Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Hungarian Revolution 1956 | Coming to America

June 17th, 2015

My dad has been gone for twenty years now....and it takes my breath away to say that. I cannot believe it's been two decades since he left us. He passed one week after his 60th birthday; due in part I think to a difficult life and a sadness inside of him he could never heal. My father left a war-torn country at his parents urging; they had lost everything and knew their son was young enough to make a new life in a free land. He arrived here with almost nothing, possessing only the sponsorship from a distant relative in the US which made the journey possible.

Louis did the opposite of what so many these days do. He worked four jobs to put himself through college and then grad school. He studied hard, learned flawless English and was so very proud of becoming an American citizen. While in school in California he met my mother and they married, just as he was offered a job with the government in Washington, DC. For almost 30 years dad was an economist for the US Commerce Department, living in the suburbs of northern Virginia. It was everything that one may have thought "the American dream" was.

Dad spoke little of his past, hesitating to go back to that painful time when Communists overtook their country. His own father died in prison and although we returned to "the homeland" many times it was never easy for him to accept what had happened. Sadly, as an adult now I can see the effects that life had on him and realize that so much sadness and loss was buried inside someone who could rarely speak about it. Sixty years and one week is such a short life....I was only 22 when I had to say goodbye.

There are right ways and wrong ways of doing things and although I say little about it, it hurts to see the freedom of this country taken advantage of. My dad embraced what America stood for, placed lights in the windows during the Iran hostage crisis and cried like a baby when they were released. Despite not being born here he had more patriotic spirit than so many. To this day, to me, it is a slap in the face to see how people disrespect our flag and nation. When you come from nothing perhaps you appreciate things more....I learned so much from my father. I just wish there had been more time.