Wesołych Świąt Bożego Narodzenia, Anna Maciejewska. Merry Christmas wherever you are. Maybe I will just talk to you directly today?
The photo I posted was lent to me by the people at Finding Anna Maciejewska on Facebook.
We never met, but I still think of you often. The mainstream media seems to have forgotten you, but me, your friendly neighborhood blogger and many others have not. So I thought I would write you a letter.
I have three women as friends who were Polish by birth like you. Two I worked with once upon a time, and one is a very dear friend and married to one of my oldest friends in the world. Like you they emigrated here and became citizens to live their American dreams. They are among the most genuine and lovely people I know.
They all love Christmas. I am guessing you did too. One of these friends of mine for years has been sharing the beloved Polish Christmas tradition of the Oplatek, or the Christmas wafer. I don’t have to tell you about what the wafer is, as you know. But for everyone else reading this, please enjoy what the Polish Women’s Alliance of America has to say:
Christmas Wafer – Oplatek
Sharing of the oplatek (pronounced opwatek) is the most ancient and beloved of all Polish Christmas traditions. Oplatek is a thin wafer made of flour and water, similar in taste to the hosts that are used for communion during Mass. The Christmas wafer is shared before Wigilia, the Christmas Eve supper. The head of the household usually starts by breaking the wafer with his wife and then continues to share it with everyone at the Wigilia table. Wishes for peace and prosperity are exchanged and even the pets and farm animals are given a piece of oplatek on Christmas Eve. Legend has it that if animals eat oplatek on Christmas Eve, they will be able to speak in human voices at midnight, but only those who are pure of spirit will be able to hear them.
This tradition dates back many centuries when a thin, flat bread called podplomyk was baked over an open flame and then shared with the family gathered around the fire on Christmas Eve. Patterns would be cut onto the bread to make breaking easier. This is why oplatki today still have patterns on them, usually of Nativity scenes. You can order Oplatki from PWA. Learn how here.
Everyone who knows me Anna, knows how much I love Christmas. Some of my favorite mercury glass ornaments are Polish made. The ornaments made in Poland and Germany and once upon a time in the Ukraine are just truly magical.
This morning I stumbled across two things. One was a post written by a man who took part in searches for you in 2018. I never knew it existed. Here, let me share a little bit:
I spent part of my wife’s birthday recently looking for a dead body in the woods of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
I joined a group of about 20 people who had gathered in Malvern, Pa. to search for the missing-and-presumed dead body of Anna Maciejewska, a wife and mother who went missing in April 2017…Anna’s elderly parents in Poland, both cancer survivors, are grief stricken, frustrated and angry. And to make things worse, Anna’s husband has reportedly prohibited them from seeing their now four-year-old grandson.
Anna was not a young, attractive model or a wealthy socialite, and she didn’t fit into most of the other categories of missing persons anointed by the media as being worthy of intense and prolonged coverage. She was just an average American, like you and me, and she has vanished from the face of the Earth, leaving her family and friends distraught and seeking answers.
Most likely, you’ve seen clips on the news of packs of volunteers searching fields, woods and riverbanks for the remains of crime victims. It’s a horrid task and, in a way, nobody wants to find the object of the search – a body – as they cling to a sliver of hope that the person is somehow alive. That is, unfortunately, almost never the case.
But I can tell you that the search for a missing person is also a heartwarming act; it’s people banding together to help one another in a time of unimaginable stress and grief, especially for the victim’s family. An act of despicable inhumanity, the killing of an innocent person, paradoxically gives birth to an outpouring of love and unity among many, including people who did not know the victim….As one of mankind’s greatest minds, Albert Einstein, said, “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”
Anyone with information about Anna’s disappearance is asked to call the Pennsylvania State Police at (610) 486-6280.
And also this literally happened recently – a podcast I find intriguing The Ever Evolving Truth has picked up the mantle of talking about this. There is also a page on Facebook called Fresh Eyes on Anna Maciejewska. It gives me hope, even if I don’t agree with some of their take on your disappearance so far. BUT they are paying attention to what happened to you, and I pray their interest sparks other renewed interest from media, law enforcement, etc. I also agree that even if you don’t agree with something, maybe see it through so every angle is covered, right? As an actuary you would look to all of the details to make sure you were correct, right?
