Sunday, September 07, 2008

KTWV 9 Issue 22: Reason for no updates

Annikki and I are immersed with the details of organising the funeral of her mother, Hilja, who passed away last Sunday.

Hilja's Orbituary announcement - Kaleva 07.09.2008.

The funeral will take place on at the Intiƶ Iso saali (Chapel in the cemetery) at 15:00 hours.

We have had two tragic losses of loved ones during the last 45 days.

Our dear cat, and friend for over 17 years, Iitu, passed away with cancer which affected her kidneys. She was part of our day to day life from morning to night and through the night. Neither Annikki nor myself have yet recovered from that loss.

Iitu as a kitten in 1991.

Iitu's first and last set of kittens in 1993.

The perfect mother.

Iitu wants a share of my birthday cake.

A daily routine as Iitu stops me reading the newspaper by lying on it!

Iitu enjoys her TV - Annikki's table top aquarium.

Iitu's coffin.

Iitu at her final resting place in Vesaisentie
- the home of Tony, Joanna and grandchildren Samuel, Daniel and Maria.

Hilja, whom Annikki has cared for the last 24 years and, intensively, for the last 7 years, since her father passed away, (and whom I helped care for during the last few years) was very much part of our daily life.

She was in excellent health when she left home at the beginning of August. She contracted the deadly Hospital Bacteria while she was in the Kielokoti Old People's Home. She was rushed to hospital and then moved to the ODL Hospital.

There, in her weakened state, she was hit by pneumonia.

The old lady fought valiantly for her life. Finally left for her personal paradise at 17:49 on Sunday 31st August 2008 holding Annikki's hand on one side and mine on the other.

But she had told us many many times over the last year that she was ready to go to her "Heavenly Father":

The beautiful Hilja at her wedding in 1942.

Hilja carries Jaakko, with Aino and Annikki
with Susanna in the foreground - Oulu 1969.

Matias, Hilja, Annikki and Tuomas -
Out for a walk in the summer of 2003.

Hilja enjoying her meal.

Hilja with her latest greatgrandchild, Maria, in 2008.

Hilja with daughter, Annikki, granddaughter, Joanna, and greatgranddaughter, Maria - 2008.

Annikki takes her mother out for the last time - August 1st 2008.

RIP Hilja - 31st August 2008 at ODL.

Her passing has left a huge void in our life as we will miss her wit and humour.

Even till the very last she would mimic my poor Finnish language pronunciation.

She was in her senses till the very last . She recognised my voice the day before she passed away. When I greeted her, while she lay in some pain in her hospital bed, she replied in her normal way to me - "Thank you, Nothing special to tell you!"

Annikki used to pray and sing with her after putting her to bed every night. I will miss those quiet peaceful hours they had together before she went to sleep.

It will take us awhile to settle into the new situation where two of the most important family members of our daily life of the last 17 years have moved on.