My husband Aaron Elek and his parents were Hungarian by birth. My in-laws were sentimental and emotional people, especially my father-in-law Aron Elek, an old World gentleman to whom hand-kissing was second nature. After a long illness he died in 1967, and my mother-in-law followed him within three months.
Our son Emery was born late in my in-laws’ life and was very special to them. Because our home in Bay City, Michigan, was so distant from a church of their faith Emery never was baptized during their lifetimes. But early in 1972 we finally put our minds to it and made the arrangements for his baptism.
On Sunday, February 13, 1972, we drove three hundred miles to Cleveland, Ohio, to the Hungarian Reformed Church my husband had attended during his teens. The minister of the church. who coincidentally bore the same name as my husband, Aaron Elek, was delighted to perform the ceremony for us.
We arrived at the church shortly before the service. My husband was ushered immediately into the pastor’s office. I followed slightly behind. Several people greeted us cordially as welcome strangers although most of them spoke only Hungarian and I do not know the language.
One gentleman in particular came right up to me.He was just under average height and wore the traditional mustache of elderly Hungarian men. He smiled warmly as he reached for my hand. I thought he wanted to shake hands but he lifted my hand kissed it with some emotion.
Just then my husband called me to the office to complete filling out papers for the baptism. When we finished and left the office I looked for the man who had greeted me so warmly in order to introduce my husband. But the man was nowhere in sight.
He might be an usher, I decided. I would look for him during the service. But as the service progressed I saw no sign of the man. I described him to friends who members of the church but they could not identify him from my description.
After the service, my curiosity aroused, I asked my husband and his friends to help me search for the elusive gentleman. But the elderly Hungarian was nowhere to be found.
When I described the man again my husband observed that my description fit only one person- his father. That brought me to a halt, for it was true. I had seen my father-in-law frequently during his long illness, but it had been several years since I had seen him up and about.
Both the appearance and the mannerisms of the unidentified man exactly matched those my deceased father-in-law. I feel that Aron Elek came back to show me that he was pleased we finally had Emery after such a long delay.
Bay City, Michigan