Maybe the miracle of Christmas will help find you and bring you home? We all pray for that, Anna.
A Christmas wish and a wish for the New Year is for you to be found, Anna. You deserve to rest, your little boy deserves to know where his mama is, and your beloved parents deserve closure and answers along with your friends.
2 1/2 years missing is too long.
Wesołych Świąt Bożego Narodzenia, Anna Maciejewska.
Very Truly Yours,
“The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”
These men (and women) they fought, and bled, and died for our right to be free. They fought, and bled, and died for US, as is all of us in the USA. And where are we exactly 241 years later? Riding the crazy train of hatred and vile political rhetoric and vitriol.
The most patriotic man, ladies and gentlemen, is sometimes the man who goes in the direction that he thinks right even when he sees half the world against him. It is the dictate of patriotism to sacrifice yourself if you think that that is the path of honor and of duty. Do not blame others if they do not agree with you. Do not die with bitterness in your heart because you did not convince the rest of the world, but die happy because you believe that you tried to serve your country by not selling your soul. Those were grim days, the days of 1776. Those gentlemen did not attach their names to the Declaration of Independence on this table expecting a holiday on the next day, and that 4th of July was not itself a holiday. They attached their signatures to that significant document knowing that if they failed it was certain that every one of them would hang for the failure. They were committing treason in the interest of the liberty of 3,000,000 people in America. All the rest of the world was against them and smiled with cynical incredulity at the audacious undertaking. Do you think that if they could see this great Nation now they would regret anything that they then did to draw the gaze of a hostile world upon them? Every idea must be started by somebody, and it is a lonely thing to start anything. Yet if it is in you, you must start it if you have a man’s blood in you and if you love the country that you profess to be working for. ~Woodrow Wilson, Presidential Address at Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1914 July 4th
We used to be a country that reveled in our freedoms. We used to be a country that celebrated the individual – and today if we are not the same Stepford carbon copy of what it is decreed somehow, we are reviled?
We have turned into a country where a good young man was arrested as he was in the middle of taking steps to correct his citizenship status that was messed up years ago when he came to the US for refuge from persecution.
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Emma Lazarus (November 2, 1883)
We have turned into a country where young mothers from Chester County like Anna Maciejewska disappear into thin air. She is still missing. She came to the United States for a better life. What has happened to her? Does anyone really believe she would leave her precious child? I don’t think she would, and I don’t know her at all.
We have turned into a country where a young girl on the verge of the rest of her life and a very bright future was shot dead on a Chester County road like she was an old beer bottle for target practice. Bianca Nikol Roberson was 18 years old.
I found out yesterday Bianca Nikol Roberson’s parents are friends of a very dear friend of mine, which once again proves the narrow threads that connect us all to one and other. Bianca will never have her bright future she worked so hard in high school to attain. She will never fall in love or get married or have her own family. (Police released a sketch of her assailant.)
We live in a world where people are trying to politicize the Hate Has No Home Here signs into something ugly.
What I have heard: in Lower Merion Township some conservatives there have taken the position that the signs are hate signs against Republicans. HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? I know Republicans, Democrats, and Independents ALL over (including on the Main Line) who have CHOSEN to have a sign, or a bumper sticker or whatever.
Hate Has No Home is NOT about hate. That is nonsensical. And offensive. It is a personal choice to display one’s wish for a better U.S.A. If people can display Love Lives Here signs, why not Hate Has No Home Signs?
I find the premise of a sign promoting peace to be about hate utterly ABSURD. It is just part and parcel of the bobble headed rhetoric tearing the U.S. apart on a daily basis. (I have heard as a result of this that Better Angels will possibly be touching down on the Main Line soon as a result to mediate a dialogue we should be grown up enough to have, but apparently aren’t.)
Hate has no home ANYWHERE. The movement was started by young school children. Are we a country that now will squash independent thinking, free speech, creativity?
We are a nation born of immigrants. We are a nation born of those escaping religious, political, and social persecution. Yet today, the values that formed us as a country, here in the very cradle of liberty we live in, are under siege.
That has to stop. We are destroying what makes us unique as Americans. Extremism has all but destroyed our political system, and now it threatens even the very sociological structure of our country.
