Saturday, March 22, 2014

Julianna Nagy, May 1, 1938 - August 21, 2013

Sad day of sorts for me. I went to my mom's the other day and was given a huge bag of "thread", "If you want it," she said. The large bag was full of embroidery thread of all colours along with a variety of table coverings/placements in different stages of being finished. Here is a closeup of one of the finished items.

Julia, was my mom's best friend, along with her other friend Barbara. Now these three women, our family referred to as the "three omigo's", "three muskateers", "triple trouble!" They would go shopping together to Costco and split those case lot items by three. They were the three single seniors making their way without partners. My mom and Barbara long ago lost their husbands to cancer and Julia's husband after 40+ years decided he wanted to be single...needless to say these three women made fast friends.

|Julia, lived in a small apartment in downtown, while my mom in the family home, had the yard, flowers, and way too many tasks to do with her poor health. Julia, in not so great health herself would come and spend her days with my mom, talking about old times in \Hungary, weeding the garden, an then of course roping Barbara in for much of the same!

The three were the best of friends....until August 21, 2013 when Julia passed on. She had a massive stroke and then lingered for a week before passing on. So many stories to tell about Julia who I came to love as a beloved Aunt (albeit with the sharp tongue!) She was one of a kind. Fast forward to a week ago, when my mom handed me this large bag of embroidery threads.

Julia had a hard life. She watched her father as a child, through a window being shot by a soldier. The family couldn't leave the house to bring his body inside for fear the snipers would kill them as well. They watched in horror as he died in front of their eyes. She was loved, but also abused by a husband, lost a child due to the abuse and then came to Canada to live out her life. She met another man who she loved dearly who again betrayed her. She was calloused, sharp tongued, but you could see the glimmer of that goodness that was inside, hidden deeply. She would make things for Chef and I -- homemade noodles and a chocolate cake that weighed 10 pounds (of course soaked in rum!). You would be sauced by having a slice! Knowing that we were one of the few that she would do this for, we enjoyed every morsel!

She never had children, but she adopted a family whom she would be the "Grandma" for. They were the one's who put on her funeral and cried together with us at losing a great person, a great friend and someone who is missed dearly.

Kindly the family brought my mom some of Julia's things to do with what she wanted. Julia was quite the embroidery expert. I have seen many of her items in my mom's house on the tables. Just beautiful! I could appreciate all the hours that went into it. Funny how she and\I never talked about it or shared. 

I opened the bag and was amazed at the assortment. Surely this was something she clearly loved with the variety of colours and brands that she had collected through the years! There were some un-finished items that have to be finished. I will do them for her in her absence in hopes that her guidance will come through! I will sort the threads and put them lovingly in a container to protect the. After all -- this is my heritage. Hungarian embroidery. I AM Hungarian. Born in Canada to Hungarian parents who immigrated here. Julia as well immigrated to Canada.

Maybe one day, friends or family will see this post of Julia and remember her. Remember her with kindness and the love she so deserved!

Here's a photo of her sitting in my mom's living room. Her blouse of course is with traditional Hungarian embroidery and of course her on the right with her "garden" pants and hat. She so loved  being outside in the yard and tending to the flowers! Such a shame that her last years were in an apartment -- but my mom was blessed to have her tend her garden year after year.

If I can even match her stitches I will be very lucky indeed!

One of her "unfinished" projects with a needle still in.

yet another unfinished.. how beautiful!

Julia's pin cushion. She had pre-threaded the needles with different colours so she wouldn't have to stop too long to change colours!

deep int he bottom of the bag I found one of her needle books. I wonder where and what this needle book saw and heard. Where in the world has this little needle book travelled?

Cotton Perle! This is quite old, but the thread inside is intact! of the major colours in traditional Hungarian embroidery.

So today and every day, I celebrate and thank God that Julia was in our lives. I can say that we honestly "got" her. We understood her and knew that she loved us without a doubt. I will strive to honor her through her gift to me. 

Thank you for reading my post about Julia. Maybe some of you know Hungarian embroidery, or maybe your path will cross my blog and you actually knew Julia! I would love to hear from you all!

God Bless and keep those you love close to you. Honor those who have gone before you and send prayers to Him in thanks.



Becky said...

Really neat! I love that embroidery! I live in Poland but am an American and I do love all the beautiful handwork that many know how to do.

Margo said...

I just never appreciated it too much because it was always around at home! I now realize the value of these pieces. Seems like so many younger than I are more interested in their computers and phones rather than doing things creative with their hands! What do they have in Poland? What are they known for?

Lana said...

Such a sweet write of her elegantly...Isn't amazing how people can live through so much, even maybe are "sharped tongued" but their real selves come out in the beauty they create...
Those are treasures indeed...they show her beautiful creative one could take that from her.
Thank you for sharing her...
Your blog is awesome...