In honor of my dad, Eric Leijonhufvud.

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).


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

11 thoughts on “In honor of my dad, Eric Leijonhufvud.

  1. Wow, thank you Filippa for sharing this story about your dad, so beautiful! And such details, love it. You are a writer for sure!
    I just got a call yesterday that my mom has cancer, I’m a bit confused since they took a biopsy the same day as ultra sound and mammogram, all of those the same day and the dr told her she has a cancer. I’m not quite understanding how they were able to say that without the biopsy results back…..Maybe because how the tumor looked?
    We are to wait 1-2 weeks for the results back. I talked to my mom for a long time yesterday and I have to say that she’s one amazing woman, always positive!! She’s 76, so that limits her treatments but I’d like to hear more details from you if you have it in you to talk.
    Love you lots, Filippa, you are a role model for us women:)

  2. Filippa, what a lovely account of the memories you have with your father. I hope you are on the mend now after your last chemo, my sister had hers last week too, she is so happy to be done with it and her hair is now growing back as well. Thank you for sharing your time with us all, take care and regards to Brian.
    Puss och Kram, x Shaun

    • Thanks Shaun!
      My hair is not growing yet…it will be interesting to see it grow out again…It was weird loosing it…and now weird seeing it grow back! Were you with us in Barcelona at that time???

      Puss & Kram to you and your Sis!!!

  3. din pappa later helt levande, som du skriver om honom Jag har skrivit om min pappa ocksa om du vill lasa nan gang kramar

  4. Hej Filippa!
    Wow, vilken fin minnestripp du delar med dig av 🙂
    Jag minns, jag ler och ser din pappa så levande i alla dessa situationer som du så fint beskriver honom i. Han var en enastående man på såå många sätt och vis. Tänker ofta på alla de fina minnena vi fått via vår barndom och delar tillsammans och jag minns med glädje Din pappa.

    Du ha definitivt ärvt hans ådra att skriva och är en mycket duktig skribent. Han kan vara mycket stolt och sitter säkert däruppe nu och ler och är oerhört stolt över dig på alla sätt och vis Filippa, som en riktig far!

    Jag hoppas dina krafter kommit tillbaka och att du känner dig starkare än någonsin! Önskar dig all lycka ❤
    Varma kramar i massor,

    • Hej Camilla,

      Så kul att du kommer ihåg pappa! Och vu har fått många fina minnen från bla Gärdesta…Hoppas allt är bra med dej! Jag får sakta tillbaka engergin…Eller jag har energi, men jag bränner den snabbt ha,ha,ha.

      Många varma kramar,

  5. Jättefint och rörande skrivet om vår pappa som vi delar minnen av. Håller med om allting och saknar honom också. Det hade varit så spännande att fått lära känna honom som en mer vuxen person och han fått lära känna barnbarnen…. Kram!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s