In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt
We need to stop being a country of sheeple. We need to embrace once again what makes us unique as Americans. We need to celebrate our diversity, our multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi- religious selves. We were not designed as humans to be identical.
In order to preserve, to truly preserve and rebuild what being an American really is about, we need to get back to basics. We need to remember our country’s very history and learn to tolerate the differences in people again. It is unrealistic that we will ever actually love every one we come in contact with, but surely we can relearn the all-American values of tolerance and respect?
We are a people in search of balance in every sense of the word. Become part of the change, not part of the problem. Leave the hate out with the trash on the curb. As a collective people we need to free ourselves from the chains of hatred, and remember the great gifts our Founding Fathers bestowed upon us.
Where liberty dwells, there is my country. ~Benjamin Franklin
I woke up thinking about a woman I have never ever met and a little boy whom I have also never met but I imagine is so missing his mommy right now. I woke up thinking about Anna Maciejewska, again. I thought about her on Mother’s Day too.
I wrote about Anna on May 7th. A few days later (May 10th or 11th) I started hearing what a lot of folks had heard: that they had found her car in a neighboring development – Charlestown Meadows. (People had reported some sort of police helicopter etc one day last week.)
Yesterday The Daily Local published an article that the police had indeed found her car:
Update: Pennsylvania State Police continue search for missing woman after discovering her car
Rodzina i przyjaciele poszukują 43-letniej Ani Maciejewskiej z powiatu Chester w Pensylwanii. Ania 10 kwietnia o 9:45 rano wyszła z domu do pracy i od tej pory nie wiadomo co się z nią stało.Na Facebooku powstała podstrona “Finding Anna Maciejewska”, gdzie rodzina i przyjaciele opisują szczegóły dotyczące zaginięcia Polki. Jak czytamy, ostatnią osobą, która ją widziała. Mówi, że wychodziła do pracy “w panice”, śpiesząc się na zebranie do pracy. Współpracownicy, z kolei mówią, że żadnego ważnego spotkania nie było tylko codzienny 15-minutowe spotkanie, który Ania mogła opuścić.
If anyone knows anything, please, please help this family. They need to find their beloved Anna. They are half a world away, I can’t even imagine the anguish.
Another Polish newspaper Super Express printed a story – a friend of mine provided the English translation from where it was posted:
“Here’s a translation of article from today’s Polish newspaper with more information:
‘Where are you Anna? Search for missing Polish woman from Pennsylvania continues.
Anna Bronislawa Maciejewska (43) from Malvern in Chester County PA was last seen leaving for work on April 10, 2017. She did not return home since…We will disclose new information on this story. Reporters from “Super Express” interviewed Anna’s mother, Janina, who lives in Warsaw, Poland.We would like to remind everyone, based on Associated Press, investigators determined that Anna Bronislawa Maciejewska left her home on Hedgerow Lane on April 10th at about 9:45am. She was in a hurry, however she never made it to work at Voya Financial. Anna Maciejewska did not return home either. She left her house in a navy blue Audi A4, 2011 model with Pennsylvania license plate HTF2919. The last person to see Anna was her husband Allan. He told investigators that she left for work in a “panic” and was rushing to attend a work related meeting. She did not take her cell phone with her.Anna’s co-workers say that no important meeting was held that morning, only a daily 15-minute meeting, which she was able to miss. We determined that her last day at work was March 26 and she was last seen in public in a restaurant having dinner with her husband and 4 year old son on April 2.-Anna together with her son planned a trip to Poland for her father’s 80th birthday, which were on March 30. Three days earlier on March 27th she called us with this information that she will arrive in Poland in four days. On March 28th she sent a text message which said: “Mommy, something came up at work and we will arrive on Thursday, but we will stay the weekend (returning on Monday). Kisses, Anna” and in the evening she called and stated the same. I suggested that we postpone the birthday celebrations until Easter. She said she will discuss this in the evening with her husband, Allan. On Wednesday March 29th we were not in contact with Anna the whole day and only when we sent a text message with a question if she is coming to Poland, she replied with “I’m sorry I cannot come, kisses Anna” – said Janina, Anna’s mother. She added that on March 30th, on her father’s birthday, Anna didn’t call him with birthday wishes but sent a text message. Her father was very disappointed and offended by the fact that she didn’t call. “It’s really