I revamped my website. When I started, the folder on my laptop housing early copy revisions and new images was called “Website revamp: April 2020”. It’s now September. I don’t know what happened to the time. I don’t know why this project – which I was initially so excited about and invested in – took so long to wrap up. Actually, I do. Covid happened. And I lost the person who started it in the first place: you.
We stood in Walter’s kitchen in January and spoke about my website for ages. I mentioned that I didn’t have the WordPress know-how to complete the changes I had in mind and you responded with, “WordPress? I’ve got just the person.” You told me how great Paula was to work with: efficient and creative and awesome (you used to say “awesome” a lot) and I was sold. It’s always good to get a recommendation from someone you trust so completely.
And here it is, after all this time. A website. But no Laszlo.
How did that happen? How did we lose you? How did your heart – that vast, loving heart – fail you while you were out cycling less than two months into lockdown? My brain still stutters and stalls in its attempts to understand.
Sass asked me to speak at your memorial. A few of us gathered in your home and the rest came together online – dozens of rectangles from across the world, so many faces of love. How different that moment would have been in the absence of a pandemic. How many of us would have gathered in person had we been able to, how we would have hugged and wept and laughed and hugged again.
In my eulogy, I spoke about what it was like to be friends with you. I spoke about how kind and thoughtful you were, how regular and spontaneous your invitations were to meet for a drink, to sit on the stoep or to walk the dogs.
I spoke about how you always wanted to connect us – your family of friends – to help us and to show your love. And your love was always so tangible. It was tangible in the way you hugged, you hugged with your whole being, in the attention you paid someone when they spoke, and in your curiosity and your warmth and your sincerity.
In my conversations with others who love you, so many of us have spoken about what a cheerleader you were. You were always in our corner. If something was important to us, it was important to you. Apart from my mom, I think you are one of the few people who has read all of my blogs. And for every one, you either left a comment – your comments can still be found in these pages – or you sent me a text or called me to tell me what you thought, what feelings my words brought up for you.
I can still hear your voice: “Cassidy Parker!” (You always said my name in full, in your lovely Hungarian lilt.) “Are you writing, darling? Do you have anything for me to read?” Your support taught me the definition of friendship.
The word mischief also comes up a lot in our conversations about you. “That mischievous glint in his eye,” we say, “That mischievous smile.” And you were mischievous, and loved bringing us together in shared mischief. You were quick to laugh, a lover of music and dance and hot tubs – you could spend hours in a hot tub – and you were passionate: about writing and filmmaking and cycling and ice cream and your wife and all of us.
Lasz, I still can’t believe that these words are written in the past tense. The thought never occurred to me that we didn’t have years and years ahead of us. The most important thing that isn’t in the past tense is love. I love you still, Lasz. We all do.