Grand Haven Lighthouse

Grand Haven Lighthouse
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Monday, August 19, 2013

An open letter to Attila Illemszky's Family

This man, a father, brother, uncle and great uncle was my best friend, soul mate and lover.  We could finish each others sentences and often even know what the other was thinking.  I don't know what happened in the past nor do I care.  What I do know is the man that I shared my life with for the past 35 years, 30 of those years as his wife.  I got to know his children from his previous marriages and was able to develop a fantastic relationship with his oldest son but not so much with his girls here.

He and I went through many tough times together with very little money due to his paying high child support but he always made sure that he took care of his girls the best that he could, as well as the family he acquired by marrying me.  He didn't have to but he adopted my two kids from my first marriage and made them is own.  He gave them his name and opened his heart to them.  He grieved with me when Joshua died in 1997 from the car accident he was in. He also grieved the same as I when my father passed away in 2004.  He then tried to take care of my mother and help her as much as she would let him.

We missed celebrating many anniversaries by going out or with even gifts at times as we could not afford it.  Instead he cooked a meal for us and we had some wine or Asti with it.  Asti was a rarity as it was expensive.   We only took vacations when he worked at hotels that allowed us to stay at other properties at very reduced prices.  Holiday Inn was one of them.  While we went on vacations we rarely ate out at restaurants instead we found ways to eat cheaper while we were on vacation.  Up to and including picnics where we grilled hot dogs and had things to go with them.  We carried the small grill we had with us every time we were on vacation.  We never had money for many "extras" but we always paid our bills.

We wanted to visit you more often, to have a and be part of the family.  However, this was not meant to be as money or lack of funds got into the way many times.  In truth,  Attila did not like being here in Michigan especially in Lansing.  We often talked about moving back down to VA, or MD or even DC.  However, he backed out every time as he was afraid that I wouldn't be able to find a job.  I had lots of office experience and I am sure that had we carried out the plan I would have found employment easily back then.

He was able to heal his relationship with his oldest.  This son, whom he cared about more than anyone knew, was from his first marriage.  He always regretted the way things turned out there and what he did to loose his first family.  His son, has been a rock to me over the past year that he has been gone.  I can turn to him in my darkest hour to talk and he will always listen to me.  In many ways, he has the loving heart that his father possessed and I am proud to be part of his family and that he is part of mine.  I know that my husband apologized to the oldest for things that happened and realizing that he was wrong was huge in the mending of their relationship.  As a matter of fact, this relationship was put to the test when this son, drove through the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy last year to be at his fathers bedside.  He was the only child of this man besides our daughter Beth who came to be with him in his last hours.  Actually I am sure that Attila hung on until he knew his son was with him.  Shortly after his son made it to hospice, Attila passed away, it was two hours to be exact.

His relationship with his 3 girls was rocky at best.  He rarely saw them and probably the best relationship he had was with his oldest daughter.  She finally saw him while he was lucid 6 days prior to his passing.  I had always hoped for a better relationship with them as a second family however it was not in the cards.  His middle daughter lived some ways away and worked a lot so was rarely in town and when she was she went to her mothers not to visit us.

this man who was a husband, a father, a brother, an uncle and great uncle was a man with a huge heart capable of lots of love albeit he rarely would show that side of him but you knew that he always loved you by his actions.  He had a bad temper that was true but he was just as quick to apologize or to do something nice for you in lieu of an apology.  He helped me to mature and become the best that I could be.  I became a strong , independent woman  who didn't need to lean on him but rather one that worked along side of him for the things that we needed and wanted.  I had almost forgot about all of that in my grieving during this past year after loosing him and with all of the stuff that I have had to deal with since he passed over.
A very wise cyber friend helped me to realize what was happening to me and I was forced to analyze myself.  I am now regaining myself, my strength, my identity as he would want me to.  I am healing from loosing him and loosing our home for the past 27 years.  After all I have realized that this house is not a home since he is gone and everything that he was will always be with me.  I would have preferred to stay but the circumstances have prevented this from happening.

Our daughter, Beth, gave part of his name, part of her oldest brothers name as well as part of Attila's fathers name.  It is the American version  of the name but we know that our grandson carries part of his name.  This grandson misses his Papa terribly and this grandson helped fill the hole in Attila's heart and life that loosing Joshua created.  There was a deeper side of this man that he rarely allowed to show.  He kept is sorrow and pain inside and dealt with it.  I always envied him that inner strength and his ability to move on.  The two times I say him very upset was when his father passed and especially when his mother passed away.  He always kept the strong side showing to help the rest of us except during the passing of his parents when he allowed the sorrow to show.

This man loved deeply and as I said before he kept it hidden.  He was a good, kind and yes even sometimes a gentle man and I have memories of all of it the good, the bad and the downright ugly of 35 years.  These memories are all I have left of him now and I know that due to that he will always be with me.  I won't lie but I will say that there are numerous times that I needed to feel his strength, his love and his arms around me.  We had so much together and now I realize it was all that and more.

Attila Illemszky was an awesome man husband and father and he is deeply missed by us.  To me he always be my love, my life, my soul mate and I was proud to be his wife and to share as much of his lifetime that I was given.  You, my love, will be all that I have written and so much more that I haven't written to me and mine.