carried the Welsh accent that he’d fallen for long ago. He just misses everything.

He’s not wishing for anything insane or impossible. He really isn’t. He just wants to see his family together on a day that they used to adore celebrating, even if it won’t be how he remembers. He knows that Eszka is gone and his boys are grown and that he’s older and so is everyone. But he’s stubborn, so he calls Bartosz and tells him to be ready for Święto Ofiarowania Matki Bożej when he flies in, and gets Babcia Zylah on the phone to make plans as soon as possible.