Remember about two weeks ago I told you that my mother-in-law gave me a kilo of reindeer meat? Well, she put the meat in a kind of tupperware. It's actually the kind of tupperware that comes with the fridge that she has. So the tupperware can be slid to its allotted slot on the fridge's door. It's more solid than regular tupperware.
Anyway, when I was preparing to cook the meat, I took it out of the freezer and "accidentally" put it on top of a stove that I had just used. Gladly I realized it a second afterward, but the damage was done. At the bottom of that tupperware there was a clear mark of the round burner. Yikes!!! I felt SOOOOOOOO guilty and embarrassed!
I told the incident to Arttu and he laughed when seeing my pitiful face. He said that his mother wouldn't be angry. Well, I had already known that she wouldn't be angry, but that didn't make me feel any better. After all, she's been SO generous and kind to me and all I have to do is take care of everything, but I have failed.
As you all know, last week we didn't go to my in-laws 'coz of Arttu's cousin's birthday party. So only last Saturday we went to my in-laws again. I had dreaded the day. I had practised saying, "Olen pahoillani" (I'm sorry) in my head over and over again just to make sure that I got it right.
On the way to my in-laws, my mother-in-law called. When I asked Arttu what she had said, he just replied, "We'll see." This is actually a typical Finnish attitude, not giving enough information to a question. I thought it was nothing big, so I just sat back and waited for the moment when I could say sorry to my mother-in-law.
About a minute away from my in-laws' house, Arttu turned left to a car park in front of a building (it looked like a house). I was stunned to see so many cars on the car park. Then we went inside the building and my mother-in-law hugged us (making me feel more uneasy 'coz I couldn't possibly tell her then and there about my stupidity). Turned out the building was being used to be a flea market. My mother-in-law introduced me to her friends and neighbour and then told me to look around in case I saw something that fit me. She also helped me picking the smaller sizes for me (there were many big sizes there). I finally chose two shirts and just as I had feared, when Arttu was about to pay, my mother-in-law said, "Minä maksan" (I'll pay). I thanked her right away, naturally, but her generosity only made me feel worse!!! AARRRRRRGGGGGHHHH!!! I couldn't wait to go to my in-laws' house to say sorryyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!
Well, we left first while my mother-in-law stayed there to talk to her friends. I turned to Arttu and said, "Boooooohooooo...now I feel even more guilty!!!!!" He just smiled and told me not to worry.
About 20 minutes after we got to their house, my mother-in-law finally came back home. I took out the Tupperware right away and said those words to her. At first she was confused, but then I made gestures with my hand to show the bottom part of the Tupperware. Then Arttu explained what had happened to her. She said it was okay. She didn't look angry or shocked or anything, but still I felt stuuuuuppiiiiiddd. I was relieved, but I felt so SMALL.
Well, I learnt A LOT about forgiveness and generosity that day. You see, even after that, my mother-in-law still gave me a big piece of FISH (you know that we can't afford buying fish 'coz it's so expensive!!!). And then when she saw me browsing through a clothing catalog, she said something, went inside her room, and came out with a short-sleeved jacket. She told me to try it on and it fit me well (just a bit too big but that should be fine), so she gave it to me. It also had such a warm lining, so it felt so good.
I honestly don't know what else I can do for my mother-in-law. I know she doesn't expect me to repay her, but I just want to do more for her. We'll see what I can come up with. The only thing I've given her is the occasional dessert that I make (sometimes it's not even perfect though usually the taste is fine). I don't know what I have done to deserve all this, but it reminds me about God's love and forgiveness for us. I just can't believe my luck to have such a wonderful mother-in-law.
By the way, this weekend we're gonna spend a night at my in-laws (Saturday-Sunday). The thing is, my mother-in-law's going to go on a weekend trip with some other people (Arttu said that she was involved in some kind of village activities), so she asked us if we would like to spend a night there. I think she might be a bit worried about leaving her husband behind. You see, Arttu's Dad's just been diagnosed with Alzheimer. I don't think it's at a late stage yet, 'coz he seems to be functioning pretty well, but still I notice that sometimes my mother-in-law'd remind him to take his medicine. I LOVE spending time at my in-laws. No TV, no computer, just us, food, warmth, books, and magazines. ;-D I can't wait for Saturday!!! ;-D
OK, now I HAVE to start studying Finnish to prepare for my course tomorrow he he he he he he...