Repent, Repent The END is Near – or is it?

My Great Grandmother Helga Swanson. About age 15. I called her Morta-Mor, Swedish for grandmother.

My great-grandmother Helga Anderson was an OX born in Ostergotland, Sweden in 1901.  As the world was poised at the threshold of WWI, in the spring of 1914, she and her family immigrated to Stratford, Iowa.

Without knowing a word of English and hoping to finish her education, she began school.  Within a few months she saw her family needed support.  She quit school, left her house and became a domestic for a neighboring farmer.

The blue-eyed, blond haired girl caught the attention of a local bachelor.  He wrote a postcard to my great-grandfather Axel who was working in Philadelphia.  The card said “New arrivals from Sweden.  Come home quick before they are taken.”

As the war ended, 17-year old Helga became Axel Swanson’s wife legalizing her residency in the USA.  A year later my grandmother was born.

And life continued on.

Her one regret was had she stayed in Sweden until she was fourteen she would have completed her confirmation studies in the Lutheran church.  In the end she was confirmed in the Stratford Lutheran Church.  She became a lifelong member.

Stratford Lutheran Church.  Established 1859

Stratford Lutheran Church. Established 1859

A hundred years later, emails about 11/11/11 and 2012 missives warning me we are dangling on the brink of THE END flood my inbox.  I think of my grandmother, the farmer’s wife whose life experiences reflected her time and place, but whose words reveal her profound knowing.

“Regardless of what you may want, the world will change and you will have to adapt to those changes.”  Helga Swanson

Thank you for the wisdom Morta-Mor.



Tales by Chapter

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