Letters From Rouva

I have a special treat for all of you guys. I was cleaning my room today and I stumbled upon a copy of a letter that was written by my Great, Great, Grandma, Rouva Hilma Hamina (at least that’s what I think she is) in 1927. It is a letter written to her stepson, Leonard Hamina, who was my Grandma’s father. He was 21 at the time he received this letter from Rouva.  It is an incredible letter and was translated from Finnish into English…so the translation is a bit rough.  I’ll be a good blogger and share it with you…. Rouva was one wise woman.

September 12, 1927

My dear son:

My best thanks to your welcomed letter. In your letter you let me look into your hearts fights, which are for you the heaviest in your life and of the kind big and deep. But the sorrows of that age have that good side that they do not crush the soul and body. But if there in the life of the youth age is also the poison of sin, it destroys them sure and without exception. -I thought to ask you what kind your pleasures really are, when you are on shore, because you spent so much money. If your pleasures are pure fan of the enthusiasm of the young man, that kind which is not polluting the soul and body, it does not matter that you make fan, the time comes that you do not care of them in the first hand. But if your pleasures include coarse life, spirituous liquor and naughty women, so you know without me to say that is a sin, and Death is the wage of sin. That kind of life is neither fun or pleasure, it is the life swore by God, that destroys human body already in this life and the soul in the future.

And if those your girls are that kind, who are on the shore waiting that the seaman comes to shore, so for that kind, it is not worth to give one real warm thought to spend. So from what I could see how the Young associate nowadays,  the girls go get into an enormous distress after the boys, and that they themselves start to court and making proposals to get married, and then they put themselves like to sale. Remember always, that every girl who does that, it is not first time selling herself, she has had time to make her offer also to another, and with that kind of  girl, it is not worth even to think of a life together. Only when you feel that you cannot live without her, or she feels the same on her side, and you notice her to put weight on her own womanly cleanliness and feelings, you can be sure that it is worth it to associate longer. Don’t ever think to make that decision suddenly, that is such a step, that it needs thought. Otherwise it would be a good thing for you to get married if you would get a good woman and you settled to one place to live the real human life. You use your power for nothing, and also your valuable youth. That kind of romping has nothing inside. Not even you are satisfied with that, because all the time something put you from place to another, and that something is the demand of your own home and love, that is an order provided by the nature, of that you or anyone can not get away. But start to live so that you have the salary for the marriage minister, so that the girl need not to make proposals herself, like in those couple of cases you mentioned, girls have made for you, offered their money to get married. Start to live the real brave mans life for a little while, save so there is a little clinking in the bottom of the pocket, and then after you find a good girl you get married, so you get the start of real life.

You described your first love as a “puppyish love”- Say now what you will, but one day you will find that had what I call the real love. It was delight of heart, pure of the slag of passions, and that is why you will remember it throughout your life, believe me when I say so. You told a couple of cases of your friends who had associated when young, and yet after married “scuffled”. It is not so that every of our first loves is the marriage ordered us by God, but pure at least is the first love, I know that, and that its memory can still warm through its pure and holy power, even the grey tufts of the oldness hair in the hard destinies of life. It is the garden of flowers of the sweet memories which lasts through life, whose smell is always charming fresh, and there on which to withdraw from the chilly times of life. It is the kind of love, which God meant our love to be when He from His loving soul into our bosom put.

If the love of a man and a woman can not stay in the marriage like it was, it has many uncounted reasons. Differences of opinions on the religious or on the social matter will have effect. Strong effect has the different education in the childhood. If the man cannot understand the freedom which belongs to the woman at the present time. Woman’s endeavor to be equal on the side of the man at the present time makes strong effect, not to mention the capricious characters. By right it is wrong that for the troublesome and capricious characters, that there is no law to forbid them to get married. There also are women who are too flippant even when they are married. And at the present time the desire to make fan has become a visionary for young couples, and the killer of their happiness. They do not find fun in the work for the home, but in all the kinds of things which spend the time and money which belongs to the happiness of the home. The home is not an institution outside of us, it is the result of our own work. If we give to the home all we can and earn, it will be more pleasant and cozy, but if it will change the place to change the skirt for a man or for the woman, or perhaps for them both, then it is no wonder if there occurred small fights on who has to stay there for more minutes.

Anyhow life is not a light-minded game, if one will of it honorable extricate.  And also one, who will run away from the reverses, will never have success, only he has good luck, who brave goes against them (reverses). Really the life drives the SISU to boil until the burning point, and still nothing helps but stand against, if one will get along as a winner. And the more times we win the reverse we meet, that power of our character becomes hardened, and life feels more safe. -But God has us not needless as His picture made, and this life for us not as a toy given. He meant true with all. That eternal what He has put in our character, that and the addition He will once ask, that’s why we must not forget that we are meant for heaven. Do not ever abandon God, He will never throw the human child out. The best protection under the reverses is the knowledge that God is on the side of us and our matter. -It is already the late night. Urho still stays away, and father has gone to Ontonagon, I am alone with Buddy at home, and at least I will tell you a little “bedtime story”.

One upon a time there was a monk, who fell in love with a beautiful prostitute. There woke a wish in the monk to get the girl to believe in God, and become His own, a child of the God. He prayed many devoted prayers for the girl and spent moments of pain with the floods of bitter tears for her. The girl converted and became a nun, who went to a monastery. The monk lived the years of pain without seeing the girl he loved. Once under the burning pains of the soul he slipped outside the wall of the monastery and sang under the window of the young nun’s chamber window:

“O you the time that past, you of the youth,

Far you run away.

I can’t see the blue sky anymore, the song of birds does not ring.

My love, you took my luck.

My love, my joy you for a sorrow made, oh never it can wake to life.

So, my love once the light has gone from my soul

Dark and desolate does my heart grow

And hopeless-for all time.”

After this I say Good Night. With hearty greetings:



3 responses to “Letters From Rouva

  1. wow, I read the whole thing. What a great post. What blows my mind is how absolutely absurd it would sound to this woman to let her know that her letter would end up on a worldwide network of instant-access information, bearing the potential to effect people all over the planet. Life is craziness I’ve gotta say.

  2. Brilliant. Felt like I was reading a mixture of Psalms and Proverbs.

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