Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ici finally gave her last breath here with us to go be with Christ this morning. Thankfully in peace while she was sleeping.

I was reminded about our Thanksgiving celebration in 2000 when each of the eight children prepared our lists of thanksgivings to God for a mother like Ici, and then the specific thank you notes Ici wrote out about each of us.

What a gift to be able to read these on a day like today. I've posted them below.

There are so many more of my mother's writings of her life growing up in Budapest and immigrating to Germany and then to the US. I have had many relatives and friends ask that I continue to post them. Especially those who love and miss her all the way in Budapest. I will plan to get these "memoirs" up!

2000 Thanksgiving Dinner. Prayers of Thankfulness written by the kids about Mama (Ici), and Prayers of Thankfulness written about each of the siblings by Ici.

From Kitty

  • Thanks for the mother who sent SIXTY consectutive cheerful greeting cards - one every single day for two months while I went through the worst part of my divorce.
  • Thank you for a mother who took the time to sew a mermaid costume for me for my sixth grade Cotillion massacred party.
  • Thanks for the mother who held my hand and wiped my tears while Dr. Caravatti froze the warts off of my hands.
  • Thank you for giving a mother who made me pull an all-nighter in fifth grade when the teacher called and announced to her that I had procrastinated my report on the 50 States and it was three days overdue- Mama set her alarm and got up every hour on the hour to check on my progress.
  • Thanks for the mother who spent the night in the hospital with me when I got my tonsils removed.
  • Thanks for the mother who treats my stepchildren with love and empathy- including them in the headcount when people ask how many grandchildren she had, and always remembering them on their birthdays.
  • Thanks for the mother who educated me on history and literature during our drives in the car.
  • Thanks for a mother who loves all of her children equally, making each of us feel special and unique.
  • Thanks for the mother who demonstrated independence and courage during these last years without her husband.

Thank you, from Edie

  • Thanks for the mother who put up with my teenage outbursts and started all over with her love and forgiveness.
  • Thanks for the mom who never commented when I asked what she thought of any of my boyfriends.
  • While I was discouraged with my studies in college, thanks for compelling my mother to tell me over and over that I can do anything - "The sky's the limit!", Mama would say.
  • Thanks for the special memory on that sunny Saturday afternoon when together, Mama and I shopped all around in Richmond for that 'special' wedding dress.
  • Thanks for the mother who organized my whole wedding- making decisions down to the flowers while I was finishing up my last semester in Philadelphia.
  • Thanks for mother who kept me in piano lessons for 10 years despite my occasional pleas to let me quit.
  • Thanks for giving Mama the insight to make me memorize poems as punishment. I still remember with fondness those poetic lines.
  • Thanks for the mother who taught me courage- who encouraged me, at all of eight years old, to get out of the car and go inside that shoe repair shop. With Mama’s claim check and money in hand, I bravely asked the man behind the counter if her shoes were repaired.
  • Thanks for a mom who handled all the loads of dirty laundry we created, all the meals she fixed, and all the piles of dishes she washed without complaining. As a full-fledged mother today, I'm amazed how she suffered quietly through that!
  • Thanks for a mother who took me to all those college campuses my senior year in high school.
  • Mama, thanks for conveniently forgetting I was grounded and allowing me to go to that party after all.
  • I'll never forget you flying immediately to Louisville once newborn Ashley was out of the hospital and staying for a whole week. By the time you left, my shattered nerves were replaced with calm confidence - thanks to you.
  • Thanks for being a good role model by insisting we still go to church . Especially when you knew I wasn't going while I was away in college.
  • Thanks for your patience at the end of that summer when I took clarinet lessons in summer band at Freeman when I announced to you I do not want to take any more lessons because I would rather grow up being the lead singer, not a clarinet player in a band(!)

