Trip of a life time to Finland with my mother

We just came in the door from spending the last 3 nights in Finland with my mother, Taimi.


My mother is 82 years old and she was born in Finland. She came to Sweden when she was 5 years old as a “war child”.

If you have never heard that term before, children in Finland were moved to Sweden, Denmark and Norway to live with “foster” families so that they essentially wouldn’t have to die in Finland during World War II of starvation or other atrocities.

My mother and her sister Hilkka (who was 6 years old) were both taken away from their mother and younger brother Matti to live in Sweden, in a small town called Hjo. Once they arrived in Sweden, the two sisters were separated and went to live with different families.

Mom went to live with an elderly couple whom had never had children and Hilkka went to a family with 6 boys. Even though they both lived in the same town, they didn’t spend time together until they became older.

My mother (and her sister) ended up staying in Sweden since they had a likelier chance at a better life. My mom was given a nice education, met my father, went to university, became a teacher, had 5 children and relocated us all to the US in 1973 when my fathers company transferred us.

Fast forward to 2018.

Mom, Thomas and I decided that we would take this trip together since I had gone to Finland with my friend Jade this past February. We did the recon work and I knew that it was an easy country to travel to with mom as she has some mobility issues.

To visit moms original home with her and to visit family members that we never thought we would see again, it was one of the best trips of our lives.

Is there anyone you want to see but have been putting it off because you are so busy and you will get there one day when there is time? That time will never come. Decide and then do it. 

We are not promised any more days.

To experience this with Thomas and my mom … it was a blast! We took it as an adventure. Laughed a lot, ate great food, reconnected with family and friends, drank good wine, saw much of the country side, slept late and experienced life.

I am thankful beyond words.

Here are some photos of our trip… I hope you enjoy Finland as much as we did.

Blast from the past.

Pirkko and Penttis place by the lake.

Lake fishing in Lehja Finland.

My family members artwork. Hilkka Nykyri 

Beautiful, creative and fits right in. Tiina Nykyri

Here is moms home that she lived in when she was little. The little red one in the back left, not the log cabin to the right (that’s a new build).

Moms childhood home

Viljakalla Finland

The house to the right behind us is the one. The lake was so beautiful when I was young. We would jump into the water after sitting in the sauna. Good living.

Family in front of the lake

Thank goodness for Linnea’s help. Without her (and GPS) we would still be driving around Finland trying to find this place!


Nice to see where the family is buried

Thomas and Mom at Grandma Salme and Grandpa Paavo’s graves


Thomas and Pekka playing billiards

Thomas and Pekka playing billiards. This is how we spent our evenings. Even Mom got in on the action! She was good! Had never played one time in her life before this trip!

Who knew mom was a shark?

Time to go to bed now and dream about our wonderful voyage.

This is exactly what I was hoping to do with my mother one day.

Dreams do come true. Don’t wait, make them happen.

Best to you always,