Tuesday, February 27
Irma, Naa and I decided yesterday to take today off in order to sort out the practical details relating to Jussi’s death. It seemed better to do everything as soon as possible and then return to work, rather than having things hang over us.
The temperature had dropped alarmingly. My feet felt frozen even when we got into the car.
We had breakfast, collected Naa, and drove to Töölö. I went up and talked with Maria, who surprised me by chatting to me in fluent English; something she had never done before. It felt very odd seeing everyone else in the palvelukeskus sitting eating lunch in their various states of awareness, without Ukki there. It also seemed odd going into the room that no longer had his name on it.
We had decided to return the rollaattori first so I took that downstairs and put it in the back of the car. We drove to Laakso where Naa worked for several months as a cleaner and helper. We get out and Naa immediately and confidently leads the way, greeting people she knows as we go. We end up in a basement area where Irma hands over papers, signatures get written, and the rollaattori gets taken. We then go back upstairs to get more papers signed.
On the way out Irma points out that she came here sixteen years ago with a terrible stomach ache and learned she actually had a surprise pregnancy. She points out the spot where she phoned me to tell me we had a baby on the way: a moment that would signal the start of the best and worst times of our lives. I spot a bicycle abandoned for several days or weeks in the snow.
We will return to Töölö to collect a big armchair and take this to the recycling centre near Arcada. One the way back to Töölö Irma will suggest that we stop for lunch and we will park by an Indian restaurant called Gandi that we have passed every time we have visited Ukki. This will prove a brilliant idea since we will all like the food and like the mango lassi that they bring even more. Naa and I will have beef vindaloo and Irma will have chicken.
We will then pack all of Ukki’s clothes and take them to Kamppi, where we will spend a couple of hours with Irma’s mother, putting a picture back on the wall, photographs back on shelves, rearranging furniture, and talking.