Time never stops its progression. Along the way, it takes with it loved ones, as was the case with my mother-in-law who passed away last night. No matter what age or cause, it is never easy to say goodbye to a loved one. And one always wonders if too many words, acts of kindness were left unspoken, undone. My blog this week was going to extol the virtues of Sweden but, instead, I want to dedicate it to those of my Swedish mother-in-law who was an insightful, educated, intelligent and dignified woman.

And to thank her.
For welcoming this Yankee into her family.
For being a pioneer and traveling around the continent as a single young woman when single young women didn’t do such things. For passing her love for knowledge and for her country and the world to her children. For being our researcher and guide when we came to Sweden – arming us with map print-outs, helpful and fascinating information bites, phones and emergency contacts. For preparing all those language notes and resources for me and for speaking perfect English so I didn’t need them. For loving books even more than I. For the Swedish books and postcards of Swedish animals and sites that she always sent the boys. For always calling even when the timing wasn’t so great. For accepting. For knowing when to speak and when not to. For managing mail, bills, summer house, taxes, and so many other details of life for us here, making our lives anywhere that much easier. For raising a son who is an amazing husband and father. And for much more.

After the clouds, the sunshine, after the winter, the spring,
 after the shower, the rainbow, 
for life is a changeable thing.
After the night, the morning, 
bidding all darkness cease,
 after life’s cares and sorrows, 
the comfort and sweetness of peace.

– Helen Steiner Rice

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