Maanantai 18.2.2019
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Minä luotan sinun armoosi, saan iloita sinun avustasi. Minä laulan kiitosta Herralle, hän pitää minusta huolen. Ps. 13:6

Blog: Good wishes

in English 12.3.2016 11:00 | Päivämiehen verkkolehden vierasblogi
I celebrated the past New Year in Berlin. I first lived in this city when Germany was still a divided country, and West Berlin was surrounded by a wall. More than 25 years ago I spent a year as a trainee in a German nursing home and in the Finnish Congregation of Berlin.
I became friends with some people at that time, and I now went to visit them. We have met occasionally over the years and have also made phone calls and written letters. It was easy to find the familiar street and the familiar house. Their home and its warm atmosphere brought back many good memories. Against the background of those memories, I saw the major change in my friends’ life.

One of the spouses has Alzheimer’s disease. He also has other medical problems, and he had been hospitalized shortly before my visit. While having tea on our first evening together, we made plans for visiting him in hospital. I was wondering if my friend would still recognize me.

It is easy to move around in this city of 3.5 million people who represent nearly 200 nationalities. My friend goes to see her spouse almost daily. She is in good health herself and thus able to help him. I was touched to see the small gestures. She straightened the bed cover, moved around the objects on the bedside table, went to get fresh water, and made sure her husband was drinking enough. Love and attachment. German and Finnish. Communication without words.

I am sure I will always remember my friend’s thoroughly relieved expression, when we went to see him again one day. He had been transferred to another medical unit, and due to some misinformation, we had quite an adventure finding our way there. He had been clearly waiting for his wife. His eyes said all the things that might have been impossible ever to put into words. There is really no need to speak out everything. I gave him a couple of magazines with pictures of trains and railways. They had been his hobby in the old times. I do not know if the pictures still aroused memories or recollections in his mind. But he did look at the pictures for a while.

Among the millions of people, each life with its joys and sorrows, fears and hopes is vibrantly real at any given moment of time. As the new year began, I prayed that God would bless my friends’ life. Chancellor Angela Merkel also wished God’s blessing to the inhabitants of her country in her speech on New Year’s Eve. And so did Sauli Niinistö, President of Finland, on New Year’s Day. They are good wishes. Even for you and me.
 
Eija-Riitta Niinikoski
Translation: S-L.L.
The blog post was published in online Päivämies on 30 Jan. 2016
 

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