Just about two weeks ago we were very saddened to hear that Ivy's dear grandfather had passed away. Ivy grew up with him and she cherishes the decades she was able to spend with him. I also got to know him pretty well--especially the last six months we spent in Hungary. In fact, we are incredibly thankful that we spent this time there with him when we did.
Grandpa Molnar has been featured here a couple times on this blog (e.g. how he was captured in WWII and sent to a Russian prison camp but did remarkably well there through mental and physical discipline and a good outlook on life.) He went on to live a life of honor, dignity, love, and devotion to others--always with a great sense of humor and consistent support for the rest of his family. I aspire to do the same. He was 90. I've posted in a picture of him here.
Right before we heard the news of his death, I had borrowed a book from the library that had been recommended on another blog I read. The book is "The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion and it's a true story describing how--in one tragic year--the author loses both her husband of forty years and her 39 year old daughter to two different illnesses. The way she struggled with her grief and the harsh changes that occurred so quickly were eye-opening to read. The book also provided sober but good insights into the inevitable reality of death and actually provided good context for what Ivy was going through with her grandfather--especially how the loss seems so brutal and fast and the emptiness that remains in place of the real person. It's definitely emphasized to me not to take anyone or anything for granted.