Eva Gawdun, A Light in My World

Added on by Andrew Gawdun.

Life is a funny beast and family makes it most enjoyable.  Yesterday I received the kind of call we all hate to receive, the loss of a loved one.  My grandmother, Eva Gawdun, was such a peach.  Her life spanned wars and society changes.  Growing up she was always a constant in my life.   As a young teen (12) my parents divorced and we moved with my mother to Nevada.  This move took my drives to grandmothers house from 2 hours to nearly 12 hours.  Even though it was hard to travel back and see her I always knew she was there through all the phone conversations and mail she would send.  

Growing up we were never told much about her or my grandfathers life.  We only knew few things; they were immigrants to America right after World War 2 and started their family in Cortez, Colorado.  I also knew it was a hard life they experienced and most of that I learned from my public school education and my imagination.  During Valentines Day weekend of 2010 my mother, younger brother and I made a surprise trip to see her which will never be forgotten.  On that trip she began to tell me stories of her life that went before the war even started.  She shared with me, among other things, that my grandfather and her met in the work camps they were held in during the war and once they were free to leave they were all they had.  I now am the owner of a few hours worth of audio recorded stories in her voice that I am transcribing.  These are stories I could tell she had not spoken of for many years.  There were tears shed and laughs heard that weekend and I will forever be grateful that trip was taken.  I also managed to sneak in some photographs during the trip which will forever be loved and I share them with you now.  These same images and stories will be the way I remember her during her memorial services and years to come.  -AG 

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  (during that same trip I reconnected with an uncle I had not seen in years)

(during that same trip I reconnected with an uncle I had not seen in years)

  (She had very few images of her wedding to my grandfather except the ones hanging on her bedroom wall.  I snapped a few with the phone I had at the time)

(She had very few images of her wedding to my grandfather except the ones hanging on her bedroom wall.  I snapped a few with the phone I had at the time)

  (A little clearer shot from her wedding with more people in the background)

(A little clearer shot from her wedding with more people in the background)

  Oddly enough one of my favorite rooms in the house was the bathroom.  Parts of who she really was resided in this room.  

Oddly enough one of my favorite rooms in the house was the bathroom.  Parts of who she really was resided in this room.  

  I never saw her in person without them in but I always saw them in the bathroom cleanin

I never saw her in person without them in but I always saw them in the bathroom cleanin

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From the time I can remember till now, I learned how dedicated her love was.  Even after death she loved my grandfather.

 

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  She told me this photo was taken in front of the barracks/dorm-rooms in which she lived with other women during the time she was in the World War 2 work camps.

She told me this photo was taken in front of the barracks/dorm-rooms in which she lived with other women during the time she was in the World War 2 work camps.