Widowed Zofia, a Polish migrant, is informed that her mother-in-law, Dee, is unwell and refuses to move to a care home. Zofia puts her plans of returning to Poland aside and moves out to care for Dee. The death of her son (Paul) has caused Dee to become hostile. Zofia feels isolated in the town, learning how best to care for this elderly person, she struggles to put Dee’s needs before her own. Over time the women bond. Zofia starts to think about moving on from Paul. Dee’s health deteriorates. Their relationship is under strain, Zofia feels they’re both trapped in the past, Paul’s presence is all through the family home. Zofia is struggling with Dee’s needs, it makes it hard to have hope of the future. Then Zofia meets Robert, there is a spark between them. Zofia she leaves Dee home alone. When she returns she finds Dee on the floor, she’s fallen, after helping her up, Zofia tells Dee things have to change. The women want to stay here together, this is there home now but Dee can’t rely solely on her, she has to accept help.
I’m taking the essence of the story from the book of Ruth, exploring how intergenerational families, not of blood, can care for one another. I didn’t want to tell this narrative beat by beat from the original source, instead I’m focusing on the bond these women forged together through their grief. Ruth in the story learns that the past is not her final destination and that doing the right thing takes great sacrifice. Bringing this into a contemporary setting of exploring the difference between the care of the elderly in the UK, through the eyes of an Eastern European really highlights how our cultures differ. Zofia represents Ruth in Powrót, which in Polish means return, putting her mother in law's needs before her own, that is something that most of us will sadly face with our loved ones. For me also the story of Ruth and Naomi is a lesson of respect for our elders, I want to attribute this to 1 Timothy 5:8 and 1 Peter 5:5.