Thursday, February 9, 2012

February 8th - Countdown to Valentine's Day - Mom

I finished matching all the names in my Roots Magic files with NewFamilySearch, so I finally got to start on some other things that I have been anxious to do in genealogy.  The first thing was to connect a cousin to the tree.  He had written me a note, since my email got hacked and he didn't have the new one.  He is only a little younger than I am, but I really don't know him - other than by correspondence.  I hadn't ever connected him into my family tree, so that was a priority for me.

His grandfather and my grandfather were brothers.  They both came from Sweden in the early 1900's, at different times.  I vaguely remember his grandfather and I probably met Gene when we were little at a family reunion, but we never had a lot of contact with that side of the family.  I had his grandparents in the tree, but I hadn't done their children, etc., so that is what I worked on today.

Doing that brought my focus to my mother.  Her father, my grandfather, was the kind of man who didn't talk much to children or interact on a personal way with them.  I don't ever remember him giving me a hug or sitting in his lap, although I probably did when I was really tiny.  We spent a lot of time at their home, but other than his being there, I didn't connect with him much at all.  I think it was just the old world Swedish way of doing things.

I have wondered how he was to his children, especially my mother.  She was the oldest and he was not her biological father.  I know she was a bit rebellious and she told about being disciplined with a razor strap.  And yet there were other things that happened that showed he really did love her.  I know he doted on John, the only son.  Life on a farm is not easy and everyone had to pull their weight.  We even had chores when we would come to visit.  My mother grew up during the depression, having been born in 1929, and pictures from the time show that they didn't have much in the way of clothing or shoes.  They did have food to eat - one of the perks of farm life.  And I know the family was close, because they all worked together.

And yet, out of that difficult time, my mother became such a warm and loving person.  She was always looking to find ways of helping other people.  She was always smiling.  People were drawn to her and liked to be around her.  She was a terrific mother, keeping us safe and making us become independent at the same time.  We always knew that her family was the most important thing in her life.

So today, I have been remembering my mother and feeling my love for her again.  She passed away in 2001, after several years of dealing with the effects of Alzheimer's.  I really lost her completely a few years before she actually died.  But, my memories of her are a lifetime of good things and happy memories.  I love you, Mom!

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