Friday, May 01, 2009

The First of May

May 1. is known as a day of International Labour Solidarity. Wikipedia says it like this:

Labour Day or Labor Day is an annual holiday celebrated all over the world that resulted from the labour union movement, to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers. The majority of countries celebrate Labour Day on May 1, and it is popularly known as May Day and International Workers' Day.
In Norway it has been a Public holiday since World War 2. The day itself is worthy of many posts, but that is not what I'm about to cover here.

For many people the day also hold a personal memory. My father was born on 01.05.1915. He was the second youngest of five children on a typical small, West-coast Norwegian farm. My grandfather was also the local teacher. Since my father could not inherit the farm, he became a carpenter and worked as such until the Nazi-invasion in April 1940. He took part in the fight against the invaders and survived. It was a harassing experience, but he seldom talked about it. Later on he had to go "underground" for a long period to avoid being drafted for work for the Nazi-authorities. During this period he survived thanks to his family and his fiancée, my future mother.

Shortly before the end of the war they married, and he later got a job with the Norwegian Railways (NSB) where he worked until he was pensioned off. It can truly be said of him that he belonged to the generation that built this country. In addition he also built with his own hands the cottage seen at the top of the post. It is close to the farm where he himself was born. After his retirement, he and my mother lived there every year from Easter until the end of September. It is also here where my own heart, such as it is, belongs.

He lost his dear wife and he also almost lost his only son. He sat beside my bed when I got a cerebral stroke. I would have spared him that at all cost, but I think he handled it better than I did. He died in 2003, less than a year before my own operation, but he knew there was this hope for me.

Today was his birthday - he would have been 94 years old. This post is made in memory of him.

I still miss him.

20 comments:

Bradley Myers said...

I am not sure what to say, I read the post and enjoyed the history, I commend you for remembering and celebrating your fathers birthday. Geat post, have a great weekend. Brad

Randi's Tanker said...

Nydelig skrevet til minne om din far. Jeg ble rørt!

Forstår savnet. Min far døde for 7 år siden, 90 år gammel. Han var min klippe i livet.

Koselige bilder, både av hytta og din far.

God helg til deg.

Barbara Martin said...

A wonderful tribute to your father, RuneE.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Hi Rune
I am writing this with tears in my eyes.. it bought back memories of my own father and mother and I felt you pride and your loss in this post...
I lost my father in 1970.. I was 11at the time and it altered my life completely. Like us his heart was at fault.. He was a young 58..

I couldn't sleep tonight, and it is now just turned 3 in the morning.. birds are just starting to chirp in the bushes at the back of the house.... I will be asleep soon, but know that when I wake tomorrow this post and you will be on my mind...

Your friend from England
Tom

Anne said...

Husker jeg leste noe det samme innlegget i fjor jeg Rune, men det gjør godt å lese i dag også. Følelser som er med et menneske i livet dette, savnet over noen som har gått bort. Vakkert og respektfullt.
Ha en fin fin 1. mai min venn.

Malyss said...

A very moving and beautyful post. I had some tears in my eyes, but not for the same reasons; I always envy those whose had the chance to have a good and loving father. I had not this chance, and in a way or in another , it probably affected all my life. Your father was a gift for you, and , as you make this beautyful tribute for him today, I think you also were a gift for him. That makes two lucky men..

Your EG Tour Guide said...

You have wonderful memories of your father, Rune. He must have been very brave to fight the Nazis. I cannot imagine living in an occupied land during the Second World War. Few North Americans understand what THAT must have been like.

My goodness. You've had some nasty health issues! I knew about the heart transplant but not about the cerebral stroke. You must have been quite young when that happened.

imac said...

A very heartfelt true story Rune, Like Tom I had a tear in my eye.
Really enjoyed the post and photo.
It helps to remember the past sometimes even if upsetting.
I lost my father at an early age of 56 after a long 7 yrs of illness, stroke,High blood pressure hardening of the arteries ect, thats why Im on pills thank goodness.
Hope you have a happy and memorable day for Mayday.


Pop and meet - People from St Ives.

Grace and Bradley said...

Thanks for sharing your personal family history with us. Your father and his generation, that also include my own father who passed away last year at 87, are the generation that went through the hardship and built the world as we know to day.

Abe Lincoln said...

A very moving post, indeed. I also share tears with the others. I am what my family calls, "soft-hearted" but that's OK. I liked this post a lot and thanks for the presentation of it.

Happy Birthday to him.

GMG said...

Hi Rune! Wonderful moving post! A great way to commmemorate May 1st!!
I join the group of the «soft-hearted» as Abe puts it...

Blogtrotter is still turning around Vilnius. Enjoy and have a great long weekend!

Glennis said...

Your Dad was a good looking man, and he had an interesting life, its nice that you commemorated his birthday like this.
everyone has their story to tell, but some never get told, its nice his was told.

Jeni said...

That was such a warm and loving tribute to your father's memory and the pictures -the handsome young man and the little house, soe pretty nestled in the way it is -all come together here.
Peace.

PERBS said...

Definitely a beautiful memory of your special Father. I salute him for his bravery! I thank him also. I thank you for sharing this wonderful memory of your Father with us and wish more people would tell us of the "heroes" that made a difference for all of us without knowing how far their courage and honor reached out to others.

Blessings!

I hope you are enjoying your time at the cabin.

ChrisJ said...

Your father was a great man -- an unsung hero of the war, one that helped to give my land the freedom from the Nazis that we needed.

I do love that beautiful simple green house. Somewhat similar to the one I lived in while living on Flamborough Head in England

Hyde DP said...

A well laid out tribute to your father. It amazes me how people build their own houses and of course they build much more than just a house.

RennyBA said...

What a great tribute to am honourable man - no wonder you are proud of your father.

Happy May Weekend!

RennyBA's Terella

Mediterranean kiwi said...

that's an amazing story
i love the house too
do you live there too?

Dick said...

I join the group "soft hearted" it is good to feel that way.
Fine story.

AVCr8teur said...

That is a beautiful story to your father and a great man. The house is lovely and a tribute to your father's hard work. Thank you for sharing.