December 1944, Budapest, Hungary, Part 3
by Nick Ittzes and Christa (Ittzes) Upton
Father heard them coming and stood outside the parlor door, his blue eyes sparkling. They reached the parlor, and Mother smiled at Father. He waited just a moment and then flung wide the parlor doors. The boys rushed forward with wide eyes and glowing faces. Little Eva sucked on her fingers and stared, entranced, at the bright room. The miracle had happened—they were able to give the children a lovely Christmas.
Yehno saw the new blocks right away. He looked up at Mother and said, “Those belong to Mikloshka. The old ones are just fine for me.” He was only two years old but already so unselfish. Giving to others and showing love came so naturally to this little one. But no one knew that this would be little Yehno’s last Christmas on earth.
A few short months after Christmas, many children in the city came down with the dreaded pneumonia. In those days, no antibiotics were available. Miklosh’s body fought the illness, and slowly he grew well. But gradually Yehno became weaker and weaker, and finally his body succumbed to the disease.
Many friends and family gathered as Yehno’s body was lowered into the grave. Sweet, gentle Mother felt that her heart was breaking. Her little boy, her darling, had been ushered to his eternal Home, and she already missed him. She held precious baby Eva tightly and hugged dear little Mikloshka even harder to her side, as if to make sure they would stay on earth with her forever. Miklosh looked up at her with tears and questions in his blue eyes, and Mother wept.
For some time, Miklosh would look for Yehno with a broken heart, not fully understanding death. But he grew to know that Yehno is safe with the same Jesus who visited them in the winter of 1944.
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given,” they had read in Isaiah. What is Christmas but the birth of the One Who had conquered death forever?! The Christ Child, a Savior, had come to earth. His death on the cross and His resurrection had secured a place in Heaven for all who would receive Him. One day they would see Yehno again. One day, they would all be in that beautiful, happy place in the presence of Almighty God. One day they would all be Home.
Christa’s note: “Mother” and “Father” were my dear grandparents, and Miklosh is my beloved father. My grandparents are now reunited with Yehno in heaven and happier than they ever could have imagined. I look forward to seeing them all one day. Praise God for His victory over death and His Son that gives us life!!!
Christa Upton Black Hills Picture Books PO Box 293 Custer, SD 57730