On July 25, Chuck and I boarded a train in Vienna and made our way to Budapest. It had been a lovely five days visiting all the beautiful sights, but now it was time to visit my family’s home. It was time to return once again to Budapest where my brother and sister have lived all their lives and where I have come to feel at home.
This was my fourth visit with them and sixth time in Budapest. It had been three years since we were together and every minute of the train ride seemed an hour long as I waited anxiously to arrive. I watched the sights of Hungary go by from the train’s window. The names of the towns and villages we passed along the way were unfamiliar and difficult to pronounce, yet strangely comforting.
From the moment we stepped off the train at Nyugati station the visits began. My nephew Tomi met us at the station and helped us to our flat. Tired and relieved to finally arrive the preparations began. The first guest, my nephew Peter, arrived with a bouquet of sunflowers and a great big hug. Soon the rest of the family arrived, one more excited than the next it seemed. The smiles, hugs and kisses were contagious and we all shared in the joy of being together.
Our days together were spent doing all the things families do. We ate dinners, sat around the table talking, laughing, and yes even some tears. We enjoyed food, drank wine, told stories and reflected on the time we have spent, the years not knowing about each other, and a little of everything in between. I took my nieces and nephews out to lunch and for walks. We visited a miniature train museum, a cafe and played with Matchbox cars. Chuck and I took some time to ourselves to do things the locals would do. We joined a few thousand people in an outdoor square to watch the final WaterPolo World Championship match, walked the avenues and small cobblestone streets in our neighborhood of the State Opera House and St. Istvan’s Cathedral, and even visited a vintage record store. We drove to Tokaji and showed Tomi the beautiful wine country of his homeland and the village of Chuck’s family. I spent my time being a sister, an aunt, a stranger, a friend. I continued to discover my past and wondered about my future.
I am so happy to have found this piece of me that was missing. I know how fortunate and blessed I am to have these people welcome me and love me. I am thankful for my husband and children for taking this evolving journey with me. I had waited three years to see Laszlo and Marta again and I learned three years is way to long in between visits. It was so hard to leave. As we walked to the tram stop on our final evening the tears were hard to fight back. My sister’s arm wrapped in mine gave comfort to me as I found it hard to look into my brother’s sad eyes. The hugs were tight and we lingered. I didn’t want to let go. I didn’t want to say goodbye. Life is short, the years of us being apart have been long, our time is now. Until we are together again my dear family…Puszi xo