Birds chirped as the sun climbed higher in a golden sky, tinged with leftover rose and mauve. My soul was at peace but my heart ached—wishing I could hear her voice saying, “I love you!” just one more time. Then I remembered a message my sister, Bonnie, left on my birthday, with Mama saying she was proud of me and loved me very much. What a wonderful gift! I also remembered the birthday card she sent, carefully inscribed with her special wishes. Tears moisten my checks when I touch that precious memento.
Is God good all the time? Looking back at Mama’s story, I sometimes wonder. We see the tapestry from a different perspective than our creator does. Was the unbearable sadness Mama and her siblings endured as orphaned children just stuff that happens in life? Or did God have a reason for allowing the pain? No doubt, there are varied opinions.
My Scandinavian roots go back to the Vikings who were adventurous, courageous, and determined to survive against difficult odds. My great-grandfather Johann Höglund helped settle Finland with repeated trips across the Gulf of Bothnia as a sea captain. He knew adversity from weather, the rugged terrain, and from humans who struggled to keep their promises.
Mama was birthed from that ancestry and she proved our responses to circumstances can be victorious. Tragedy doesn’t need to destroy lives. Stressful incidents can be kindling for a bonfire that warms and offers hope, sharing the sweet aroma of His presence. She’s finally enjoying her well-deserved reward.
Celebrating her life with a garden of flowers would make Mama happy so I’ll create a special place in her memory. The only thing left for me to
decide is—who will I sing my little Swedish songs to now, and who will listen to my new stories?