Posts in family
Lately
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Lately I've been loving the warmer weather, blue skies and trees dressed in bright green, pink, white and peach. Spring came so fast: all of a sudden after a couple of rainy days people were wearing summer clothes and walking around looking a bit happier, like life now was a bit easier. 

Lately I've been watching The Office with Andrew like a mad person. We only have a couple of episodes left now, and I'm already in mourning. How one cannot crush on John Krasinski is beyond me - I even forced Andrew to come with me to see The Quiet Place, which turned out to be a great film honestly. 

Lately I've been full time at the pet shop I'm working at. Overall I really enjoy working there: there's always something to do, you're always on your feet and you're bound to pet and say hi to at least 10 dogs per day. 

Lately I've been eating pretty badly: I try my best to cook and eat at home, but it's hard. The prices for groceries here scare me. Add a low paying job to that and a high rent and voila! It's a problem that I'm working on fixing. We're heading into May, we've been officially in our apartment for a month and I've been working full time for a month so better, more planned and stable days are coming. I hope. 

Lately I've been really excited for dad to come to Canada on Saturday! He'll be staying in Alberta, and then sometime in June we'll meet up for a holiday. It'll just be so great to have him here in the same country, in the same time zone. I'm also super excited about Jennifer moving to California on Saturday as well! Two of my favourite people in the world, in the same time zone as me! Yay! 

Lately I've been missing home/Sweden like crazy. It's the "summer" days. I think of Swedish lakes and Swedish trees and Swedish traditions and food and houses. What I wouldn't do right now for a BBQ outside in the sunshine with my family right now. 

daily, familyEmma Carlsson
Happy Birthday Kiddo; An Ode To My Brother

Today's my little brother's birthday! When I told him I would write a post about him, he said: "Finally! You only ever write about your little sister, never about me". He's got a point! My brother's so close to me in age, whereas my sister is around 10 years younger than me. The relationship I have with him versus her is so different. What remains the same is the responsibility I feel for them both, being the oldest, and how their happiness means everything to me. Happy Birthday Eric! I love, respect and appreciate you and hope you had the most amazing day. One day I'll be there to celebrate it with you!

Here's some of the memories I have of growing up with you as my annoying lil' bro. 

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Memory I: We're playing outside our grey timber house, it's summer. Daisy, our golden retriever pup, is hanging around looking after us like a proper childminder. On the side of the path leading into our house there's an abandoned Jungle Book juice box with its content sipping out. There are ants everywhere. In that house we dress up Daisy like a doll whenever our parents are sleeping. In that house you spin around in my dresses; your eyes sparkling of joy at the beauty that is your sister's spinning dress that you, too, get to wear. 

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Memory II: Some of our friends are over; they're mostly your friends. Kids seem to like you more, you're funnier, tougher, more playful than me. We're in a different house, sharing a room with a giant image of a forest as our wallpaper. We're jumping on our beds, playing with Smurf-toys. You mention to the other kids that I wet my bed at night, and sometimes I even wet my pants during the day. I hate you for saying that, for sharing secrets. Other memories from that house: us bathing together. Us in mom's bed listening to her reading Barbie books. 

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Memory III: We're at our dad's house, dad's out doing something in the garden, helping grandma and grandpa most probably. He says before he goes, be nice to each other. I don't know why, but we start fighting. You get a scissor and throw it at me, I run out of the house, over to grandma's. At the edge of her house there's a rake, I take it and start swinging it around me creating a border that you can't get through. You cry and scream till dad comes back. Other memories from that house: us playing with Star Wars lego, us playing bats after our shower with our towels as wings, us laying in the dark in our bunk beds listening to scary stories on the cassette tape, us putting "spider webs" all over the house, us creating a trap for dad - so that when he opens the door to our room an object will come flying towards him.  

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Today's your 27th birthday! You're almost as old as I am, you always are. You're the person I share the most memories with. We share trauma, we share joy. There are emotions grown from moments only you and I can relate to.

Here are seven traits of yours I really treasure, admire and look up to: 

1. You're just as sensitive as me. You're connected to your emotions, allowing yourself to live life with both the ups and downs. You understand depth in film and music and literature, it comes easy to you. You understand depth, layers, in people, too. 

2. You're a hard worker, both when it comes to your personal life and your work life. Most importantly maybe, you work hard at fighting for others. There's nothing that engages you more than equality for all and every person's right to live a better life. 

