Monday, October 24, 2016

The Dream that Came True: Loving and Laughing Now

Last week offered what became a joyous, eternally sweet afternoon. It came about because I found the Swedish newspaper article I was looking for.

In fits and starts since I humbly began, I resumed my effort to make my parents' trip to
Norrköping, Sweden come alive thirty-six years after it took flight.
The actual publication is the Norrköping Times dated September 12, 1980. The long article is about my parents trip to Norrköping, Sweden to research my father's paternal Swedish roots.

On that same trip to the continent, my mother and father visited Kongsberg, Norway, as well. My mother stood on the hill where her mother's family had lived with but a dirt floor under their feet.

Because translating has been so arduous for someone who doesn't speak Swedish, I have only a page or two completed and certainly not honed to perfection.

Yet the sweetest part of this endeavor is that I am a privileged daughter: my father is still living and loving at close to 102 years of age.

I called my dad and read a paragraph from the newspaper I'd just translated. It was in a rough form. At first he wasn't sure what word he was hearing which was "Swedish."  I had to explain several times what I was reading and that he was quoted in the article.

The words I read were:

“Finally I found the house my grandfather lived in before he emigrated to America,” said Swedish-American Willard Nelson. “Thanks to the Norrköping Times, on Wednesday I heard Lars Gunnar Jonsson himself, tell the newspaper that the house has been in his possession. They use it for summertime fun.”

Willard was delighted!

 "You deserve a pat on the shoulder and another on the top of your head."

We both laughed with glee--love flowing up the road as I often tell him.

We have a birthday to celebrate on November 11, his lucky number. And I'm his lucky daughter born on the 13th of April--cherishing the loving and laughter now.


  1. What a moving post! There's nothing more exciting than than retracing your roots, especially when you're accompanied by your parents. I love coming across those old newspaper articles. And you definitely are lucky to have your father alive - hopefully he'll live for many more years to come. How was the trip by the way?

  2. Dear Adam,

    What a kind entry! My father will love your words. Thankfully, Willard is gliding along.

    We had a wonderful celebration at Lutsen Resort on his birthday, Easter, and anticipate another dear time on Father's Day!

    His grandfather, Carl Axel Nelson, started the resort in 1865. Last time he savored the hand-carved posts & pillars that his uncle and brother erected in the dining room.

    The older he grows, the sweeter he gets. (I am behind on my Easter post...had some blog glitches.)