Today is your day Dad, even more than your birthday to me. On your birthday we were always at the country house, picking forget me not’s and singing. It was the closest family celebrating our beloved Dad together.
17 May however was celebrated with thousands of people. We were excused from school, put in our best clothes and fitted with Norwegian flags. Jakob and me nervously sang the Norwegian national anthem to ourselves, we didn’t really know the language but wanted to make you happy by singing it.
Off we went. Out in to the streets with the Norwegian train. You were at the front and we were allowed to walk there with you. My heart swelled with pride. Of you, of being Norwegian, of being different and having a Dad that took such pride in that difference.
People ask me sometimes why you haven’t become a Swedish citizen and I always think to myself ‘because that is who you are, the core of you is so proud of your heritage and your Norwegian side of you’ and you’ve passed that on to me. I often look at the oddest but best parts of me and think ‘that’s my Norwegian side’.
Here’s to you on your day Dad. I wish i was there to celebrate with you. Drink an aquavit and talk about the parts we love about ourselves that are unmistakably Norwegian.