Of my father and his seven siblings, only three are alive today. Uncle Urpo, Aunt Sisko and Aunt Marjatta who lives somewhere in Southern Finland but apparently few if any have seen or spoken to her in many many years … rumour has it that she is somewhat estranged from the family, hence, we were unable to get a hold of her for a visit. If memory serves, that was also the case 43 years ago when I visited with my parents 🙂
However, father’s oldest sister, Sisko Pusa in her mid nineties, sharp intellect fully intact, although somewhat limited physically, invited us for afternoon coffee, accompanied by the requisite sandwiches, piirakaat and far too many sweets! Finns never invite one over for coffee without putting on a spread … I well remember this from my parents! Mikko and Jukka joined us for the afternoon, an added bonus! Aunt Sisko shared many endearing stories of life with our father and mother, both before and after their marriage. Her memory showed no signs of cobwebs! How wonderful it would be, to have this extended family to visit with and invite over for Sunday evening dinners!! I was not even aware that I miss my Finnish family until I was in their midst. How is it possible to miss something you have never known?? Perhaps the ache for family history and connection was activated or reactivated here in Finland …..
Aunt Sisko’s son Seppo and his wife Silja live on the property in their own attached home, as does daughter Seija (my namesake). Aunt Sisko’s other daughter Eva lives in Liperi, a short ten minute drive away. Neither ladies (both in and around my age) have ever married … lively sisters and the chatter and laughter never let up. They were such fun to be around ….. Margaret and I could easily have spent a week there and never run out of conversation … so many years and so many stories to catch up with! Another great afternoon swapping stories, viewing pictures from the past, taking new ones and committing to connecting soon via email. We vowed it would not be 43 years :)!!! Eva would love to join me on a volunteer post in the near future …. that would be cool! Would totally welcome that …..