Mom either wrote or told me this story about her mother, Hulda Aho, in 1970.
BORN IN VAASA, FINLAND
She was born in 1873 in Vaasa, Finland. There were 5 girls in that family and one boy. Their father admired the boy very much, but when he was 10 years old, he was walking past a windmill and one of the propellers hit him and a big sliver went through his head. His father pulled the sliver out of his head, but he died right there.
My mother was very popular and a very good looking girl. They used to say that she was one of the prettiest girls in Finland.
My father was in the Russian army, and when he came back to visit, they met at some church gathering. Mother thought he was so handsome. They went together for a while, and then they got married. Mother was 22 and Father was 25.
CAME TO AMERICA
They had two children, Nick and Martha. When Nick was about 6 and Martha 5 (I think 5), Father decided to go to America to get rich. No, they were just babies.
Six years later, Mother came and left the two children with the grandparents. She had some sisters in Massachusetts.
WENT TO MICHIGAN
Father got her and they went to Michigan. Then Mary was born and Hjalmer, John, Tyne, and Einar. Then they decided to move to Knox, Wisconsin, and Lillian and Wayne were born there.
SENDING FOR NICK AND MARTHA
When Nick was 16, they sent some money so he could come across. They were planning on sending money to Martha, but WWI broke out, so they couldn't send for her then. When Martha got to be 17, she got married, so she was left in Finland.
MOTHER STAYED IN BED
In 1917, when she was 44, Mother started to stay in bed. She was in her change of life. There is some question as to whether she had a miscarriage or a hemmorage at this time. She stayed in bed for around 5 years.
Father had to do the work around the house. It was in her imagination that she couldn't do anything. She lost all interest in life. She felt that something inside her was dropping. She felt that when she would get up that her womb would fall out.
FATHER GOT A STROKE
Father had a stroke when I was 17. Father tried to make hay that summer, but the stroke was coming on, and Mother felt so bad about it. He was giving the dried hay to the cows. He was 60 when he died.
HJALMER TAKES OVER FAMILY
Hjalmer too the whole family to Duluth then. Mother didn't like it at all in Duluth. She was sorry she ever left Clifford.
Three years later, Hjalmer got married. Mother then stayed one winter with Einar, when Hjalmer and Margaret decided to move to Minneapolis.
MOTHER GETS A STROKE
Mother got a stroke when she was 65, and she couldn't even talk, except by motioning. And one of her arms was paralyzed too. But she could walk around.
When she was 69, she had an obstruction in the stomach, and they took her to the hospital. She died there on June 16th. Ronny was only 1 1/2 years old then.
MOTHER GETS FAT
Mother started getting fat when she was 45 years old. She got real fat, and she was proud of it. Some of the neighbor ladies and she were measuring who was the fattest, because they thought it was something to be proud of, when you are real fat.
SHE WAS GOOD NATURED
She was a real good natured, jolly person, who used to laugh a lot. She loved company and always wanted to have somebody around her. She hated to be left alone. She was afraid to be left alone.
When I visited her in Duluth, we were all going out, and she was motioning - she had the stroke - who was going to be with her?
So I pointed to the cat. That the cat will be with her. She just shook her head.
And when all the children were around, she acted as if it was the happiest day of her life.
SHE BELIEVED IN GOD
Mother believed in God, but she never got to the church, because nobody brought her there.
WHEN SHE HAD HER SICKNESS
While she had her sickness, she never moaned and groaned. She just lay there. And when company came, she just laughed and talked.
Some ladies just to say, "Why don't you get up?"
And she would say, "I can't get up."
OTHERS DID THE WORK
Hjalmer did the housework first and the cooking. Tyne didn't like to do housework, so she worked out in the yard. Father did work around the house too. He didn't really complain that she was in bed, but he was sort of disgusted because he could not really go out and make much money because he had to stay home and take care of the children. He didn't drink at all at this time. He stopped completely at about 45.
TAKING IN BOARDERS
They had taken in boarders at the lumber camp, and mother cooked for about 10 men. She used to say that she had one baby on her lap and one child hanging on her dress, while she stirred the food she was making.
MOTHER WAS GOOD WITH CHILDREN
She was very good with the children. Even when she went to visit Nick, she would give each child a dime. She felt that you should always give the children money or something.
HOW SHE LOOKED
She had black hair, a little wavy, and her eyes were blue. And she had no blemishes on her skin. It was very clear. She was about 5' 4", and she had a great big bust and stomach. She used to put a rag under her bust to prevent chafing.
Her bust was so big, because she nursed so many babies. When Einar was 3 1/2 and Mother was nursing me, he kept saying, "I want tittie."
WAYNE DRESSED HER AFTER HER STROKE
When she was under her stroke, Wayne used to dress her. He was drinking real heavy at that time. She wanted to have a dress put on, but Wayne was real crabby, so she pointed her finger to her head and went round and round, meaning he is drunk.
SAVING CIGARETTE BUTTS
She would save cigarette butts. She saved Hjalmer's`and Einar's cigarette butts for Wayne, because he wasn't working.
She always worried about Wayne, because she didn't think he was very bright. She wanted Wayne to be taken care of.
One day before Hjalmer got married, she got very sick. She then said to call Nick to meet us, because if she happened to die that Wayne would be taken care of.
Later,when she did die, we found an envelope with one of her toenails that had grown real thick. I thought that it was inherited, but the foot doctor said that it was just a fungus.
She used to worry about Hjalmer, because Father used to beat him up a lot. So we thought that she favored Hjalmer, but she just wanted to protect him.
THE JOY OF THE CHILDREN
In Clifford, the only joy my parents had was the children. I used to put a show on, when Father felt crabby or something. I would put on Father's old overalls on, and I danced and made faces and jabbered, and they would laugh.
The only joy they had was from the children. Mother didn't drink at all. They would do anything for us. Once they gave their last dime to Tyne, so she could go to the dance.