Monday, January 31, 2011

... remembering emma-mummu ...

my aunt reminded me that it was 9 years ago today that my maternal grandmother died ... it doesn't seem so long ... yet, time is elusive and passes quickly without us even realizing it ... so i thought i would share what i posted about my grandmother back in 2005 ...

(i wonder if maria and emma-mummu have had a visit by now?  just thinking outloud ... )

 
 


Emma-Mummu died 3 years ago today, at the age of 92 ... she was my last grandparent to slip into eternity ... now that generation is no more ... she was a gutsy lady who left an imprint on the lives she touched ...

her life began in Finland and ended an ocean away ... in Canada ... a land she grew to love ...

a teenage mother at 16, she steadfastly waited for her fiancé to return from his adventures in America so that he could meet his daughter and wed her, his sweetheart ...

she was a hard working woman ... who kept the family farm going during W.W.II, while her husband fought to keep Finland safe from the Russian invaders, who were gobbling up all other neighbouring countries ...

my grandfathers health was a casualty of the war, so Emma-Mummu continued to work the farm, as well as nurturing 10 children (23 years span the ages of the youngest to the oldest) ... she was one strong women ... it was her indomitable will and sheer determination that kept the family fed and clothed ...

my own little family had immigrated to Canada when the news came ... my grandfather had died ... i was only 5, but i can still remember the cloud of sadness that settled over the house ...

a year later, Emma-Mummu came to Canada with her 4 youngest children in tow ... what a move, half way across the world, not knowing the language ... financial concerns were only one of many for her ... she left behind 4 adult children (plus their families), her siblings and lifelong friends ... she also left behind a half century of living, loving and even her own identity of self ...

a new chapter in her life had begun ...

Emma-Mummu was ever the survivor ... for the next 40 years Canada WAS her home ... she married again and lived happily with our step-grandfather for over 25 years ... they created a cozy little nest, where her large brood could drop by at any time and feel welcome ...

she cultivated a deep faith in her later years ...

she graced our lives with her vibrant spirit, quick wit and dry humour ...

i’ve reminisced about my Emma-Mummu this weekend ... like a cherished old movie, my times with her have mentally replayed over and over again in my mind’s eye ...

her life really could have been a movie ... it contained high drama, romance, comedy, tragedy and ended happily with a soul at rest with her God ...

8 comments:

Felisol said...

Great homage to a rare, almost incredible strong woman, Finnish to the bone.
The way she wears her colorful dress, an ad for Marimekko.

Just reading about her make me feel better and more hopeful for mankind.

Of course she and Maria have embraced long time ago.
I guess she stood by St. Peter's side to welcome Maria and lead her inside.

Amrita said...

What a rock of strength Grandma Emma was to your family.

I draw inspiration from her life Saija.

Her 's is a wonderful life to celebrate and remember.

Your photo is lovely.

Pat said...

What a beautiful picture. I can just imagine how those memories played through your thoughts..vivid and and precious to you.
What a beautiful tribute to your rich heritage..no wonder I think your a special lady...look who you came from!

Nancy said...

Aww, memories of grand parents can be so bitter sweet can't they?? Beautiful picture of the two of you.

Maggie Ann said...

What a wonderful lady she was...I can't even imagine going through all that she did. I like that part about her and Maria meeting in heaven...of course...grin. We are having a rare bit of 50 degree temps here today. I think R & I are going to go for a walk...I hope we don't get blown away...the wind is howling like anything outside. It reminds me of Winnie the Poo weather....=)

Crown of Beauty said...

this is a beautiful tribute. Her story encourages me to move on... been feeling a bit down, with some thoughts of self pity, and now this story strengthens me.

Thank you for sharing it.

Her life is a testament to what one can accomplish. as long as one is willing... one is able!

Love
Lidj

daisymarie said...

What a wonderul tribute and legacy!

Catherine said...

What a beautiful tribute and a beautiful photo. Sounds like your grandmother could have written a best-selling book about her life.