4.25.2011

A Step Back


With Passover and Holy Easter week falling within the same time frame, most of the people who read this blog had an opportunity to spend time with family - sharing stories with the kids while the grownups cooked and served. It was the same with our family. Though only half of us could gather in one place - Peter's deceased sister's home -- we came together to do what we do best, tell stories, laugh, eat and enjoy each other.

Which made to think about today's blog. I thought it was a good time to take a step back and share why the family asked for privacy for the year following Peter's death.

Simply, we were still mourning the death of Pete's eldest sister, Annette, who was the kept the family together with parties, dinners, events, structure. The family (Peter too) was dealing with losing her and helping her immediate family carry on, when Peter's untimely death occured. It was unfathomable that Peter had died -- especially since his middle sister Pat had JUST SPOKEN to him just a week earlier. It was unbelieveable that we had to get people together and follow a trail to find out just how Peter could have possibly died when he was supposed to be living in NY in a couple of days. HOW ? WHY? WHEN? WHERE? These were the questions Pete's sisters had to deal with while the rest of us supported their quest.



But it was during this last year that we began to connect with all of you. We read beautiful stories, saw artwork, photography, poems written by all of you expressing your heartfelt rememberances of Peter. And, we learned so much more from all of you.

Every musician, author, artist will tell you that their job takes them away from the people who love them most. But, while they are away, if they are lucky, they create their own traveling family - band of brothers - who deal with the mundane and business side of their life while on the road. (or while they are in the recording studio).

When Peter came back from the road, we'd all get together. Every single time he came back, he'd call a bunch of us and we'd get together. But, there was an understanding -- don't ask him about the shows, he was sick of talking about the shows -- so instead, he wanted to know exactly what each of us were doing while he was away. If we traveled, he wanted to know. If we had new business things, he wanted to know. If someone was sick or dying, he wanted to know. Then, after he caught up with most of us, he would start telling stories. Crazy things the bands did, or interesting everyday people he met in places around the world that most of us have never been to. He told us stories about being strip searched at the border of Germany, or locked up in Poland for not having the right paperwork. And in each story, there was always some fan or roadie who saved the day.



Lots of times he'd have cds of bands he had played with or songs that other people passed to him at shows. He brought home musical presents for his nieces, he gave out bumper stickers, he shared gold records with his sisters. And, we in turn made him his favorite foods like a whole, homemade apple pie (just for him). He sit there, with a fork in hand eating from the middle of the pie, drinking a quart of cold milk. And, when he'd finish up, he'd just get back into the groove of being a little boy stuck inside of a giant man. Rolling on the floor with the kids or playing with the dogs and cats. When he was home, he was just Pete, fun, laughing, telling stories -- our Pete.

20 comments:

  1. I am so thankful for this Blog. And I'm thankful for the Entire Ratajczyk Family. You all have opened your hearts and minds to us and listened to us and shared so many things about your family. You are so wonderful <3 Much Love.

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  2. Thank you for taking the time to tell us about all of your wonderful stories and the awesome family photos. I enjoy reading all of the stories about peter and his family and friends. Thank you again, Ratajczyk family for opening your hearts to all us. ....Windy

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  3. Thank you again for sharing these stories. It is so nice to hear about the fun stuff that Peter shared with his family. you wrote, "don't ask him about the shows, he was sick of talking about the shows", I have heard and read so many things about Peter and how he was just so down to earth. He probably wanted more than anything to just enjoy hearing all you had to say and find out what he was missing while away, not to mention the food he was so use to from his family, that he couldn't get on the road. That apple pie looks so good. Makes me wanna bake on now. LOL
    Again, I can't say how much these stories help get us through Peter's death. I imagine that is what you all have been saying as you read the stories, see the photos, and view the art the fans have shared. Thank you again, for sharing your family stories and photos.

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  4. this is well and truly how I imagined Peter at home, enjoying time with his family, eating his favourite things, goofing off, just being his own sweet, appreciative, humble self. Thank you so much for sharing these stories with us. Your generosity and kindness are very mush appreciated. Again, my heartfelt condolences for the loss of your sister Annette.

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  5. Hermosas palabras para hermosos recuerdos. Beautiful words for beautiful memories. I believe that while you remind them, Peter will always live.
    From the bottom of my heart, thank you for sharing.

    Hugs from the krypt.

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  6. That's a beautiful story....and a beautiful pie!!

