Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Julia, Julia ...

There aren't too many of those feisty Finn ladies anymore are there?
I feel bad for the generations to come who will never know some of these women. They survived life's hardships and grew to be very tough indeed ... with marshmallow insides.

I remember eating the most wonderful stew piled on top of my piece of flatbread! It was, oh, so yummy.

A visit with Elvin to our house during winter services. They came to coffee along with Harry & Audrey. The discussion turned to empty houses and no children around. Julia said she was so happy when the kids & grandkids were there. The more people around, the better it was. She didn't like an empty house. Audrey couldn't quite understand how one could feel that way!

Yes, the voice was certainly unmistakable.

The laugh and the hug every time I saw her.

Butterfly gardens.

There were certainly other pieces of this dear woman. Like the tree switch in the Virginia church. It came all the way into the church bench to shapen up wayward children. She is the only woman who could have every gotten away with that one.

She had many trials in this life, but was so richly blessed and rewarded in the end.

What a victory she has gained.



Kuoppala's & in-laws said...

Who can quench my pain?

My body has been bitten

By the snake of “absence,”

And my life is ebbing away

With every beat of the heart.


May remembrance brighten
this day and every day

Kuoppala's & in-laws said...

I did not know Julia like all of you did, but right now I can just picture her voice and her laugh, her laugh was great! I remember visiting with her every time we were there, and singing at Reino and Diane's. I think the first time I went to church on the range it was at Julia's.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Heather and Shawn and the entire family as they go through this difficult time.
The words to song 248 come to mind:
Saints of God have peace forever Who endeavored While on earth to battle strive. Oft their memory brings a longing We are yearning, There in heaven to abide.
They no longer will be weeping Nor be sighing As they did along the way. To the earth were burdens pressing Sins distressing, Burdens there no longer weigh.
She is fortunate to no longer have the worries and temptations of this life, and has gained eternal victory. It is our hope and prayer to one day meet again in heaven.
Frans and Jenny

Kuoppala's & in-laws said...

I have not known Julia for as many years as most of you but I will never forget her infectious laugh and smile and her way of always making me feel welcome.

A verse that I have always loved, some parts were handed down to me years ago when my father passed away.
God saw her getting tired, when a cure was not meant to be, so he closed his arms around her and whispered "Come to Me". In time we saw you sinking, we watched you fade away, though our hearts were almost broken, as you fought so hard to stay, then we watched you peacefully sleeping, no longer in any pain, we could not wish you back again, to suffer that way again. Though your smile is gone forever and your hand we can not touch, we have so many memories of the Julia we loved so much. Your memory is our keepsake with which we'll never part, God has you in his keeping, we have you in our heart.
My father fought cancer for 2 years and endured so much suffering and pain, although it was hard to let him go, I knew he would not hurt anymore. The embedded memory that I will always have is him telling me that he was ready to go and that he did not want to suffer anymore but he was so afriad to leave us behind. I was 16 years old I remember trying to stay strong for him so that he would let go and not worry. I knew it would be easier for him to say good-bye. I think of this often when I see a loved one who is suffering or in pain. My fahter knew what lied ahead but was afraid to leave us alone. Once he knew we were going to be OK, it was easy for him to let go and he did. I remember looking at him, it took my breath away at first. I so quickly remembered the pain he was in and now how peaceful he looked and I knew it was ok.
Sometimes it is harder for the suffering (like Julia and my Dad) to let go knowing that they are breaking the hearts of others by doing so. Our heartache will never go away but we can be strong and carry on and live with the millions of memories that will always keep them with us. Although we continue to have that longing for them to be near, they suffer no more.

This has been my personal journey with the passing of a family member who lived with cancer My hope is that it will simply shed some light as to how a teenager fought to be strong and learned to "let go". They are at peace and I live to remember them.

Kuoppala's & in-laws said...

Reading the memories brings vivid pictures to my mind of days gone by. I too, can still see the branch getting brought into the Virginia church to keep boys quiet!

How did she know that we weren't listening to the sermon when Anita, Sheila and I were "signing"? We weren't even talking...

Flat bread.

Cast iron skillets, dried on the gas stove.

Bustling around getting coffee, etc.

Randall Christopher!!!!

The loud voice, yet the quiet, nod of agreement.

Knock Knock Knock on the bedroom wall so we would quit playing ??? What was the name of that game we would have to act out things???

Spoiling of our kids... she welcomed them to this world with a handmade blanket, then pulled toys out of storage so they had plenty to play with when visiting. Books, sock, undies, shoes, etc from garage sales to help clothe them as they grew.

And always that laugh.

For our Denise and others on the trip to Ecuador, she became known as SuperGramma.


Her desire to believe.

Can you hear her saying in a voice that sort of goes up and down, "pa!"?

Yes, she has a special place in our lives, hearts, and memories!

Kuoppala's & in-laws said...

Here's another one. Anyone who stayed the night there when younger may remember this. I know that Becky surely will. Breakfast dishes ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY had to be cleared, washed & finished before leaving the house to head for church.

Kuoppala's & in-laws said...

Becky, when you mention the "pa!", I can hear her like it was this afternoon. Funny how some of those memories move to the small corners of our minds, but can be so quickly summoned just by reading "pa!".

Kuoppala's & in-laws said...

and likewise, becky, the "Randall Christopher" with special emphasis on the "pher" - there's is certainly the only family i know all the middle names of (from sheila on down anyway).


Kuoppala's & in-laws said...

It was really amazing how Julia wasn't in pain and I think that helps with the grieving. Her biggest fear was to be in pain at the end, and she wasn't despite the cancer having spread through her body including the bones. God answered her prayers of no pain. She had a few very small dozes of morphine for minor back pain (She's had that for years and just wanted a little aspirin). The comfort is that there was no pain and she didn't have to endure it. For that, she would be thankful.

Kuoppala's & in-laws said...

I'm not much for writing memories
but each of you has done a splendid
job of it. One I will mention.
Becky, remember going to Stony in
their van and you wondered why she
didn't use cruise control. She said
she can control it better herself and Becky nodded toward the speedometer; cruise control would have done it better! Julia and I
did lots of baking for the monthly
bake sale at the Columbia so we
could pay our LLC dues as neither
family had much money at the time.
(We still don't!) Having the
Retirees come to the Iron Range,
gathering at Lindulas for the
evening meal for which we all brought a portion. Enjoyed planning and preparing for Ski-Days
and when we found a menu that worked we used it each year. There's a lot more but will let it
go at that.

Yes, Reino and I were amazed how
well Heather managed it all with
questions coming from every direction. dk