Thursday, 17 May 2012

OUAS May "Forever"

Thursday and it's a bank holiday over here. Tomorrow is what we Swedes call "a squeeze day" i.e. a working day squeezed in between a bank holiday and the weekend. Hubbs and I are spending this extra free day together doing whatever we fancy, chores are banned! who am I to argue about that rule? ;)) Starting off the day with brunch out on town and then taking it from there.

I have just finished my page for the OUAS May challenge, the theme of which is "mum". First Nadia's pretty sketch.

I also have to give you a word of warning, the journalling for this page is painful and there is a very special reason why I am posting this on this specific day of 17 May.

My mother was a very, very shy person and people thought she was quite abrupt and rude as her Finnish accent was very heavy and gave the softer Swedish language a sharpness that Swedish ears find difficult to appreciate. Once she had checked you out and approved you, she opened up and revealed an incredibly warm and funny person with an unusually big heart. She was fiercely protective of her children (me and my brother) and always ready to feed a hungry stranger. Children adored auntie Hilda, as her name was. She was very down to earth and practical, a no-nonsence/no-fuss kind of person.

Here is my take: "Forever", all papers are from KaiserCraft;

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My mum was always hiding in the background when anyone had a camera out. When rummaging through my own photo stash and the boxes left by my parents, I found lots and lots of photos where one could only see part of her face or where she was disappearing somewhere in the periphery.

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I eventually found one of her when she was about 15 years old, standing outside her family home far up north in rural Finland. (The word AITI is Finnish and means mother, it should be spelled ÄITI).

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This absolutely STUNNING key is a gift from my pal Bente Fagerberg, isn't it just totally scrummy?! thank you so so much sweetie!

It is a symbol for kindness and honesty, they secret words that opened up my mother's heart.

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My mother was brought up in a family of 13 children, in poverty that is unfathomable for modern people. My maternal grandfather was the eldest son in a well-off family, he fell in love with one of their maids - my maternal grandmother. As a result, my maternal great grandfather disinherited my grandfather. My grandmother died when giving birth to their 13th child during burning WW2 due to a sloppy and drunken doctor. My mother was 12 years old when she had to assume the role of mother to her own siblings.

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All her life my mother loved flowers and was obsessed with food. She told many stories about growing up  during the war with terrifying occupation of both Russians and Germans, whole families fleeing at night time, her baby sister being killed under a pile of people squashed in, and hunger, always so very very hungry.

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Also I have inherited her love for flowers, although my love stems only from the fact that they are so beautiful. Hers is from the starkness of life and lack of anything remotely pretty, which was considered a sin by the harsh religion her parents confessed to.

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On this day, 17 May, she died in my arms after having fought rampaging cancer for a few weeks. The woman who gave me the gift of life. There is no denying, all I am, I owe to my mother's love and she will always and forever be in my heart.

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The tiny wooden PP spool tucked into the cluster, reminds me how my mum was always knitting, sewing or mending something. Idleness was not to be had, although in later years, she did come to appreciate going for coffee and having a pedicure on special occasions.

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The gorgeous chipboard flourishes are from 2Crafty. I have misted them in peach and orange, covered them in TA Chandelier, and brushed some Iridescent Medium from Winston&Newton on them. You should see them IRL!

You can find the product numbers of the chippies you are interested in by checking out the 2Crafty's website. 2Crafty chippies can be ordered easy peasy from sweet Di Garling just by sending her an email. She accepts settlement by PayPal and international orders are shipped really swiftly by this amazing lady!

As I warned you at the beginning of this post, the journalling is painful. Not to me, but because I didn't know any of it until the day before she died when she told everything to me knowing that she would be gone very soon. All my life I adored my maternal grandfather and it has taken me more than 10 years to be able to even think of him without bursting into tears and feeling hatred.

If you want the text to come up bigger, pls click on the photo.

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Today I am not mourning my mother, I am CELEBRATING the fact that she was my mother and everything she did for me and my brother. At the age of 53 I know that love is the greatest healer of all, the greatest power source of all and the only thing that makes living worthwile. Without it we are but an empty shell.

Yes, today I am getting a bit deep and emotional but that is also a part of who I am. If I don't cry, I cannot appreciate a smile. If I am not angry, I cannot appreciate being happy. Ying and Yang in other words.