Thank you, from Mike

  • Thanks for giving me a mother who cared enough to make the devil costume for me on my sixth Halloween, even though I was angry that everyone said "Oh how cute!" when they answered the door.
  • Thanks (twice) for the college education.
  • Thanks for "Children's Theater", "Virginia Museum Theater", Cotillion,
    the discussions on Marxist dialectic, and the other random conversations that gave me a cultural and intellectual edge.
  • Thanks for Kanawha.
  • Thanks for once letting me stay home from school sick, even though my mother knew I was faking, and she just wanted someone to run errands with.
  • Thanks for the Richmond west-end and Westham Parkway; it was a great place to grow up.
  • Thanks for helping my mother attend Annette's and my wedding. Considering the circumstances, I know it was quite a stretch.
  • Thanks for all of my mother’s patience.

Thank you, from Andy

  • Thanks for a terrific mother- for those times I was sick at home and she let me sit in that chair in her bedroom in my bathrobe and watch TV and play with the remote control that changed channels when you sneezed hard. Thanks for the tea in that tall orange mug by my bedside, and the toast with sugar.
  • Thanks for the mother who encouraged me get off my duff and go find some playmates in the neighborhood when I was lonely and feeling sorry for myself.
  • Thanks for chicken paprikas and that pot roast with the carrot sauce. Thanks for hot-dogs and potatoes. Thanks for creamed spinach topped with fried eggs.
  • Thanks for Mama who pitched things high, like when I was in 8th grade and we were driving around on some errands, arguing about Anton Chekov's plays.
  • Thanks for the mother who would unplugged the TV and kicked us out of the house on Saturday mornings.
  • Thanks for the mother who read to us out of that "365 Bedtime Stories" book every night.
  • Thanks for Mama, who taught me to read, and for encouraged reading.
  • Thanks for the mother who didn’t me to military school or anything like that, and thanks for the shot at college, despite everything.

Thank you, from Marienne

  • Thanks for the mother who wouldn’t believe the Doctors when they told her I wouldn't amount to anything.
  • Thanks for the mother who encouraged me while I wore those casts.
  • Thanks for a mother who treated me "just like the other kids" when I know in her heart that it was difficult.
  • Thank you for the mother who made me go to college when I has no aspirations to do so.
  • Thanks for a mother who was patient with me in finding what kind profession I should aspire to become.
  • Thanks for a mother who told me that I could "get a husband". When I thought everyone saw "different", Mama told me, “you are very pretty.”
  • Thanks for a mother who told me how to catch a husband, .... when Robbie came to dinner, Mama would say " feed this growing boy!"
  • Thanks for a mother who sent me to Paris when I was in college. It was a wonderful experience that I'll cherish forever.
  • Thanks for all the wonderful meals like paprikash chicken, ruckert kaposta, vudash hoosh with that wonderful gravy.
  • Thanks for a mother who saw Robbie and I through the darkest times after Danville
  • Thanks for sending my mother to Front Royal when Robbie was in the hospital.
  • Thanks for all the trips- like to Florida and Nags Head- and especially for the memory of the Canada trip. Oh, and God, thanks for including me on that trip- if it weren't for me, the only American citizen in the car old enough to speak, my family may not have been able to return, because you didn't have a passport!

Thank you, from Joe

  • Thanks for the mother who darned my St. Bridgets uniform pants after I had holes in them from the playground. And thanks for her not telling Papa about it!
  • Thanks for Mama not telling on me for sneaking out at night when Papa was on business trips.
  • Thanks for a mother who taught me etiquette, and how to change my bed and wash the dishes and cook and set the table properly- so I can teach my son the same.
  • Thanks for giving my mother the patience for teaching me the rudiments of how to spell and add and multiply, since I was having trouble in school as a child and even ran away from school.
  • Thanks for a mother who knows how to be a good grandmother- who gave support to Zander during the troubled times with Mar and my separation.
  • Thanks for the boy scouts, cub scouts, and piano lessons.
  • Thanks for the mother who spurred me to study- even taking literature and film classes with me.
  • Thanks for giving Mama the strength to support Papa when he wasn’t feeling good. She prolonged his life at least five years because his life revolved around her.

