Sunday, April 29, 2012

My Letter to Nagymama

Two weeks ago, my family all re-gathered in Los Angeles for a memorial for my grandmother, April 14, 2012. We did the same with my grandpa died, because he died in Hungary too; there's still so many friends and close ones that are in LA that they knew while living in the States, so I think we'd hoped it be a closing for everyone. I anticipated this would not be easy -- far from it -- but I also hoped that by being at home, with people who had known me since the day I was born, that it would all make it a little more... real. And it did.

Below is my eulogy, if you will, that I gave at her memorial. I wanted to blog it just so I could keep it and have it to re-read whenever I needed.


Some of you may know that I'm a writer -- blogger, journaler, and have been as long as I can remember. I remember, during our first visit to the new house in Velence in 1993, writing about how much I loved the new house "with the bumpy driveway," as the driveway was still on gravel and un-paved.

Last month, I was sitting on the plane coming home from Budapest, and I did it again. Just started writing memories of Hugary, that house, and Nagymama, just for safe-keeping. It was mostly so I wouldn't cry the whole way home, but I'm glad I wrote those down and now I get to share a few of them with you. Some are things that everyone here might know of, some might just be for us to chuckle at, but I think a few will be of typical Nagymama behavior.

I think one of mine, and I can probably say 'our' favorite things were trips to the arboretum. We'd stop at the Wonder Bread factory, by armfuls of the "must-go" bread, and we'd go feed the ducks and peacocks as we pleased. She loved that place so much.

I remember, as a kid, being bribed to each spinach, only while we actually got to watch Popeye, as she convinced us that eating the spinach would actually work.

Sometime while Marika and I were in high school, she had the four of us granddaughters come over for lunch on New Year's Day for split-pea soup; she told us it was for good luck in the new year. You might know I'm not exactly the culinary adventurist of the family, so I probably pretended to eat it but instead listened as she told us the entire story of how she and Nagypapa met.

My freshman year of college, she bought me Hilary Duff's new CD for Christmas. Not because she had any idea who Hilary Duff was, but because she was pretty and she thought I looked just like her. I was appalled. It's still in my CD collection and I guess now is a good time to open it.

Trips to Hungary, especially the last one when I was 14. I can understand enough Hungarian to make sense of a conversation, and while I don't always know every word, I could always tell how proud she was of her whole family whenever she talked about us.

Nagymama, we love you, we miss you so much already, but all I can hope is that we can continue to make you proud. <3


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