not like her” said Janina. Her parents also add that since then none of Anna’s friends or family have spoken to her.Anna allegedly fell ill and send a text message to her work that she will take the week of April 3rd off. On April 10th she never made it in to work and she didn’t return home that evening. Her family from Poland reported her missing on April 10th to the police in Philadelphia PA.On the day she went missing Anna didn’t have her passport with her, but she probably had her wallet. On April 8th Anna’s mother spoke with her husband Allan, who told her to call back in two days. Anna’s friends describe her as very intelligent and likable. She lives in a beautiful house, which she designed herself. She is a valued and well liked co-worker. Anna’s mother, Janina, believes that Anna would never leave her four year old son, whom she loves above all. Anna Maciejewska is from Warsaw Poland and has been living in the United States for 20 years. Trooper Brian Olszewski is investigating Anna’s missing person case. Anna’s sister hired a private detective. Official searches for Anna can be organized if there are leads in regards to her whereabouts. As of now Anna’s friend plans to hang posters within the next few days.Reporters from “Super Express” tried to contact Anna’s husband Allan and Trooper Olszewski for comments, but have not heard back from either party (as of Thursday night). ‘
Finally, here is an excerpt of a story posted by Dateline NBC yesterday afternoon for their Missing in America segment:
Anna Maciejewska was always in touch.
Finding Anna Maciejewska
Originally from Poland, the 43-year-old kept in close contact with her elderly parents who still live overseas.
A respected actuary, she is consistent and communicative at work, according to co-workers.
And as the mother of a four-year-old son, Anna appeared to be a wonderful mother who adored her little boy, family members said.
But Anna mysteriously vanished more than a month ago. And the hazy details surrounding her disappearance have shaken her family and friends.….According to police, Anna was last seen on the morning of April 10, 2017 leaving her family’s home outside Malvern, Pennsylvania…..Anna’s mother traveled to the U.S. shortly after Anna disappeared to help search for her daughter. She and Anna’s nephew Michel stayed with Anna’s husband and son for a week. But they were unable to uncover any significant leads to Anna’s whereabouts.
Anna’s mother had to head back to Poland without any answers about her daughter…..Michal told Dateline the family is concerned because they learned Anna had recently been suffering from depression. “We didn’t know how bad it was, so of course that is alarming to us,” he said.….”She’s a daughter, a mother, a friend,” Michal told Dateline. “We just need someone to help.”
She’s a daughter, a mother, a friend. Truer words have never been spoken. I don’t know her, but this could be any woman any of us might know. This is a cruel twist of fate we just can’t predict. But this woman, this Anna whom I do not know, deserves better than this. Anna had been living her American dream with a successful career, family, home of her own. When and why did her American dream become an American nightmare?
One last thing. The page her friends put up on Facebook Finding Anna M has put up an event people can attend this coming Thursday May 18. The organizer says It’s a meeting to organize a search and information. Here is a screen shot you can see if you are not on Facebook to view the event:
I was asked by a friend who lives in Charlestown to post about Anna Maciejewska , who is still missing.
According to media and local reports she has not been seen since like April 2nd or April 10th (I have seen both dates in media reports and on social media, so I don’t know which one is correct. All I know is she has been missing for weeks at this point.)
I am guessing last person who saw her is her husband because well she is married and has a little boy named Andrew (do I have his name right?) who I think is like 4 or 5. He must miss his mommy something fierce, so I figured I would put a post up in the hopes like all the media reports that someone somewhere has seen something.
Has anyone seen Anna Bronislawa Maciejewska? The PA State Police want to hear from anyone who may have seen her. Call 911 or Embreeville barracks at 610-486-6280
Media reports continue to go out and the AP has picked up the story.
It would be great if a national law and justice show like Nancy Grace could tell her story so please, if you are in the media or know media, pay it forward so Anna’s son Andrew (?) doesn’t lose his mom. Anna is Polish and I am also told that family in Poland is frantic.
Anna Maciejewska went missing from the Charlestown section of Malvern. She was driving a blue Audi A4 she is 43 years old and 5′ 4″ and 150 pounds
There is a Facebook page up for FINDING Anna Maciejewska.
She’s a mom. She’s not going to leave a little child like that. Please, if you have seen Anna Maciejewska, call the police.