Focus On The Lukacs Family: Within Us There is Something Stronger

The Lukacs family (left to right), Michael, Julianna, Char and Evan have lived in Westport off and on for 9 years with time living abroad. Mom, Char, is a trained optician and board member at two local nonprofits: A Better Chance and the Westport Museum.  

“I am not currently working outside our home but with everyone home all day there is plenty to be done around the house! It’s been a great time to try and get our teenagers to pitch in and help…making and serving dinner, laundry, cleaning bathrooms, using the vacuum…all good lessons for soon-to-be adults. My husband, Michael is an international tax lawyer and has been spending long days in his home office on phone and video conferences, trying his best to make time to join us on walks at the beach. 

My day consists of overseeing study at home programs for our teenagers, spring cleaning – closets, garage and basement, virtual board meetings for 2 local non-profits, long walks with our dog (sometimes multiple), running at Sherwood Island, daily phone check-ins and Zoom video calls to “see” friends and family, and lots of cooking. I have been making a pot of soup almost every day. Somehow, homemade soup makes everything a bit better!  

We originally followed news of the novel coronavirus when the breakout began in Wuhan, China. It seemed like any other news report from halfway around the world — something that was newsworthy but wouldn’t impact us directly. I remember my husband telling me about the size of the lock down in Wuhan and how it was comparable to a lockdown the size of the NYC metro area. We both were trying to imagine if that happened here…but we couldn’t even. That was not even two months ago. It’s truly amazing how quickly everything has changed.  

The repetitiveness of life now compared to just a month ago has been the biggest change. We’re trying to find a balance for teens when it comes to social media, Netflix, gaming (all ways they are staying connected to friends, which definitely has it benefits), and also making sure they put the electronics away, are present with the family, and reflect on the current developments. 

We are healthy and trying our best to make the best of this challenging situation. We look forward to the day when we can hug friends, visit our favorite restaurants, attend a workout class or participate in team sports, reunite and embrace extended family, celebrate our daughter’s high school graduation and, mostly, to know that the worst of this pandemic is behind us.  

We are calling and checking in with family and those in the community that may need assistance picking up groceries and supplies. We have volunteered to support the Gillespie center and setting virtual meetings and happy hours with friends and family on Zoom to “see” and support each other. Together we will get through!” 

Regular communication from Selectman Jim Marpe and the town of Westport, as well as the State of CT, have been appreciated. I am heartened by stories of local residents helping neighbors and friends, from setting up a website with links to purchase gift cards for local businesses ( to residents answering the call for help at the Gillespie Center, I find hope in the many acts of generosity, love and kindness in our community.  

I find hope in the many acts of generosity, love and kindness in our community.

Our hope is that this experience changes humanity for the better–that within us there is something stronger and we emerge from this experience collectively better than ever before. Our fear is that this pandemic lasts longer, creates lasting damage to the economy and takes more lives than we can imagine right now.  

To read more of the museums long lens oral histories please visit the Westport In Focus page.