and so the story goes

A human life is a story told by God.
~Hans Christian Andersen

It's been one year since my father passed away

it's a little easier these days
memories can be appreciated with a smile and not so many tears


This past month Rich our 80 something neighbor lost his wife to cancer.
Terrified when I saw the ambulance, police and fire was at his house early one winter morn.

I cried in relief when I found that Rich was alive,
I cried for his loss
I cried for my father

Rich is an ex NY cop gone country
Gabriel lost his grandfather, he adopted Rich.
Rich and Gabriel get along like 2 peas in a pod
the elder teaches the younger
he teaches him how plant onions and how to safely clean his rifle
Gabriel soaks it all in...there is a sweetness in their friendship
the 70 year difference is just a number

We brought Rich a basket filled with warm soup,bread and a newspaper
hoping it might nourish his mind and spirit
I hug him
he hugs me back
he loves to talk...a story teller that he is...
my mind drifts as he tells his tails usually from the good ol days

yesterday he knocked on our door
 his eyes not as red from grieving
 thanks us
 hands us the empty soup pot
and the basket filled to the brim with potatoes.
Potatoes that Gabriel helped him plant last spring
I smile thinking to myself...small world, God must know a thing or two

dad loved them boiled with a sprinkle of parsley

As a young boy
Bestemor put warm potatoes in his pocket when he walked to school to keep his hands warm in the frigid Norwegian Winters

Dad would have to eat them sometimes for breakfast, lunch and dinner during the 2nd world war
as most Norwegians

Potatoes + Norway  = Love

remarkable what a basket full of potatoes
can do
it can fill your belly
pinch your heart
and warm your soul


and even though you couldn't tell a fairy tale to save your life dad
your story will always live on in my heart

...I miss you pappa


  1. What a great story,it reminded me of my Bedstefar and Bedstemor back in Denmark many years ago.
    You have a way with words that touch the rest of us profoundly, when we read them.
    I have always loved that quote from Hans Christian Andersen.
    Every Christmas time, I reread The Little Match Girl, a life so touched by God.

    Ann in Vancouver

    1. Thank you Ann for your kind words and for being a kindred spirit

  2. Bellissimo il tuo ricordo per tuo padre. Un abbraccio.

  3. AW so sad and beautiful and real. Hugs to you and love to your neighbour xxx

  4. A sad but wonderful story. It's a good thing your neighbour has such king neighbours himself. And you dad will always live on in your memory.

  5. Camilla this is beautiful. Thinking of you and sending you and your neighbour hugs.

  6. what beautiful memories come from sadness....lovely written.

  7. Such beautiful sentiments and post, Camilla. Love that Gabriel and Rich share this amazing bond. Sending you and Rich love.

  8. Heartwarming story!
    Fortunately, Rich has dear neighbors and you a great neighbor.
    He makes with a basket of potatoes a whole family happy!
    Big hug XO

  9. Beautiful post!
    The other day I read somewhere that, when somebody that we love dies, it goes from living this life in a physical form to live inside of us.
    Thanks for sharing such a nice post :)

    Lluisa xx

  10. Oh, this is a heart tugging post. I miss my mother and she died in 1998....I think we always miss them.

  11. I was thinking the same thing as Karen, except it is my Dad, who I lost in 1997, I miss him every single day!

  12. I don't think we ever stop missing our loved ones. I do feel incredibly thankful that with the grief and sadness that comes with loss also comes memories of our best moments, of those little gestures and of magical everyday moments we bore witness to together. Big hugs to you Camilla, this is such a beautiful, meaningful post. xoxo

  13. I just read this after 9 days in ICU. While I was there sitting, praying, I had thoughts of your words from a year ago..about being a fatherless-daughter. My heart aches for you. Sending you love and prayers. Thank you for sharing your words... They stay with me.. Hugs to you my friend. (My dads a potatoe planted too- didn't realize it was in his blood!)

  14. So sorry again, Camilla. Yesterday was the 17th anniversary of my father's passing.

  15. I find such beauty in your words, Camilla, especially the bittersweet ones. Your father sounds amazing. He must have been to create you! How awesome Gabriel has made this connection with Rich. It's all connected. I'm quite sure your father is smiling broadly reading your words.

    PS--I love potatoes. So much. xx

  16. I just discovered your blog - this post was a great one. A lovely tribute.


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