I still remember the day I became a real dad and a real human being.
I remember the exact setting. It was a normal dark polar midday, the wind howled on and off. And I remember the words. In detail. As I, in panic, stepped outside our house in Qasigiannguit and said amongst other words these:
“They think it is a tumor.”
It was by far the most horrible moment of my life. Our daughter Eva was turning blind and we were stuck in one of the most isolated places on earth. It had been too windy for any helicopter to land the last 5 days. It was our only way out for immediate help. Which was at least, if all went well, a day away at Rigshospitalet (The Main Hospital) in Copenhagen. The local ambulance came to pick us up in deep snow. I thought Eva would die. She looked really ill. Pam looked as cool as always, handling any drama with outer confidence. Dana just looked happy for the drama and to be able to go down to the helicopter pad and see the helicopter. An hour later Pam and Eva took off. Dana and me stood for what seemed ages watching the helicopter disappear over those stunning mountains. I promised myself, that moment, if Eva survived, that I would always put their needs ahead of anything else. Even my work, which is also my biggest drive and interest in life. And interest which of course have made me not always present. Either because I had projects churning in my head. Or on an actual journey or Expedition.
Now, 2 years on from that moment, I say:
So far, so good. I think. But better ask the girls if this is true!!
Life has changed quite dramatically since that excruciating moment. For the much better. It has turned me into a much less selfish person, a more generous one and less nervous. I really take one day at the time. Very little bothers me. Except other drivers when in my car!
It wasn´t a tumor. It was another illness, JIA (Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis) with uveitis. A condition which will follow Eva most likely the rest of her life. But right now, her life is very good. She has found the right treatment for now, she does well in school, plays football, has great friends and she is a reader of books. And player of Roblox! I love her very much! And due to all the travelling as a family, she is very close with her energetic, funny, kind, with You Tube Influencer dreams and charismatic sister, and extremely loved, Dana. These two are a very strong team together and it makes life as an odd parent, so much easier!
Yes, I feel very privileged today. Who knew your love for your children was infinite and growing by the day? I love waking them up in the morning, seeing their sleepy faces and starting a new day together with them. At least once a week, we had for the forest or some kind of outdoor activity. This past summer the whole family climbed the highest peak of Sweden, Kebnekaise. Another great family adventure!
Why do I feel privileged?
Much due to a few bumps in life, from which I have learned a lot. But also because I have a job I love, the best of friends, a mother of the girls I admire more then most other human beings and who is the best of mothers! By which I mean, she is not only very loving, but also extremely inspiring to us all. I am very fortunate to have Pam in my life too! She is pursuing her academic career and way of life in Greenland at the moment. And we back her 100%. We allow each other’s to be who we were meant to be.
So right now, I just feel very privilege to have a life like this.
This is the third about me I have written the last ten years. For perspective, do read the two previous one´s here:
16th of January, 2014 https://www.mikaelstrandberg.com/2020/02/01/about-me-philip-seymour-hoffman/
20th of June, 2011 https://www.mikaelstrandberg.com/2011/06/20/my-testament-of-life/
On the train to Stockholm 1st of February 2020