Mum, Szilvia (Pa's great niece), Terike (his niece), Pa & Me
So, it's been a long time between entries on this blog. There are a couple of reasons for that.
Firstly, when we left Hungary Ibi and I were so busy fitting in as much sightseeing as we could that I didn't have time for internet, preferring to enjoy the cities and cram in as much as possible than to sit in an internet cafe.
Secondly and the main reason. As fate would have it something pretty bad happened. My grandpa (who we brought with us to Hungary and who stayed with relatives as we went to enjoy our tour) passed away. Here, in his birthplace, Hungary. This was a huge shock to us and something we could never have prepared for. I am very close to my pa and so is my Mum. She visits him everyday at home and helps him with everything he needs. Whenever I was home from touring he was the first person I would visit, often taking him out for coffee and cake, lunch and his haircut.
To receive this information whilst we were in the middle of our tour (which was going fantastically) was also difficult but a stroke of "luck" was
that he died on the day we were heading back into Budapest with our tour group. We obviously left our tour there as they continued on to Croatia and I cancelled my 8 day sailing trip and we spent a week in Hungary organising everything we needed to do for my pa. We decided to have him cremated there and bring his ashes home with us. Unfortunately, I was unable to fly home with mum which was pretty distressing as I wanted to be with her during the flight but she, being the tough cookie she is, made it home and arrived in Melbourne on Friday happy to be home and with our family. I am now in England visiting my wonderful old friend, Rachel, who I haven't seen for 6 years but whose friendship fits like a glove no matter the time or distance apart.
Mum and I are both fine. We were pretty exhausted dealing with the all the bureaucracy but we went on auto pilot and got everything sorted fairly quickly considering we were in a foreign country. We met some relatives that we had never met (the ones my pa was staying with when he
Ibi, Pa & Terike
The Basilica, Eszertgom, Hungary
passed away) and we were blown away by their beautiful kindness, hospitality and help. I don't speak any Hungarian but sometimes actions are all you need. I cried to say goodbye to these people that I had never met, that I will probably never meet again but that I loved in just a few days.
I know my pa was happy when he died. In fact I believe he was the happiest he had been since my nanna died. He was talking and spending time with people every day (at home he only had mum's visits to look forward to really), he was eating delicious Hungarian dishes he had not had in 10 years or more, he was playing chess with his lovely nephew (his favourite thing to do and at 86 he was still the most skilled player) and he was remembering stories from long ago. He was "home" I guess although he always loved Melbourne and called it his home but I think everyone must have some attachment to the place they were born and for him where he spent the first 30 years of his life. Perhaps his heart belonged here...
I am at peace
to know he is at peace and that my Mum and I were able to give him his last wish. When he asked us if he could join us on our special trip I was really happy that we could make this little pilgrimage together. I love that I have these wonderful new memories of my pa. Sitting with him in the sunshine at his niece's house and learning to cook traditional foods with the 4 of us squashed into her little kitchen, seeing the light on his face as he ate the foods and (thankfully) telling him I love him in Hungarian (one of the few words I do know) as we left him there as we went off on our own. I am lucky that he always knew how much I loved him. I know he was happy and I think that is the most important thing and that is all we can hope for when our time comes.
Rest in Peace my lovely Pa.
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