The financial crises of the last few years not only left millions of Americans jobless and wrecked lives in its path of destruction, it also forced small-business owner Zofia Migdalska to permanently shut down her restaurant.
Migdalska, a former owner of the gourmet restaurant MZM Seacoast Bistro, closed down her business last year when she could no longer afford to keep up with the payments on the business loan for the restaurant during a deeply sluggish economy, said her husband Marek Migdalski.
The couple was waiting for a new hotel to replace the Seacoast Inn to be built, and her husband Marek Migdalski is confident that if the hotel stayed open they "could have weathered the storm."
“The tough economy and the situation we were in for some reason, we just couldn’t last,” Migdalski said.
She also didn't understand the political system, he said, and why when the economy crashed the government would choose to bail out large businesses.
"She just could not understand the fact that the people that were responsible for this (economic) downturn got bailed out by the government and little businesses couldn't get a helping hand," he said.
After the bistro closed, Migdalska began to battle severe depression, her husband said.
On July 24, she lost that battle. The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office officially ruled Migdalska’s death a suicide. She was 57.
She is survived by her husband, their only child Marius, and her sister Mariola Wells.
A funeral service for Migdalska will be held this Saturday at 10 a.m. at St. Mary Magdelena Church in San Diego. Friends and those who knew her who want to pay their respects are welcome to attend.
Migdalski best remembers his wife of 34 years as a dreamer who loved life and touched those around her.
“She was never hesitant to help in any good cause,” he said. “She had a warm spirit that attracted so many people, which will leave the end of her last living impression on all of us."
Migdalska was born in 1954 and first met her husband in 1969 in their homeland of Poland.
When Migdalska immigrated to Philadelphia with her mother and sister, she kept contact with her future husband through letters. Their relationship blossomed, and in 1977 while she was back in Poland on vacation, the couple married.
“She was the first love of my life,” Migdalski said.
The restaurant business had always been in Migidalska’s blood. Her husband said it was like a family tradition to own a restaurant.
Migdalska’s grandmother started this tradition when she opened up a restaurant in Warsaw shortly after World War II. After moving to San Diego, the family opened The Three Mermaids, a Polish restaurant, on Adams Avenue in San Diego.
Migdalski said his wife's love for the city of Imperial Beach goes beyond MZM Seacoast Bistro.
“She always tried to encourage the friends of ours, anybody she would run into, to ask them to basically go down to Imperial Beach and just enjoy it to the fullest, to at least acknowledge that there is this part of San Diego that is not necessarily popular,” he said.
A few months ago she went to the opening of Jersey Boys Diner at 875 Seacoast Dr., where MZM Seacoast Bistro used to be.
Migdalski said his wife is the most amazing person he ever met.
“She was the most beautiful, loving woman that we would ever know,” he said.