Milan Hala and his wife Ruth Halova

Here you can see me with my second husband, Milan Hala. The photo was taken during a trip to India in the 1990s.

Once at an opening of a show of children's drawings, I met a young violinist with guileless blue eyes, Milan Hala, and I fell in love with him. Milan was a Christian and steered me towards reading the New Testament; up till then I'd only read the Old. I began reading, and my heart melted. Here was the gospel of love expressed in the most moving picture of the embodiment of love itself, that of the gentle Nazarene. But soon I stood before a serious problem: Could I, as a Jewess, accept something like that? Wouldn't it be a character flaw, to be so enthused by Christianity the moment I fell in love with a Christian?

Right during that time I had a dream. I was at a concert, where Jews and Christians were sitting separately. I was among the Jews. But my neighbors were making so much noise that I couldn't hear the music at all, much less take it in. And then my Uncle Hugo came along, took me by the hand and sat me down amongst the Christians. Milan and I were married the day before my birthday in 1965. Milan was an angel, literally and to the letter, and my children accepted him readily. We spent a beautiful 41 years together. He died this last summer; we were together in the forest, picking mushrooms, and I'd just said: 'it's beautiful here' and suddenly I heard this thud. Milan was dead. Few are granted such a beautiful death, and I'm glad that Milan was one of them.