Friday, August 22nd my Dad would have been 80 years old!
Happy Birthday Pappa!
He was born in Olofsfors, in Sweden in 1934, by my “farfar” (grandfather), Axel, Gustaf, Stensson Leijonhufvud and “farmor” (grandmother) Hedvig, Sofia, Louise Virgin. Farmor went be the name Lisa. My Dad was the third child out of 4 children. First there was Gunilla, then Carl, then my Dad and last but not least, Sten who arrived 9 years later (ops!). My Dad and Sten was born on the same day, and actually almost passed away on the same day (not the same year).
GRATTIS PÅ FÖDELSEDAGEN PAPPA (and Sten!)
I googled my father to see if anything came up…and it did! Wikipedia had a little blurb and Google also translated it…with a few changes from me.
Here’s the translation:
“Eric Gustaf Axelsson Leijonhufvud, born August 22, 1934, died April 15, 1989, was a Swedish writer, known for his trilogy within fantasy genre “Water People” (the author’s daughter would like to translate the title to “People from the Water” or “People of the Water”)
Eric Leijonhufvud worked as city architect of Sala when he died of cancer in 1989. The writing began in 1978 when he worked abroad for SIDA in Botswana, Africa, but the dream of writing, were there many years before that. Leijonhufvud also played piano and wrote music and painted.
He was married to Sophia’s sister Ann Mari Leijonhufvud, born Ohlsson, and together they have three daughters; Maria Katarina Ericsdotter b 1956, Erica Charlotta Ericsdotter born in 1959 and Filippa Cecilia Ericsdotter born in 1961.”
I miss my Dad.
He was an artist. Very creative…Very much in ‘his own world’. I remember my Dad, in his home office, playing the piano at least 2 hours a day. Mostly classical music. As a kid it was “annoying” to listen to classical music… We would tell him to play quietly (!) or I would crawl up in his lap and ask him to play something we could sing to…My favorite was “Brevet från Lillan” (Letter from Lillan) by Evert Taube. He wrote tons of music, and plays, and books…both children’s and adults. He finally got his first book published in 1978. He had a “dark room”, for picture developing in our house. He taught us how to develop pictures at an early age…He was also crazy about taking a sauna every evening. In every house we lived in – He had to have a sauna. That was his way to relax…
He had so many things going on…but I have to say…He was not a good teacher! Truth to be told! Not a patient person when it came to playing with his kids. He was so into his hobbies. His own stuff. He was very laid back. He was a good dancer. A historian. He loved his family (even though he had a hard time showing it). He was and animal LOVER. And the animals loved him! We had many dogs growing up and litters of puppies…We had a guinea pig, Petronella, who loved him. She would hear his car coming up the drive way, and cryyyyy for him…
He didn’t like to pick wild flowers because he wanted the flowers to be beautiful in nature…He loved butterflies…I can picture him (in front of me) running , jumping like a lunatic trying to catch butterflies with a butterfly net. A very funny sight! He knew all the names of the butterflies and the difference between a male and a female.
I remember one summer some ‘butterfly cocoons’ go into our laundry room, and they were hanging everywhere…even in the washing machine. My mom was not allowed to move them, or touch them…She had to do laundry at the neighbors house. Then one morning the ‘magic happened’…My Dad told us to come to the laundry room and look (I remember thinking why the window was so dark?) and there on the window was hundreds of Peacock Butterflies (Påfågelsöga)…We opened the window and away they went! Beautiful sight!
He played Bridge, Vira (card game), indoor soccer (for a while), and badminton. He smoked pipe and cigarillos. He loved his whiskey. He was an unhealthy eater… He loved anything with gravy, butter and bread and cheese and cream! Bring it on! Yummy…He loved life!
My Dad was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 1989. I was working on a cruise ship. I remember getting a telex (yes! telex!) on the ship where it said “Dad is sick. Come home”. We were docked in Barcelona, and the next port of call was Funchal, Madeira. It took 4 days before we reached Funchal, where I finally signed off.
My Dad was in the hospital (of course). Me and my mom went to see him on April 10th 1989…We went to see him every single day. He was glad to see me! He could talk a little…or more like whisper. The cancer had spread to his vocal cords (we didn’t know). Five days later, on April 15th he passed away. We were all there in the room with him… It was after 9 p.m…when he took his last breath…
I miss you very much pappa!
I honor you, and I love you!
Your youngest daughter