At Åland- family's summer place.
My husband M has spent 43 summers here and ever since I came into the family, I think I have spent at least 10.
So here I am for a long weekend again. The journey to the island takes around 5 hours, 2 hours of driving through the calm and narrow lanes, beautiful, picturesque and peaceful. Followed by 2 hours in the ferry from Swedish border to Finland's. The ferry is typical, slightly to extremely intoxicated men and women, perfumed women who tested well, quite some perfume at the tax free and yes, they usually have the tax free necklaces around their neck, bling, bling and a general holiday air.
It is a charming experience. After the little drive we take our boat to this family owned island called Skråbjörkö- (google it). The boat ride is serene, completely silent- just sounds of water, birds and the boat.
My father in law passed away a couple of years back. Sten. At the shore just below the house, we have placed a stone with his name, as a memorial.
It is impossible not to miss him when one is here. I always tell people that as long as we accept that no one can take place of your own father, mother, daughter or son, all relationships can work. Sten was as close as anyone could get to being my father, actually the one and only person. I have great respect for many other father figures in my life but no one can beat Sten!
(Not just saying it to impress my MIL- she is not into blogs and all)
I loved him. He was clearly an emotional man. I often think of his happy face in the midst of the tears of joy, his sad look during the movies, during tv programmes. I remember the time my father passed away and Sten would drive us to the airport. Guess who had tears in eyes- like genuine ones, not the "I must squeeze out some right now!" ones. Yes, Sten.
This evening I also saw the love in the eyes of M and his cousin from New Zealand, the one he hadn't met in 4 years. They did not need to pour out- 'I love you's and 'Missed you' kind of phrases, it was evidently visible in their eyes. They stared for the appropriate 20 seconds at each other, smiled a bit, nodded the head to each other like a slight 17 degrees, kind of saying- hey brother! I love you, I missed you. If the observer in me had not stared at them right in their faces, that hard, maybe they could or would have expressed their love a bit more.
Where am I getting at with this? Yes, emotions, and exhibiting them. It is and art. We usually blame the society for bringing up girls to be able to cry and be sad and boys not to. But I have really started wondering if it is all a matter of balance. If there are a man and a woman, they take turns to be strong. They choose to let go or not. It's like- you can be sad this time, I will take care of you, but next time or next 5 years, it's my turn. Or parents and children taking turns- you know how parents become the children at times?
Sten was a tough pilot all his professional life, had been a member of the caterpillar club, seen a lot of ups and downs, and it was now, after many years he could let go- just my theory.
My father, exactly the same. My mom got stronger every passing day after my father got sick and she had to take over.
My question to my own self and you- Is showing emotions a weakness or strength?
I think that the ability to cry while watching Matrix is strength. To be able to say 'I love you', 'I am sorry', 'I am hurt', 'I am scared', 'I don't know'- strength all the way!
There has to be a physical explanation to why our mouth breaks into a smile, why eyes form tears, why lips loop downwards, why eyebrows rise, why the nose gets red. Our body must be designed in a way so it can cope with the variety of emotions the are meant to be experienced.
Imagine just embracing, accepting these emotions and not having to judge every situation. To judge whether or not it would be appropriate to show the emotion one is experiencing in the moment. I have a strong feeling that it would make life easier. It will help us get to know ourselves better. We fight the world everyday, meet challenges, the certain, the uncertain- how about not having to fight ones own self?
Give it a shot- I will.