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V spomin - In Memoriam
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roj. 13.3.1936 nb + 19.9.2008
Tekst by pater Darko in pater Valerijan

marija Kuznik_2008Marija je bila rojena v Zgornjem Leskovcu pri Ptuju, župnija Sv. Andraž v Halozah  staršema Mariji in  Francu Vindiš v drižini s sedmimi otroki.
Leta 1963 je prišla s hčerko Ireno v Avstralijo k bratu Janezu  Vindiš in leta 1967 se je poročila z Rudijem Kužnikom iz Globodola pri Mirni Peči.Rodili sta se jima hčerki dvojčici Silvija in Olga. Družina je živela v North Strathfieldu in nato v Blacktownu. Marija se je zaposlila kot  prodajalka, hkrati se je že zelo zgodaj s celo družino vključila v delo v verski skupnosti pri Sv Raphaelu v Merrylandsu. Pomagala je v cerkvi, v dvorani, pri raznih prireditvah,v delovnih skupinah, hkrati pa je bila dolga leta cerkvena pevka v našem mešanem pevskem zboru, saj ji je Bog dal zelo lep glas. 
Spremljala je tudi naše patre v Newcastle, kjer sta s Tejo Bavčar vodili petje pri sv. Mašah. Rada se je udeleževala naših romanj in slovenskih koncertov, še lani smo bili skupaj na slovenskem koncertu v Canberri.
Mož Rudi je umrl že leta 1988, Marija pa je  umrla v bolnišnici Blacktown po sedemmesečni  bolezni 19.9.2008. Zapušča hčerke Ireno, Olgo in  Silvijo, vnuke Karo, Lano in Dejana, brata Janeza v Avstraliji in še dva brata v  Sloveniji, poleg tega pa še  veliko število prijateljev in so jo pospremili na zadnji poti s pogrebno sv. Mašo,ki smo jo  obhajali pri Sv. Rafaelu v Merrylandsu 26.9.2008. V slovo so ji spregovorili hči Irena, p. Darko, ki je vodil sv. mašo in pogreb, in p. Valerijan v homiliji pri sv. Maši, zapel pa ji  je tudi naš mešani zbor, kjer  jo bodo še posebno pogrešali.
Pokopana je na slovenskem delu pokopališča Rookwood poleg svojega moža Rudija.  

marija Kuznik_2008

marija Kuznik_2008

Žalna slovesnost v Merrylandsu

marija Kuznik_2008
Hčerke Irena, Silvija in Olga

marija Kuznik_2008
Zadnje slovo na pokopališču v Rookwoodu

Eulogy to Maria Kuznik 13.3.36 – 19.9.08 (funeral 26.9.08)
By her daughter Irena STARIHA

marija Kuznik_2008

How can one put a life of 72 years into a nut shell?

Especially a life of someone who was a very private person. My mother had a life filled with stories which could keep you on the edge of your seat and fill your eyes with tears…but in respect of her wishes for privacy throughout her life, these stories will go with her to the grave and not be shared in this public forum.

My mother was born in an idyllic little village, Leskovec (near Ptuj) in Slovenia.  The family had lovely fields and good land, but times were often very hard as they were for all farming families at that time. With seven children to be fed, life was not always smooth.

Then the war came…my mother often recalled the time when the German troops were at the back of their home and the Partizani were at the front, with the small family huddled together trying to avoid the bullets flying between. Anyone living through that could not help but be affected; to carry fear and insecurity with them throughout their lives.

The war had not only political and economic effects on those who lived through it.  It also changed lives. My mother needed to move away from home to find work. She moved to Brezje – Slovenia’s most significant holy site. It is home to a stunning Basilica to which pilgrims travel from far and wide. Here my mother enjoyed some of the happiest times of her life. Lots of interesting tourists, many new young friends and the freedom from home, living an independent life.

Whilst in Brezje a critical, life changing event happened to my mum…me! I changed my mother’s life in every way possible, and not always were the changes good…

Becoming a mother lead her to come to Australia to visit her brother. An opportunity for mother and 3 year old daughter to bond, whilst enjoying the company of a brother who had some time ago escaped the regime. The holiday that was to last a maximum of 3 years ended 45 years later - here.