So enough of the mushy stuff, I am truly very happy and content with my life. With an imaginary huge bouquet of the loveliest of red roses and a glass of wine I am going to celebrate life and have a wonderful day with my Bengt.

I am posting the 4 winners of my give-aways on Saturday, you have until this midnight 17 May Swedish time to have a go!

Sending you all sunshine from Stockholm, have a really great end to the week!

Toodelipip! Much love, Eila


  1. Wauw what a beautiful page of your mom and so lovely said..i like al the details on it.I think you had a great are a sweety to so she did a great mommy job!
    We have some sun to..yehhhhhh!
    Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeee,Lean and a huge cuddle of Chippie[lol].

  2. sigh...I dont know what else to say..

  3. Well Eila...not only are you a very talented scrapper you are also an amazing writer. I too am at a lost for words but your story has brought tears to my eyes. Big hugs to you and enjoy your day!

  4. gorgeous layout Eila :) It is wonderful to celebrate your mom and this is a real treasure :)

  5. Stunning page Eila dear, not much i can add but to say Love and Hugs to you sweetie

  6. Eila I read this last night (but couldn't comment then as I have trouble with my lap top and blogger....). Anyway, your beautiful post brought tears to my eyes. Your Mum sounded like a very special lady and I am sure she passed a lot of herself onto you. This is one of the most beautiful pages and posts I have read. Thanks for sharing. x

  7. Eila, thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life with us all.... it brought tears to my eyes. I agree with Jasmine, so heartfelt, so beautiful, so touching .... in every aspect.
    Even though your Mother went through such difficult times, she was (as you said) blessed to have the love of her children.... and without these times, you wouldn't have been here. We are all blessed and thankful your Mother was strong enough to endure such, so that our paths could indeed cross.

    Much love to you....x

  8. Oh Eila, this literally brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful tribute to a strong and wonderful soul. I can only imagine the joy she had to have two of her very own children to love. So much love is conveyed in this remarkable page. It's beautiful!

  9. Oh wow! This is just beautiful! Love the layers and texture. You've really captured this challenge well!

  10. You have told your Mum's story with such beautiful words, love and respect; anniversaries are always going to be difficult, you have celebrated her life today in a truly touching way. Stunning as always Eila

  11. You made a wonderful tribute to your mother. Your page honors all the parts of her life.

  12. It must have been so difficult for you to relive the tragedies your mom has gone through. Having your brother and you must have kept her going. I cannot even imagine what you must have felt when she eventually told you about her life. And to bare it all needs a lot of courage. Your page is beautiful. Take care, Eila.
    p.s. I always thought that hunger was limited to third-world countries. How myopic could I be?

  13. Your page is so so beautiful and heartfelt, Eila, in every way. Many things you tell about Finland and about the struggles especially during the WW2 I can so relate to having had my parents and grandparents live through those times.
    Your page is a remarkable tribute to your Mother and to your love for her.
    Liikutuin lukiessani mitä olit kirjoittanut. Aika parantaa haavat tuntuu kovin kliseeltä mutta on totta.
    halit H

  14. Thank you for that tender peek into your heart Eila! You are truly blessed to have had such a good woman to nurture and cherish you as she did!! Beautiful layout and beautiful words. Enjoy your heat. Here it is 10 degrees which in our homes is fuuuuuureeeeeezing!!

  15. I'm speechless...I kept reading the words and wondering how you must feel and all the pain your mother and you have suffered. Thank you for opening your heart to your readers and dear friends...this is truly a precious gift and I am honored to be included in this celebration! HUGS!!

  16. Oh Eila I am so happy I stopped by today. What a touching page. What a treasure being able to find a perfect photo of her, so pretty if I may! The page is filled with love and as always you have touched my heart in more ways that you can imagine!

  17. Such and amazing layout and an amazing deeply moving story Eila. Thank you so much for sharing your mother's story and your beautiful creation with us at OUAS =)

  18. All I can say is wow Eila. I love this so much and I feel privileged for you to have shared this with us and letting us see a glimpse of the innermost private part of your heart.

    Now I can see where you got your strenght and even though there has been hardship you are lucky to have had a mother's love so strong.I am so sorry har life had to be so hard and her story brought tears to my eyes. She would have been very proud of you!!
    It is this kind of heartfelt layouts that are shared that makes me so happy to be part of OUAS!

    I am so delighted you used my little gift on this and it sits there so prettily!