Monday, January 19, 2009


When spring came Gunne decided that he could travel to Sweden. He suggested that he travel via Laguna Beach and he wanted me to accompany him. He did not want all the attention falling on him and so if two of us went, it would be easier on him. I said two of us could not sleep at mother's for she had a very small apartment, which she had inherited from her sister Karin. Gunne didn't particularly want to be in Helsingborg. Any friends of his who might still be alive would live out in our home-village, Viken. So he decided the two of us should rent some small place in Viken and travel back and forth to Helsingborg. I could read him like a book, but I felt it was his trip and I would try to be cooperative.

And so the day came when we had to go in to Los Angeles to pick him up at the airport. Surprise. Surprise. He had brought his stepson with him. He was in his twenties, a large handsome man. Until he spoke or smiled. He had one of his front teeth missing. I don't think I had ever seen an active young person with a missing front tooth. I think I was seriously ashamed to be seen in his company. I have never admitted this before, but my prejudice was a surprise to me. and it made me extremely ashamed. Doubly so. For one thing, I was ashamed to be prejudiced, and two, I was ashamed to be seen in his company.

Nothing could be done about it at this point. We went to Sweden and arrived as expected. Mother had arranged a sort of home coming party for Gunne. She knew nothing of our third person. So when we arrived at her apartment, there were several friends and relatives there. We were fairly tired after the long overseas trip and we left to go out to Viken when we decently could.

It was not a happy time. It was difficult to get Gunne to try to please mother. She would cook his favorite meals and then he would be late for dinner. She fixed dinner at twelve, and then she would hold it warm until 1.30 or 2.00 p.m. and then we would eat without him. Some times he didn't show up at all. Before the first week was over I had left Viken and moved in to town to sleep at mother's. I tried to help her as much as I could and then I would spend time with some of my old school mates. I was very happy when my ticket told me it was time to fly back home.

Gunne had decided to fly back to Australia via Africa. His son found a Swedish girl who fell in love with him and eventually the two of them settled in Australia. I never saw my brother again for a year or two after returning home, he committed suicide. He sat in his garage with the motor running in his car and when he was found he was past any help. Luckily, Mother never knew bout it.


Emiana said...

wow. How sad. Did you ever find out what his life had been like?

Anonymous said...

I am what is called a lurker. I read with enjoyment but I do not comment. :-) Because I found you on your first blog day via daily coyote, I have read you from the start and I have loved your entries. Your stories are wonderful. This is just to say that my brother committed suicide, also. Not the same way but that does not matter. I know how you must feel. Today I am thinking of you with a full heart. Keep your stories coming. They brighten up my day enormously.

Della said...

Oh! I'm so sorry! How very sad indeed. Hugs to you.

Jodie said...

I'm still reading. You shared some painful memories with us in this post. I know that was difficult for you. Hugs from Texas.

Melissa said...

What a sad time for you. Thank you for continuing to share your wonderful memories with us, even when they are painful or unhappy.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry--not just for your brother's disappearance from your life twice but also for your relationship with your mother. He did nothing to please her and yet she longed for him. You tried your best to please her and yet never could.

Did you ever learn the story of why he disappeared for many years to Australia? Or was that just part of who he was and his difficult relationship with your mother?