i've just come back from sweden where my mormor died dec. 26, 2005. there are so many thoughts in my head and heart about the trip, the funeral, my many memories of mormor and the kind of person she was and what she meant/means to me and to others. i know i have a lot to write down about all this, but right now the web doesn't seem like the place. maybe later it will.
i have a picture, which for some reason i don't want to post here but will describe instead. it was taken before i was born i think, or shortly thereafter. it is of the dirt, gravel road/path leading up to my grandparents' vallsta summer house, where my family spent many summers. the forest and mossy ground is in silhouette on either side of the narrow road. at the top of the road's incline lies vallsta, but because of the way the sun is shining on it, one can barely make out its outline, just the peak of its roof is visible. walking up the road, their backs to the picturetaker, are my grandparents, whose figures are small and a bit faint, but are so clearly them.
i look at this picture and think of a poem mormor told me morfar (grandfather) asked mormor to read to him near the end of his life. it is a love poem written by sten selander called luftslott. (directly translated luftslott means air castle. not knowing exactly how swedes read this, i read it as castle in the air, or heavenly castle.) in the poem, the poet writes in his old age to his wife about their growing old together and about their loved summer house where they will soon go (their luftslott), far from reality where everything is beautiful. he describes the house in a way that one can tell it is a real place, but at the same time it might also be heaven. when i look at the picture of my grandparents walking up the road to vallsta with the bright summer light ahead of them, i see them walking to their luftslott and feel like they are together there now.
the below picture is of my grandparents, in the early 70's i'd guess, in front of vallsta.
(for swedes, you can read sten selander's luftslott poem here.)