Friday, September 16, 2016

Finding Home

A person does not grow from the ground like a vine or a tree, one is not part of a plot of land. Mankind has legs so it can wander.
Roman Payne, The Wanderess

The lives of people are impacted by the circumstances they are born into, the choices they might have made, or by the changing conditions of society. And the decisions we make create the person we become.

We can become bound by our roots.

The life we come from when born and our ancestry can shape us tremendously. How we move through life and the stakes we place in the ground as we grow older can cause a settling of our footing. We become rooted believing nothing else need be done.

If we can establish a firm footing, a comfortable hold on the life we live, we can also use those feet to examine and find where we come from. To help confirm or complete the circle of who we are, we search for home.

To find who we were before who we are now.

I have a story of an American, a long time ago refugee from Hungary who escaped along with his father and brother in 1957. A secret escape during the Hungarian Revolution as the Soviets moved to crush any and all opposition.

His mother had died some short years previous to this escape to freedom. His belief for so many years had been that his mother's family wanted nothing to do with his father, brother or himself. This was a story strangely perpetrated by his father's new wife.

Reasons are often never understood.

From that early February day in 1957, he never had contact with his mother's family in Hungary. It included a few years of no contact prior to leaving the country and emigrating to a new life and country.

Yet the questions lingered for many years as this boy grew into a smart, strong and successful man. He was like many other people working hard to build a life, raise a family and reach his dreams and goals.

Questions left unanswered.

In mid-1998, he and his wife made a trip back to Hungary; a journey of discovery and sentimentality. He wanted to find and visit the grave site of his mother who had died at the young age of thirty from cancer. He had lost his mother at the age of seven and this trip home was to come a bit closer to her memory.

The trip was guided by a cousin from his father's side of the family. They found their way to the cemetery and to the office for information of where the grave was located. After forty years, to see his mother's resting place, they found their way to the grave site.

Surprise hidden by the many years.

What they encountered was a well-tended plot and markers for her parents who had died many years after her. With a lack of knowing how or why the grave sites were so well tended, back to the office they went to find out who might have been responsible for the grave; an age-old practice is to pay a fee every 10 years.

The office was only able to provide an address in a nearby town, but no name. With this information they set off to discover an answer to who could have been tending to his mother's grave. Eventually they found themselves parked across the street from the address given to them at the cemetery office.

Would they want to see me.

From here I allow the man's wife to carry on the story.

His cousin got out of the car and started walking across the street to two women who were talking by the driveway gate. My husband remained in the car and I asked, astonished, "Why aren't you going with him?" and the response was "I'm not sure they will want to see me.

The story he had known all those years was that his mother's family had not and would not want anything to do with him.

I said "Of course they will want to see you!" and urged him to go. He slowly got out of the car, then started across the street. By this time his cousin had introduced himself and was explaining who we were. I heard a shriek and my husband started running across the street.

One of the women was his aunt, who was only seven years old when he was born. She had babysat the young boys when their mother was sick and for a short time after she died. There were tears all around and hugs galore.

As this man's wife explained, "People used to ask us 'Why Hungary?' I daresay many people cannot possibly understand what it means to have given up your homeland because it wasn't safe to stay, and the resulting longing for family, the sounds of your native tongue, and connections with your earliest memories."

We can establish roots without getting stuck in the hardened clay. We can go home once again and find answers to whom we have become.

Keep seeking home, keep seeking who you are and stay inspired my friends.

Stay inspired my friends!

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