Mother makes sure there is a kampanisu for each of her friends. For her, the comb-shaped kam¬pa¬ni¬su pastry is the best treat she can ever give to anybody.
Mother is ninety-one years old and hopes to be able to spend some more time on the warm Canary Islands during our cold northern winter. “If only I could get there one more time”, she says.
Mother is a lively person interested in all people around her. She wants to know how everybody is getting along. She shares WhatsApp messages with her children, daughters- and sons-in-law, and grandchildren. She looks forward to messages and always responds to them. Mother has a large heart and many friends.
She was still on the kitchen crew at services when she was eighty. She made flatbread for bake sales. Her flatbread was the best in the world. It seems to me she baked something of her personality into her flatbread. I don’t know for sure how she did it, but some of her friends might know. You know, a piece of warm flatbread with a pat of butter, can there be anything that tastes better?
Mother told us that receiving the grace of repentance was the biggest change in her life. Her father had gone to the miller’s, and someone there had asked him if he had a girl who could come and work for a local family. Her father said they had a girl, but he could hardly have imagined the events that followed. Mother came from a home where no-one talked about God or read God’s word. The family that employed her arranged services. She was touched by the word of God, and God opened her conscience. She received the grace of repentance, believed her sins forgiven and thereby became a member of God’s kingdom.
When we celebrated Mother’s ninetieth birthday, she wanted us to sing the hymn “I recall the day of rapture when the Son of God drew nigh”. It was a big family gathering with more than two hundred guests. We reminisced about Mother’s life and shared many happy memories. We laughed and sang together, quietened to hear the Word, and naturally ate flatbread and kampanisu.
No-one has ever written about Mother to commemorate her birthdays. There has been no reason for that omission, but that’s how it has gone. I think that all the mothers who worked hard on farms would have deserved more attention. They took care of the children, cooked the meals, baked the bread, did the laundry, took care of the cattle, and did countless other chores.
Mother said there were only two weekdays a month when she got to go shopping: the day when they got paid for their milk and the day when they got the child benefit payment. On those days she paid the grocery bill and bought some material or clothes. There was not always enough money for even that. I guess some of the sales clerks looked forward to the visit of the cheerful and energetic farming lady who brightened up their day. They shared their joys and sorrows in the store and enjoyed a good laugh.
Mother has been healthy for most of her life. A doctor had once wondered why she had had no bloodwork done for ten years. Mother had said there had been no need, possibly because she had given birth to twelve children. That was her kind of humor.
Still, her life has had its share hardship. There have been adversities and trials. The illness and death of her dear husband was deeply shocking, but she gradually got over it. She was only sixty-five when my father died.
Widowhood marked the beginning of a new kind of life. Mother had always like moving around, and since she did not have a driver’s license, she decided to get one. With the help and support of the driving instructor, she got her license.
Human relations also changed. As a couple, they had enjoyed the friendship of many other married couples. Widowhood altered some of those friendships. But she found lady friends with whom to share thoughts, go to services, and spend time together. They laugh, cry, talk and listen to each other.
Mother says that the gift of faith and the joy of believing are the most important things in her life. God has helped and protected her. The gospel has given her strength, and the escorts have supported her. She has also wanted to remind other people about the importance of faith.
Some time ago I was walking with Mother on a sunny waterfront promenade on the Canaries. The waves of the ocean were beating on the shore, and the wind blew up swirls of sand. We stopped for coffee, and I ate a kampanisu that had been baked particularly for me and brought all the way from Finland.
Text: Vesa Kumpula
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
You will find the original blog post here.
Monet suunnitelmat ovat tänä poikkeuksellisena keväänä muuttuneet. Muun muassa perhejuhlien järjestelyjä on pitänyt miettiä uudelleen. Tämä on koskenut myös avioliittoon vihkimisiä. Nyt vihkimisiä on toimitettu niin, että koolla on ollut vain joitakin läheisiä, ja muu juhlaväki on seurannut tilaisuutta ehkä virtuaalisesti.