Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sisu

The following definition is taken from Wikipedia

"Sisu is a Finnish term loosely translated into English as strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity. However, the word is widely considered to lack a proper translation into any language. The literal meaning is equivalent in English to "having guts", and the word derives from sisus, which means something inner or interior. However sisu is defined by a long-term element in it; it is not momentary courage, but the ability to sustain an action against the odds. Deciding on a course of action and the sticking to that decision against repeated failures is sisu."

Just over two months ago a dear childhood friend of mine suffered an unthinkable accident which left him paralyzed from the waist down. Since that time his family and friends have watched in utter amazement as he has been able to regain use of the muscles in his legs through intense rehab at the Shepard Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael's determination and progress is nothing less than heroic. Every day I race to see his Facebook updates to find out what new, incredible feat he has accomplished. I know that one day soon he will be walking again (and most likely on water, since he seems to possess super human powers).

After seeing the word Sisu written on Michael's FB wall over and over by family and friends I had to look it up. And after learning the meaning I have decided that Sisu is quite possibly the best word ever and I'm hoping that I don't have to be an official Finn to possess it. (Michael is half Finnish and half Puerto Rican, so you know this boy's got moxie for days...) This weekend there is a golf tournament fund raiser for Michael and his family, which includes his stunningly beautiful, strong, amazing (I could go on and on..) wife, Melissa and their three adorable young children. Michael and Melissa's love and devotion to each other has made the rest of us stare sheepishly at the ground, wondering if we could ever step up to a challenge the way that these two have, united. I made this necklace for the raffle that will be held at the fundraiser in honor of both of them.
Sisu and wings to fly. The perfect combination.

If you feel like being inspired by what a strongly determined person can achieve check out this video of Michael powering a stationary bike all on his own. It will make your day. :)

10 comments:

gbkoru said...

It looks like he's got a lot of sisu! Amazing!

Tam said...

Amazing! Simply Amazing. I dont know him personally but have heard about him and the accident. tears are streaming down my cheeks. SISU is a fantastic word. The necklace is stunning. Thanks for sharing.

mairedodd said...

i now have a new favorite word... i was completely unaware of it... i am so in awe of your friend - so glad he has sisu and family and friends to move him through this - imagine what a force of nature he will continue to be from this experience... thank you for sharing this nancy...

Malin de Koning said...

Sisu is amazing - and the finnish are sooooo proud of it. Living in a neighbour country to Finland, I have met many people from there over the years, and some of my dearest friends are of finish-swedish decendant.

Send my best to Michael. People like that are very inspiring I think.

I like your piece a lot. Perhaps you would consider to produce some more of those beads/charms/links with "SISU" written on them. To sell I mean. You have one client in me anyway. Sisu attitude is very good.

Thanks for a nice post!

Kirsten said...

Fantastic Nancy! Beautiful work by you, and amazing resilience by your friend1 All the best to him!

noricum said...

Gorgeous necklace! I love how you wrapped those beads. Sisu... what a great word.

moosegirlmaria said...

Truly inspiring story of your friend, Micheal! Thanks for sharing it. We all need a little humility to realize how blessed we are.

The necklace is gorgeous!

All the best to Michael, his wife and family, friends and supporters!

Erin said...

What a beautiful, special piece! Love the herringbone wraps! ;)
Your friend's story brought tears to my eyes, but happy tears since he is so amazing!

Alice said...

Such a gorgeous piece! The colors are just amazing!

missficklemedia.com said...

Thank you for sharing this, it fills me with hope and light.

SISU; The Best Word Ever.