(Editor’s note: Mary finished off the reminiscences with a funny and so-appropriate anecdote, after which all the assembled friends and family ate and drank, knowing so much more about their dear friend.)
Lila and I shared a laugh at this difference between English and Norwegian idioms. I was a student in a weaving class at Vesterheim in the 1980s taught by Oline Bredele, a wonderful weaving teacher from Molde, Norway. At the end of the week, the class decided to celebrate with a picnic lunch at one of Decorah’s parks. I asked the local bakery to decorate a cake for the occasion, thanking our teacher for a good class. I asked them to write “Takk for Alt,” using the small knowledge I had of Norwegian. When I unwrapped the cake, Lila and Oline could not contain their giggles and then laughter at my unfortunately misguided attempt to thank them for everything. They explained to me that “Takk for Alt” is translated, “Rest in Peace” and appears on tombstones all over Norway.
So, as we celebrate the extraordinary life of our friend, I am able to say Takk for Alt, Lila.