Saturday, December 24, 2011

...far as the curse is found

This morning we received the sad news that Onu ("uncle") Toivo, beloved brother of iivo's mother, Tiiu, died sometime in the wee hours this morning.  His wife, Elve, found him in his room with his light on at about 5:15, his having already passed from this life.

This has made for a bittersweet morning here in North Carolina, complete with reminiscing and laughter through tears.  Toivo was a very attractive, active man, full of spunk and charm and strong opinions, always ready with a quick smile and a hearty laugh.  At least this is how I remember him.  He lived in New York, and I only met him a few times since I joined this wonderful family twenty years ago.  One particular time, while we visited at iivo's parents' house together, he and I got up early one morning and went for a long, vigorous walk around the New England streets of Groveland, MA.  I remember that he gave me quite a run for my money, even though I was thirty years his junior!  We walked and talked, up and down the hilly streets, discussing everything from water purification to child-rearing to a woman's aging gracefully.  I remember this charming man with such fondness.

"It was around 5 o'clock in the morning when my father died, too," Emi shared this morning.  "I was the one to call the ambulance.  I remember thinking that the sun should not be shining.  It was a beautiful, bright sunny morning.  I thought the birds should not be singing.  But they were.  I felt like I had to do something.  At times like this, I always feel like I must do something.  I remember that I started to clean the kitchen floor.  The police were still there, and I was cleaning the kitchen floor."

Oh, the joyful reality that one day there will be no more tears!  "For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes" (Revelation 7:17).

No more let sins and sorrows grow
Nor thorns infest the ground
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found...

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