Our story begins in the small, quaint town of Joensuu, Finland, where our friend lives with his loving parents in an old farm house that has long since seen any farming, save for the small garden in the back and some flowers in the front. A modest and happy home it certainly was. Our friend, a reserved but happy young man, always found solace in his home and in the company of his parents.
One day, a letter arrived from one of the many universities he had applied to.
“You have a letter from the University of Helsinki,” his mother yelled enthusiastically.
Our friend came running down the stairs, excited with anticipation.
While opening the letter in front of his parents, his mother asked, “What does it say?” “Is it good news?” “Have you been accepted?”
“Calm down, you will only rile up the boy,” his father said, sitting at the table. The father knew, though, in his heart what the outcome was.
“I have been accepted!” proclaimed our friend.
A family hug followed and tears of joy from his mother, who went right to work preparing his favorite meal, and his father to the cellar to grab a fine whiskey for just such an occasion. His father knew, though, that this was the beginning of a new life for all of them, and things would no longer be the same.
Later in the evening, in his room, after the initial exuberance, our friend now realized too that things would never be the same but was excited nonetheless and eager to continue his path on this new adventure.