Ain't she pretty?!! This is mama in June 2003 on the island of Öland which is just off the coast of southern Sweden near the town of Kalmar. The island is about 9 miles wide at its widest point and is about 85 miles long. We were there visiting family, my family. I had discovered my mothers father had come from the island and I wanted to see my roots. We never knew we had family in Sweden until 2001. In 2002 four of them came and visited us and 2003 four of us went there. What a fabulous two weeks we had!
Anna-Lena, has become my Swedish daughter - It was after I met her that I started using the term "papa". I was her USA Papa! During our tip to Sweden they celebrated "Mid Summer" - the longest day of the summer, June 21st. Part of that festival time people pick fresh flowers in the fields, any field you want, including your neighbors if you want. Note: In Sweden the law states that you can go on your neighbors property and hike, even pitch a tent as long as you leave it as you found it! Anna-Lena took us looking for flowers and then helped us make our crowns!
The crowns? What happened to them? We hung them outside our cottage on sides of the cottage when we left to come home. Over the years they have faded and are probably gone but they remained there several years, no one wanted to take them down.
Friends - family is so precious! We worked hard, spent thousands of dollars to make this part of the family whole again. How precious is your family? What are you willing to do to restore broken / missing relationships? Some relationships cannot be mended perhaps but fix those that you can. This part of our family was separated physically from 1891 until 2002, 111 years! We never knew!!! Please - tell someone you love them tonight! Anna-Lena, I love you!