3. You enjoy happiness. You take real pleasure in the small things in life. A cup of coffee, a song, the weather, a view, a good meal, travelling with friends, travelling alone, meeting new people, being by yourself, writing, reading, drawing, finding something nice for your apartment, cooking, etc. 

4. Your ability to be independent. I've always admired how well you take care of things. Where I would fall apart, you persevere. You always seem to have projects going, apartments to move into, jobs to work at, a steady budget: things that I've been struggling with haha. You manage to build stability, no matter how rough things get. 

5. Your social life. People love you, you've always had many friends. You treat your friends like family, you understand the importance of people coming together and collectively growing and not just doing this independently of others. You value "offline" gatherings more than "online" ones. 

6. You're extremely funny, and no one can make me laugh the way you do because of what we share together. I'm guessing I'm the only one who could really laugh at some of your jokes as well, and I love that we share that. 

7. You always seem to understand what people are going through, and even if you don't understand you respect the struggle. You listen without judgement, full of empathy and compassion. 

I'm so incredibly proud of who you are and what you do. I'll always be your number one fan and defender. Love you, mean it. 

The Matriarch

On January 5th my grandma, my mormor, turned 80 years old. She lives far away down south, and we all went down for her birthday; mom, me, my sister, brother (+ his girlfriend), my stepdad, and my uncle. We brought coffee, cake and flowers. She didn’t know what was happening, she probably didn’t recognise us when we arrived, only in moments. Dementia. My auntie and one of my cousins joined us as we celebrated this matriarch, who will never fully know the impact she’s had on all of us.  

Growing up, my family was very female centred. My brother is really the only boy in the family. Otherwise we’re all-female, looking very similar with our long blonde hair. Strong, opinionated women. Loud. Grandpa was there of course, and different boyfriends to mom and my auntie (including all our fathers haha) from time to time. Different males that helped with the house. But we all worshipped one person, and that was mormor. 

We are all mini versions of mormor. We all love big dinners with family above all, the more the merrier. We set an extra plate on the table in case someone swings by. Mismatched everything. Things we find in garage sales, second hand shops. We love things hand made, just like she did. She hung onto everything, every little craft we did at school. She couldn’t let go. Growing up with nothing, it was her goal to treasure it all. Screws, clothes, paper bags and bicycles. Her treasures, her kingdom. 

Mormor wasn’t into negativity. She never showed signs of being sad or angry. She celebrated every moment, she saw the good in it all. She believed the best in people. She took care of them, the vulnerable. She lived to please others, to spread joy. She gave up her own space so other people could fit it, could be seen. She found it hard to sit down, relax. There was always something you could do, for someone else, to be of service. 

She despised gossip. People connecting over hating others, looking down on others. That’s not connection, that’s evil spreading like a virus in our hearts. She loved peace and quiet, except when it came to her family. Again, the more the merrier. The messier, the better. 

I write this in past tense even though she’s still here, with us. I wish I could repay her in some way. I guess me living my best life, me helping others and living out her values is repaying her. Ever since grandpa, morfar, left us she’s been disappearing more and more. Into herself. I guess life caught up to her, all those years of focusing on others instead of herself. Now she’s left very much with only herself, not remembering us too well. Not knowing how much she shaped all of us, how we’re the image of her.  

It pains me that I don’t live closer to her, that I can’t regurlary visit her for coffee and chats.  My biggest fear is that she feels alone, after having such a rich life filled with a big family of mostly women just adoring her. For her to think that it’s all forgotten now, that it meant nothing cause she’s there alone. At the home. Far away from most of her family members.

Tell your elders you love them. Tell them everything they’ve done for you, how important they’ve been. Send pictures that they can hold, words they can read over and over again in case they forget. I’m writing this as a reminder to myself, to do more of just that. 

Mormor, you’re the most beautiful woman I know. Your beauty isn’t just in your glorious face, but in your soul. Thank you for teaching me to be kind, to pray; feel the blessings of life even though you’re not religious, to share with others, to walk around in old, beloved robes all day with bare legs and slippers. Thank you for showing me that with family and friends, you are personal and free. You pee with the door open, while conversating with your loved ones. You invite them in. Thank you for salty, yellow potatoes and the best sauces known to mankind. You matter. So much.  

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love, family, throwbackEmma Carlsson