Not everything in Australia was as mum had anticipated and many situations filled with insecurity and fear were experienced. But together we caught (and I do mean it was a joint effort!) the most wonderful man, Rudi, to give our lives some stability. They were married for approximately 20 years and had twin girls – Olga and Sylvia. It took a while for me to accept these two intrusions, but eventually I got used to them…

The next major moment of mum’s life was the day she heard she was going to be a grandmother. Her joy was uncontainable and I will never forget the intensity of her happiness. But this was all to change three days later, when my mother became a widow…

The loss of Rudi left a huge hole…a hole that she never wanted to fill. She never sought nor wanted anyone to replace the feelings she held for him. And when she did become a grandmother of Kara, Lana and Dejan, she was consumed with love, pride and happiness, but even that didn’t fill the loss she felt for Rudi.

She loved her grandchildren passionately and they gave her incredible joy. She played tirelessly with them and was always hoping to be needed – for anything. She gained from them a lot of pride.

My mother was a very proud woman and fiercely independent! This pride and independence sometimes made her hard. Hard to be a friend of…hard to be a brother to…hard to be a daughter to…

But it was this fierce pride and independence which enabled her to survive this life of many ups and downs. It was these qualities that gave her the strength to touch so many people.

In the end she lost this strength. She wanted to die and be spared the pain and suffering she had felt for the last 7 months. Those of you who hadn’t seen my mother since January, would remember her as a strong capable woman who had decades of life ahead of her. However in these past 7 months she had become frail and weak with no will to live.

This time last week, my sisters and I had to make a difficult decision. It wasn’t like you see it portrayed in Hollywood movies. It was sad yet it was also quite simple. Our mother had wanted to die for a long time and the alternative was much more horrific. Her strength had gone… it was much easier to let her go, than to keep her here for our own selfish benefit.

But I don’t want to end this eulogy on such a sad thought – my mother was a much happier person than that. I want to share with you a story that encapsulates the friendships that my mother had in her life.

About 20 years ago, my husband Mark and I were being gypsies travelling for a year around Europe in our campervan.  Every so often we would return to my cousin’s home to collect our mail. It was like Christmas!  In one of our letters from mum, she shared with us a happening that they were involved with.  The old gang, Toncka, Tone, Ivo, Teja, Maria and Rudi went to the snow. They stayed in an old caravan in the park on Lake Jindabyne (many of you can picture the one I’m talking about). During the long, cold nights, they would play cards.  But it wasn’t enough for them to simply compete with their card games…and it was very cold! So one night they decided to have a farting competition! My mother didn’t win, but her description of the event, brought tears to my eyes. I’ll let you in on a secret – the winner is in this church, and I hope they are not sharing their skills with the people directly around them!!

My mother was blessed (she wasn’t always aware of how blessed) but she was blessed.  I just need to look around this church – at the choirs who sang so beautifully for her, to my nieces and nephews who helped as alter servers, to the women preparing her wake…and to all of her wonderful friends filling this church.

This community was my mother’s life.  She was never happier than when she sat here in this church surrounded by her friends.  She was particularly happy when her children and grandchildren also attended, but that wasn’t as often as she would have liked. 

She touched many lives and all of you here, at one time or another, touched hers.  Thank you for being her friends and her support.  She was blessed by you all!


Post script:  this was written after delivery.  I’ve tried to capture the essence of what was said although I know the wording (particularly when spoken) is different.  I have been tempted to add more detail, but feel it is untrue to what I had said in the moment.  It was asked of me to add all of the personal references made throughout the speech, but these were contextual and would likely detract from the points when written – and I don’t clearly remember all that I said!

V spomin

marija Kuznik_2008

Dobri stari časi v družbi prijateljev

marija Kuznik_2008
Teja Bavčar in Marija Kužnik

marija Kuznik_2008
Mešani pevski zbor




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