Good-bye and Good Luck!

This seems to be our week for saying good-byes, one sadly anticipated and the other unexpectedly soon. On Monday, we took our adopted nephew out for a good-bye dinner. He was leaving today for Trinity College in Hartford, CT. Balazs earned a full scholarship provided by the Kellner Foundation who will be paying not only his room, board, and tuition, but also a monthly stipend, a new Dell laptop computer, and a travel stipend as well. As exciting as this was for him and we were thrilled he would get this opportunity, we were also psychologically devastated at the thought of his being gone for a year. He had been our rock in dealing with all thing Hungarian that we have not been about to circumvent on our own. He has shared dinners with us at our home as well as in restaurants; he attends classical music events with Ron, because I will not. He is closer to us than my own nephews have been. He calls for advice, stops over just to chat, and there is a close bond that I have not had with any of my relatives in over thirty years. Trying to put on a brave face, we took him to one of our favorite restaurants in the city, Troffea. Troffea is an all-you-can-eat restaurant with class. You are able to select your beverage from sodas, mineral waters, beer, wine, or champagne. The selections of food range from a choice of five soups, to dozens of salads, five prepared entrees, a refrigerated case with marinated meats that they will grill on the spot for you, a dozen vegetables, and as many desserts. We generally reserve this restaurant for special occasions since it is easy to go overboard, but this was as special an evening as they get. Balazs was to leave Friday morning. We all knew it would not be appropriate to have all of us bawling at the airport as he waved good-bye, so we thought Monday night was our chance. Alas, he teaches through our business, so he had to return on Thursday night to give us his time sheet, so once last chance. On Thursday night, we received a call from Angela, the former Fulbrighter who was here doing research and studying Hungarian. Due to a family emergency, she had to leave for home days sooner than planned. She was leaving on Saturday. Now we had to prepare an abrupt good-bye with someone we had spent quality time. Balazs spent a few hours with us on Thursday night, all of us postponing the inevitable. There were no tears. We all refused to own up to our emotions. Truth be told, he is planning on returning to Hungary for Christmas and spring break. I have told him as strongly as I would my own, this is a mistake. He should be making friends and spending the holidays traveling and soaking up the US culture. I told him that I hope that what would be ultimately best for him is what would be. We were going to go for one last dinner with Angela tonight, but our other favorite restaurant Paprika was hopping and without a reservation, it would have been a long wait. We returned to Troffea once again. Now I have to recite ‘diet’ 1,000 times before I can eat again.Angela, sorry you had to leave so suddenly, but thanks for the good times we shared while you were here.