Kudos and kiitos

Lucy and I would have celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary today. Please remember how she touched our lives and how special she was to all of us.

June is a month filled with high school graduations, weddings, family get-togethers, and other celebrations. I have invitations to three high school graduation parties and a belated wedding celebration that conflicts with a graduation party. I am confident other invitations will arrive before the end of the month. Kudos to the graduates, and I wish you success and fulfillment in your lives. Congratulations to the newlyweds, and I hope you spend many happy years together. Kudos to the couples celebrating anniversaries this month, and I wish you many more years of your happily-ever-after.

Lucy knew a number of Finnish words and phrases. She taught me that kiitos is Finnish for “thank you”. The first time I heard it, I thought she said “ketone” and I gave her a very puzzled look. I was curious why she wanted a solvent after I did something nice for her. After I asked her to repeat it, I caught the correct pronunciation and had a good laugh with her. As we began our house projects, we smiled when I would point at the “methyl ethyl thank you” cans in the hardware store paint section. It is probably not a funny joke to others, but every couple has at least one inside joke, catchphrase, or nickname that makes no sense to anyone else. It got her to laugh, and that was the important thing. Her laughter brightened so many of my days and nights, and I enjoyed getting her to laugh even at my expense.

People have stories of seeing signs of a departed loved one, and that has happened to me on a surprising number of occasions since Lucy’s passing almost twenty-six months ago. This afternoon I was in the Griggs-Midway area of St. Paul dropping off medical equipment at the Goodwill/Easter Seals in the area; the donated medical equipment is then loaned to families in need. Today’s sign from Lucy was two stories tall on the side of a building: Lucy Coffee Cafe. I had no idea this place existed, and I saw it for the first time on our wedding anniversary.

Thank you to everyone who called, posted on Facebook, tweeted, texted, and emailed me today. You are keeping Lucy’s memory alive and I am grateful for that. Thank you to my buddy who did a wonderful job of cheering me up again and has been such a great friend when I have needed one. Thank you to Lucy’s sisters for being such loving and supportive people.

Give your special someone a meaningful hug when you can and tell that person kiitos from the bottom of your heart…and with clear pronunciation to prevent a trip to the hardware store.

Lucy's anniversary bouquet

Happy anniversary, baby! I will always love you.

Lucy Coffee Shop sign

My sign from Lucy on our anniversary.

Lucy Coffee Cafe

The outside of Lucy Coffee Cafe in St. Paul, MN.

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