This must truly be a Valentine story to beat all others. In the heat and chaos of World War One, a young Polish soldier known as Stanislaus Omensky kissed his fiancee, Merna, before marching off to war. “I'll dream of you,” she said. Little did either of them know that Merna's dream would end up saving Stanislaus' life.

In October of 1918, in the dying days of the Great War, Merna had a terrible nightmare. She dreamed that Stanislaus was groping his way through a dark tunnel, ending in a jumbled mass of rocks and timbers. She saw him setting a candle down to throw his strength against the blockage, and collapsing back, weeping.

Merna had the same dream several times, and pestered the authorities in her native Czernak to try and help her find Stanislaus. With many thousands of soldiers missing or dead, they had no time for her. In the summer of 1919 her dreams changed. Now she saw a castle on the brow of a hill, with one tower crumbled into a mass of stone and timbers. As she got closer, she could hear a voice crying for help. Again, this dream returned to her night after night. She told whoever she could, and was greeted with skepticism and ridicule.

Merna took to traveling the countryside where Stanislaus' regiment had last been seen. She was penniless, living only on the kindness of strangers, but refused to give up on her betrothed and her dream. The area was replete with many ruined castles, but none matched the tower in her nightmare.

Then, on April 25, 1920, she crested a hill near Zlota and leaped for joy. The castle overlooking the town was exactly the one of her dream. She ran into the town, dusty and screaming, and collapsed by the fountain, excited and exhausted. When she was roused she told the townspeople her story, and ran off to scrabble at the castle rocks bare-handed. Everyone in Zlota knew that the castle had been damaged in the war, but they didn't know what to make of Merna's tale. Still, many townsmen soon helped her, moving debris and rocks away from the base of the tower.

For two days they dug, and then came upon an open area under the rubble. From the entrance came the weak cries of a pale, ragged Stanislaus. He and Merna were reunited. The Polish soldier had been saved by the power of love, and the strength of Merna's conviction in her dream.

Stanislaus' side of the story was just as amazing. He had taken refuge in the castle during a fight, and been buried when artillery struck the tower. He had found candles, water, cheese, wine, and hundreds of rats, and lived in almost complete darkness for two years.

The Polish Army investigated, and found every aspect of the couple's story to be true. Stanislaus was dismissed with honors, and the two married and lived, we can presume, happily ever after.

“The secret is not to dream,” she whispered. “The secret is to wake up. Waking up is harder.” – Terry Pratchett

Source by Juanita Violini