I had an aunt who wasn’t related to me at all. She lived a couple of floors below us when I was a baby. Her son slept over at ours sometimes, drew cartoons and built houses in the woods with my brother.
After they left town, this aunt never slipped out of touch for long. Not with my parents. And not with me, either.
Come to think of it, she was the only person outside my own family who knew me my whole life.
I grew up, moved cities. Felt restless, toured the continent. She was interested in where I was and how I was. I calmed down, got married, babtised my kids; she booked plane tickets and brought presents.
This talented and spirited woman, this wonderful Finnish aunt as a young restless one herself had toured Cyprus, singing in tavernas. She was really pleased with my choice of a husband. So she painted us a picture of two Greek lovers and carefully wrote wedding verse in Greek. Blue and white. White and blue.
In my childish entitlement, it never crossed my mind that she might one day die.
That day arrived last week.
I now have a new brother. A brother from another mother! Not related but dear in any case.
I so wish his sadness lets light in one day.
White and blue.
Blue and light.
These are for him, from his childhood and ours:
Kiitos Emilia! Kiva kun jätit puumerkin.