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  7. I have to wholeheartedly agree with the preceeding comment. Dear Ratajczyk family, thank you for sharing your thoughts and memories about Pete! It helps tremendously to live with his loss, which you as the family feel so much more immediately. He eloquently put into words and music so many of the feelings many people struggle to deal with. That is how he touched and continues to touch my heart; so his loss is very real for all of us who are more of an extended family to him. Thank you, and my heart goes out to you!

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  8. this blog has helped me so much with getting thru or dealing with Pete's passing...what the RATAJCZYK family has shared in their memories or photos have been wonderful. so much respect towards THE RATAJCZYK FAMILY...ONE AND ALL...

    MARE

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  9. Thank you so much for this blog. It is wonderful to read these stories. He had told me how important his family was to him. It sounds like a family so many, including myself wished for. I know he was with you, and your other sister too, at Easter loving every one of you..

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  10. Thank you once again for sharing those beautiful family stories with us. That's exactly how i could picture Peter coming home !

    i'm so sorry your family had to go through so much. I love you all

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  11. Peter was very lucky to have such a loving family, it certainly helped him to grow up and be a great man. He was equal parts lovable, charismatic, caring, kind, honest, and strong, among many other great things. We have you to thank Ratajczyk family for being his anchor, keeping him grounded. He knew he was just like everyone else, just a regular guy who played music. A true artist, his own worst critic. But you his family and we the fans knew better, we knew he was special. :) So thank you Ratajczyk's for giving the world Petrus!

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  12. Thank you for this blog and this story..

    we all appreciate that you share with us these stories.

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  13. i wonder if he realized how important he was to us all? i like to think if not that he does now. R.I.P. peter you will forever be an inspiration. -erik hernandez-

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  14. Oh my God. I just inhaled this story as I do with every other. I don't even know if I blinked one time while reading it! I cannot get enough of all the family stories. I often wonder how someone well known, lives their every day life. Does someone go shopping for them? Do they have somebody lay out their clothes? Do they get their appearance fluffed up before they leave the house? Do they have someone wipe their ass? Not Peter. I think that's why we can all relate to him and feel as if his death was a personal loss of our own. It's a shame that we can't look forward to new projects or pictures of such a strikingly beautiful man (right up until the end) but having this family tell stories about him, helps me forget he's really gone. Please continue on. You'll always have me watching! This is the second website I pull up daily! (Okay, maybe more than once a day)

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  15. "a little boy stuck inside of a giant man" ..that is the line my eye is drawn to, over and over. That is what I always saw when I looked at him, onstage or not. One grin, one smirk, and you could see the little boy waiting behind his eyes.

    Thank you again for sharing him, and your memories, with all of us.

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  16. Glad you are enjoying these stories. I have a few more this week that I think are worth a chuckle ... if you guys have artwork you really like, let me know. Point me and I'd love to share ...

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  17. Firstly, you have my deepest condolences for the loss of your sister Annette.
    Thank you very much for this blog, it is an honor to read about your family stories, see family photos and learn more about Pete. Pete will always be cherished, loved and miss. He will always be an inspiration. Thank you for all that you and your family do sharing with us. Many Blessings to you and your family, I wish you all the best now and always. With much love and respect.
    @;---- S ~ Erzsebet Bathory <3

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  18. I miss him and I never even knew him. I cannot imagine how it is to have him as a brother, an uncle and a friend and feel that loss even greater. Thank you for sharing who he was with us. He was a beautiful man.

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  19. Thank You over and over to the Radajczyk family for understanding the fans and our need to be able to know Peter on a personal level. He was a wonderful man, an Old Soul, very kind, and a blessing toward women for which you should all be rewarded for. Thank you for understanding just how much your brother meant to so very many of us.....Thank You again with great respect and love---Gael Bentley

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  20. When an artist shares his work, it makes me want to understand the artist behind the music. TON was understandably private so this was kind of hard to do.
    I never was able to see TON perform and I was always fascinated by Peter's persona. Not in a list/crush sort of way. He seemed like a very kind human being.
    When Peter passed, I shut down, stopped listening to his music and completely blocked all of this out.
    I started listening to World Coming Down, my favorite album, a few weeks ago. Three years later, I'm finally starting the grieving process for a man I've never met.
    Thank you so much, my dear Ratajczyk sisters, extended family and friends for sharing these stories about Peter the brother, the son,the friend. Somehow I find comfort in knowing that Peter had a loving family with traditions and memories... Friends who cared about him..a strong support network. This blog has helped me so much.
    Just know that your brother mattered and was loved.

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