I recently had my grandson over for a couple of nights during the school holidays. I don’t know what came over me, but I got a bit soppy, hugging him as he left.
One moment he is little, with his cheeky smile that always reaches his eyes, his think blonde hair and that never-ending energy and curiosity. Next moment I am hugging a young man, with deep voice, who is taller than me! Can anyone make sense of this life and the speed at which it travels?
My thoughts soon shifted to my own grandmothers. How much richer I am for having known them both, each with their own unique strengths and qualities! And how very much I miss them! Sometimes I daydream about visiting my grandmas one more time, for a chat and a cup of afternoon tea.
What would I ask them, what would I say, and I conclude that one afternoon tea wouldn’t be long enough. I would ask my Hilja-mummi if she baked pulla with her own grandma when she was little, what was it like giving birth during the war time, how did she find moving to Australia in her 70s and what it was like for her to have brain surgery.
I would ask my Elina-mummi more about her Kanneljärvi of her childhood, what her Christmas memories are, if she ever felt lonely after becoming a young widow, did her heart break when our family moved to Australia and what it was that made her faith in God so unshakable.
It is then I realise something extraordinary. My grandmothers have passed but I can still learn from them. My Hilja-mummi’s life instructions still echo in my thoughts and the way my Elina-mummi appreciated beauty, music, and art, still resonates in my soul. Her love of writing is my inspiration and her faith in God, my aspiration.
A life well-lived doesn’t stop when eyes close, not for them and not for the next generations. It is my hope that my life could speak into the lives of my grandchildren, like my grandmothers’ lives have spoken into mine.
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