Yesterday, we said a final farewell to Anders' mom in a simple ceremony at the little church in the village where his family lived for years, where he grew up and went to school, and where his father's ashes are also interred. The sun was shining though it was bitterly cold. We were a small family group: Anders and Karin and I, his sister and her family, his uncle, and his cousin and her sambo. The program was short and the music was delightfully perfect for celebrating Märta's life: the first piece was Ain't Misbehavin' by Fats Waller and the music at the end of the service was Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World. Anders and Maria wanted a lighter, less religious service, and even though it WAS in a church and it WAS a church service, with all that connotes, it was a fitting tribute to a lovely woman who meant so much to her family, and to me. We were very glad that the church arranges for a livestream of such events, so that Martin was able to get up at 6 am Detroit time and watch the ceremony with us, and be a part of it, even from so very far away.
Karin noticed that when the program called for the recitation of The Lord's Prayer, I said it in English, while everyone else read it in Swedish from the program. I actually don't know how many people in the church, apart from the priest and pianist, knew it by heart. I just asked Anders and he says that he used to know it when he was younger, but the words have since been changed and he doesn't know the new version. He doesn't know when or why it changed, just that it did. But Sweden is a very secular country. People generally don't go to church unless they're getting baptized, confirmed, married or buried. And my religious days are long behind me, and you'd think I might have forgotten it by now, but because I SANG it in choir, the words have stuck with me all these years regardless of the fact that I'm not church-going at all these days.
A couple of days ago, Anders asked me if I liked the tile backsplash we have in the kitchen and when I said "yes, of course," he was visibly disappointed and said he wanted to change it out when he starts the kitchen renovation we've been planning, and I got really upset and stomped away and we almost had a fight because I couldn't get my emotions under control and I didn't even know why I was reacting so badly. So, I went for a walk around the neighborhood in the sunshine and when I got back I burst into tears and apologized and told him that I love this house and we picked out everything together when we built it and his wanting to change it feels like a rejection of the house and me and that I knew it wasn't rational, but that was why I was upset. And I'm crying again writing this. GAH. (We're fine)
This morning, we had a 2-hour workshop for my team regarding the results of an employee survey that we did last spring. We've been supposed to be discussing the results, talking about what we are doing well and what areas we can improve upon, and coming up with an action plan for the future, but it kept getting postponed due to the pandemic. There were 13 of us on the video conference call, including our manager, and by the end of it, I think we were ALL a little teary-eyed. I work with a wonderful group of people and it makes such a difference to know how much we all miss each other and our daily interactions. Of course, we have daily contact online, and my team of 4 (5 with our consultant) has daily Teams meetings but it's not the same and we are all struggling with ways to stay connected. At one point, when we were all talking about how great everyone is at taking care for each other, and how much we appreciate our manager, who has the biggest heart of anyone I've ever met, I blurted out "I love you guys" and then almost burst into tears again.
So, it's been an emotional week and Sunday is Valentine's Day and we have no plans because no one has plans (and if they do, they shouldn't) other than to make a nice meal and be extra kind to each other. I hope the sun continues to shine because it makes all the difference. If it hadn't been shining all week, I'm pretty sure I'd be buried under the covers for the duration.