Thank you, from Margie

  • Thank you for all the times my mother squeezed my hand and held me close whenever I was frightened or uncertain---e.g., when we were on the ship with all those scary soldiers coming over from Europe, or when getting shots, or when leaving all those 1st times for school (elementary, high school, & college), or when leaving for my honeymoon and a new life.
  • Thank you for giving my mother the creativity to invent for Judy & me all those neat stories at night about that nasty "Pinchy-Punchy Johnny" as a means of dealing with our local bully (whose name just happened to be Johnny).
  • Thanks also for the neat Hungarian fairy tales; like the Rooster and the Golden Ring, and the Women with the Heavy Cross.
  • Thank for helping my mother convince me that my glasses didn't make me look ugly----that if I smiled I would always be pretty, because, after all, my smile was my best feature anyway.
  • Thank you for all those letters to me in camp and college beginning with "my dear darling Margie".
  • Thank you for the mother who gave all of that support during those many tough times in past years-----I still try to "look at the donut---not at the hole" and "get mad---not sad" as Mama always advises.
  • Thank you for the mother who interceded for me to Papa when he seemed so immovable in his many unpopular decisions & opinions affecting me which I often disagreed with.
  • Thank you for the mother who goes out of her way to prepare paprikas chicken & nokedli with dill pickles whenever I came home to Richmond---it always made me feel so special.
  • Thank you for my mother’s persistence in trying so hard to keep up with new high tech items just so you can keep in touch with us---e.g. the fax machine.
  • Thank you for trying so hard to follow through with your exercise programs so that you can be always at your physical best and be with us for may more years to come.
  • Thank you for helping Mama be such a loving mother-in-law to Lucky and Nagymama to the kids---and for being the best Mama a girl could have---please don't ever change!

Thank you, from Judy

  • Thanks for the loving kick in the pants.

Finally, Ici herself took the time in 2000 to write out specific letters of Thanksgiving to God for each of her eight children. What a gift on this day to be able to read and appreciate words personally penned by her.
A Thanksgiving Prayer from Mama for her Children

Dear God, I want to give you thanks for all the gifts you bestowed upon me this past year: for my long life, for the love and support of my children, for their frequent calls and visits. God bless them all, and thank you!

Thank you, Lord, for Judy. I especially wish to thank you for my daughter, Judy, for giving me refuge when I needed, as in adverse weather or power troubles made my condo uninhabitable; for her advice and help to buy my condo, for taking me to church.

Thank you for Margie- for her help to get my long term care insurance, for giving me advice in physical therapy questions, for registering all of my belongings before I had moved, for providing me with my fax machine, and for introducing me to the use of it!

Thank you, Lord, for Joe. I especially want to give thanks for Joe, for running the factory and visiting me with his son, for helping me in emergencies and furnishing me with long distance drives.

Thank you, Lord, for Marienne. Thanks for Marienne, for her generous offer to take care of me until my last days, for driving to Richmond weekly to help and for keeping me company, for finding a house in Front Royal, for her search for an architect and a contractor, for taking me in time to the hospital when I had heart problems.

Thank you, Lord, for Andy. Lord, you have been so gracious to give me my son, Andy, for shouldering my legal and administrative problems, and for his help in moving me into my condo.

Thank you, Lord, for Mike. I especially wish to thank you for my son, Mike, who despite his growing family and full time job, found time to take me into his home in Washington DC often, to visit the theater, and who is helping me to realize my Front Royal plans!

Thank you, Lord, for Edie. Thank you for the blessings of my daughter, Edie, who made a kind offer to have me live with her in Nashville, who took the time to help me shop for condos with a real estate agent, who is typing my hard-to-read memoir manuscripts, and who invites me to spend Christmas in her home this year as well as last year.

Thank you, Lord, for Kitty. Thank you for my daughter, Kitty, for her warmth and love. She was always ready to console and stand by me. Thank you for her patience to lend an ear for my complaints and troubles, and for offering solutions. Thanks for her business advice and for being a friend since my loss of Papa.


Susan said...

These "Thanksgiving Thank You Notes" are a blessing to treasure for years to come... Kitty, thank you so much for posting this!

Cat said...

I read Mrs. Fekete's obituary in the Richmond Times-Dispatch and am sorry I was never afforded the pleasure of meeting her.

What a wonderful life story and legacy she leaves behind.

andy fekete said...

A terrific blog entry! So many memories...

More pictures, if you can manage it!


Kitty H said...

Thanks, Andy- now that Margie has emailed us pix, I can begin to get them up.