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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Important people

Vieraskieliset / In-english
25.10.2022 7.00

Juttua muokattu:

4.10. 12:46

Text: Tar­ja Kor­ri

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

Many of us have va­lu­ab­le hu­man re­la­ti­ons­hips out­si­de our im­me­di­a­te fa­mi­ly. I have such re­la­ti­ons­hips with se­ve­ral pe­op­le. When I was lit­t­le, my grand­fat­her was one of those im­por­tant per­sons, and I spent a lot of time with him. Eve­ry­bo­dy in our fa­mi­ly spoke res­pect­ful­ly and for­mal­ly to him, and I found it stran­ge when some vi­si­tors ad­d­res­sed him with his first name.

Grand­pa of­ten pla­yed prac­ti­cal jo­kes on me. On­ce, when I came home from school, I found him out­si­de crouc­hed un­der a tree. He told me he had found a tre­a­su­re, and there re­al­ly was a pile of coins on the ground. I was surp­ri­sed and knelt down to help him col­lect them. He on­ly told me af­ter­wards that he had ac­ci­den­tal­ly drop­ped his wal­let, and the coins had rol­led out.

My god­fat­her had li­ved in my home all his life. At the age of ten, I was shoc­ked to le­arn that he would move away in­to a home of his own. As a child I very much ap­p­re­ci­a­ted the at­ten­ti­on my god­fat­her gave to me. He on­ce chal­len­ged me to race to a brid­ge that was al­most a ki­lo­me­ter from my home. I thought it would be a run­ning race, but he went in a car and I na­tu­ral­ly came se­cond. Even now, when we meet, I am chee­red by his qu­es­ti­on, ”And how is my god­daugh­ter?” I was over fif­ty when I still got a birth­day pre­sent from him, and that was re­al­ly spe­ci­al to me.

Anot­her im­por­tant per­son was a lady who of­ten came to my home to help when my mot­her was ill. She so­me­ti­mes cle­a­ned the hou­se and so­me­ti­mes ba­ked Ka­re­li­an past­ries. She li­ked child­ren, and we were al­lo­wed to help her. She es­pe­ci­al­ly taught us to res­pect our el­ders. She had left her job and sta­yed at home to care for her mot­her. Fa­mi­ly ca­re­gi­vers were not paid anyt­hing at that time, and her fa­mi­ly bud­get was oc­ca­si­o­nal­ly tight. But she said the He­a­ven­ly Fat­her had amp­ly paid for her ef­forts du­ring her life. Her mot­her was in hos­pi­tal for on­ly two days be­fo­re her de­ath, and she had said, “I will still be gra­te­ful in my grave for yo­ur help and care.” Anot­her im­por­tant thing that she taught us was how to greet pe­op­le. She used to hold my hand un­til I had made eye con­tact, sha­ken her hand and spo­ken the gree­ting.

I have met many sig­ni­fi­cant pe­op­le du­ring my life, some of them on­ly brief­ly, some ot­hers for a lon­ger time, some on­ly on­ce, ot­hers re­pe­a­ted­ly. There have been such mee­tings du­ring hos­pi­tal stays, my own trai­ning and child­ren’s school as well as du­ring va­ca­ti­on trips. It is pos­sib­le for two pe­op­le unk­nown to each ot­her to feel a con­nec­ti­on at first sight. If they then dis­co­ver that they even have the same faith, there is so­met­hing holy in that mo­ment. They share a sec­ret that re­mains unk­nown to ot­her pe­op­le. Some such mee­tings have de­ve­lo­ped in­to more per­ma­nent re­la­ti­ons­hips.

All of our child­ren’s grand­pa­rents have died. Our yo­un­gest child­ren have on­ly seen one of their grand­pa­rents ali­ve. This short­co­ming has been cor­rec­ted, ho­we­ver. One of our sons wan­ted to in­vi­te to his con­fir­ma­ti­on re­cep­ti­on a fa­mi­ly friend who used to take care of our child­ren when they were small and was al­so her hus­band’s ca­re­gi­ver. Be­cau­se they were ol­der than us, I jo­king­ly as­ked if they could ser­ve as subs­ti­tu­te grand­pa­rents for our child­ren. Their res­pon­se was touc­hing, ”That would be an ho­nor to us.” Ever sin­ce that, they have al­wa­ys been in­vi­ted to our fa­mi­ly ce­leb­ra­ti­ons. And for the first Christ­mas af­ter this ag­ree­ment, we re­cei­ved a pac­ka­ge of can­dy that was si­mi­lar to that al­wa­ys gi­ven by my hus­band’s fat­her when he was still ali­ve. I gu­ess it was just a coin­ci­den­ce, but it war­med our he­arts ne­vert­he­less.

One day our daugh­ter and her friend came to ask if they could go and vi­sit grand­ma and grand­pa. I was sad to re­mind them that it would no lon­ger be pos­sib­le. But then my daugh­ter said she me­ant pre­ci­se­ly these ”subs­ti­tu­te” grand­pa­rents. The subs­ti­tu­te grand­ma was mo­ved to te­ars when she he­ard about this, and the girls were warm­ly wel­co­me.

The best thing about our subs­ti­tu­te grand­pa­rents is that we all have the same goal. We see them at ser­vi­ces, and when we meet, we of­ten talk about mat­ters of faith. And if, some eve­nings, I feel too ti­red to pray or just fall as­leep right away, I know that so­me­o­ne el­se is pra­ying for my lo­ved ones.


Jeesus sanoi: ”Eivät terveet tarvitse parantajaa, vaan sairaat. Menkää ja tutkikaa, mitä tämä tarkoittaa: ’Armahtavaisuutta minä tahdon, en uhrimenoja.’” Matt. 9:12–13

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