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.
Tämän lehden sisällä ilmestyvän nuortenliite Kapsäkin teemana ovat hyvät käytöstavat. Lähes kaikki kapsäkkijuttujen Instagram-tilillä aihetta kommentoineista nuorista ovat sitä mieltä, että käytöstapojen arvostus on laskenut ja osa nimeää syyksi itsekeskeisyyden.
Vuoden 2022 suviseurajulkaisu kertoo monipuolisesti Suviseuroista niin järjestäjien kuin seuravieraiden näkökulmasta. Seurapuheet voi kuunnella mukana olevilta mp3-levyiltä.
Media-alaa opiskeleva Joni etsii elämälleen suuntaa kahden maailman välillä. Tutustu nuorille aikuisille suunnattuun romaaniin täällä.
Ekaluokkalaisen Liinun syksyyn mahtuu niin iloja kuin suruja. Kutkuttavaa jännitystä tuo salapoliisitehtävä tädin ja isoveljen kanssa.