I just learned the news that my aunt, Eva, passed away last night in Hungary (my mother and father are both Hungarian and emigrated during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution).
A wonderful woman, whom I did not know overly well because of the great distance. But, I remember wonderful times with her as a child as my family and I traveled to reconnect with the family that we did not have here in the States.
Apart from the loss of a wonderful woman, this is a significant loss for me and the entire expanded family because it marks an end of an era. You see, Eva was the last of seven siblings -- one of whom was my wonderful and wonderfully talented father, Denes, about whom I wrote a tribute last year. In other words, Eva was the last direct connection to my father and his side of the family.
My wife, Luisa, and I traveled two years ago with our two kids, Hunter (then 11 years old) and Luca (then 8 years old) back to Hungary. It was a "Roots"-type trip -- incredibly meaningful, incredibly impactful. In that trip, my two kids spent precious time with Eva, experiencing the most direct link that was possible since my father passed away long before they were born. This is a picture of the three of them at our family reunion on that trip. The three of them could not speak the same language for the most part (my aunt knew only broken English, and my kids know no Hungarian), but they "spoke" the same language of family ... a language that need not be spoken. It is experienced.
I am thankful that we took the time.
Time is short. Take the time.
Rest in peace, Eva. Your memory ... and our wonderful memories together ... live on.