In memory of my father

Exactly a year ago my father died in Washington DC at the age of 92. He was there on a mission with the Norwegian army, as part of a delegation to honor, amongst other things, American soldiers of Norwegian descent who had served during World War II. His death was unexpected as he had left Norway reasonably fit for his age. As of the moment we received the call that he was very ill, everything became a turmoil for me. Trying to reach him before he died, getting the message on the airplane on the way over that it was too late and then traveling home with him on the plane was a tough time. Little did we know at the time that this event would also change the direction of our lives.

My father was a veteran of the Korean war, Norwegian UN soldier nr. 2, in charge of setting up the Norwegian MASH hospital there. One of the highlights of his stay in Washington DC was the tour of Arlington cemetery. At this point he was already ill, but he would not let this event pass him by. To me, the most poignant picture from this time, is this one where his image is reflected in the stone memorial of the Americans who fell in Korea.

Credits: Erling Eikli

It is an image expressing to me that he was already on his way over.

The funeral was very much the way he would have wanted it. We will forever be grateful to the Norwegian Army for the way they assisted us in every way.

Credits: Christian Nørstebø

One of my dad’s strongest wishes was for me to take over the farm. Unfortunately he never got to know that his wish would be granted. It was only after spending quite some time here sorting through things that we realized how lovely and peaceful this place is and that we decided to move here permanently.

Dad – thank you for the gift you have given us. Thank you showing us your love for this place and for opening our hearts to its loveliness and to the people who have so warmly included us in their lives. I just pray that you somewhere, somehow, know that we are here, taking care of your beloved Bjørnerud.

We miss you! Your memory will always be kept warm in our hearts.

Credits: Christian Nørstebø

This coming weekend we will make and drink a Mannerheim’s schnapps in your honor. You always had fun trying to adjust it to your taste with different kinds of Norwegian aquavit, but for those of you outside of Norway, here is what is supposed to be the original recipe. Make sure that all the ingredients are ice cold.

Mannerheims schnapps

  • 1 liter vodka
  • 100 ml dry gin
  • 200 ml dry vermouth

 Dad’s alternative

  • 500 ml vodka
  • 500 ml Faun akevitt
  • 100 ml dry gin
  • 200 ml dry vermouth
Stir and serve in brimful shot or aquavit glasses.

SKÅL!    

I will always remember the sparkle in your eye when you looked up at us after the first sip to see our reactions to the current mix.

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10 thoughts on “In memory of my father

  1. Reading between lines, I can sense a strong love/bond between you and your father…you both are lucky to have each other. Your father lived a life of service, and, on the lighter side, was a god looking man in his younger days :=)
    Thanks for sharing your blog, Kari!
    Best wishes from sunny Singapore!
    Inna

  2. Your father seems to have been a great man, lively and energetic to his last days. What a beautiful tribute to his memory this post is. It’s always hard to lose a person close to one’s heart, but at the same time he – or she – will always be there, in the heart.

    • Thank you for your lovely words. Yes, I miss him and it is sad that he did not get to know that we have decided to take over the farm. The past two months have been extremely busy and it has been near impossible to focus on photography and blogging, but I hope to get back to it soon. Thank you for taking the time to stop by. I thoroughly enjoy your posts when I have the time to read them. Perhaps one day I can join one of your courses….

      • Thanks for the nice words. And I understand that life at times can be very busy. Don’t worry. I look forward to seeing more of your photos whenever you are ready.

  3. it’s for me the first time I read your blog. There is not much to say, when we loos someone near us it is always difficult, regardless of his age (I lost my father in law a few months ago and he was 97). Be strong and…people really die when nobody thinks of them, which will benot the cvase of your father.
    With friendship, robert

    • Hi Robert,

      Thank you for taking the time to write those encouraging words. I’m sorry that it has taken so long to get back to you, but life as you can see from my latest post has been a little turbulent. Thank you for your concern. I really appreciate it!

  4. This is a moving piece and a loving tribute. He looked quite good for his age, as evidenced by the amazing reflection photo. You are lucky to have had him in your life for as long as you did. He sounds like a fine man.

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