My Aunt Agnes is a gem…but let me start the story a little earlier.
In the early 1800’s my grandparents came to America from Sweden. They came separately and came before they were married. Grandpa came first and later Grandma came. He came with his brother…she came with her sister. Grandpa and Grandma married and Grandpa’s brother and Grandma’s sister married each other. They settled in Pocahontas County in Iowa. Four children later, my Grandpa and Grandma moved to New Richland, Minnesota.
At the time they moved my Uncle Harold, Aunt Esther, Aunt Agnes and my Dad had been born. Dad always said he was one years old at the time they moved. My Uncle Bert was later born in Minnesota. Grandpa’s farm originally had a dugout home on it. Grandpa and Grandma went on to build many out buildings and a nice craftsman style farm house. In 1949 Grandma died….I never knew her. In the early 60’s Grandpa decided to move to town and wanted my dad to take over the farm.
My parents had married by then and had three kids of their own. They didn’t have a lot of money. Then Grandpa died. How they were going to get money for a down payment became the big concern.
All of my Dad’s siblings wanted the money from the farm except my Aunt Agnes. She kept her money in the farm and that left my parents able to but the farm. Over the years my Dad paid her the portion owed to her with interest but if it had not been for her, my parents likely wouldn’t have been able to buy the farm. I spent all of my growing up years living on the farm and I partly have her to thank for that.
She’s always been the glue to the family. If there was a get together to be hosted…it was Aunt Agnes that did it. If something needed to be organized….she was the lady to ask.
Well yesterday was Aunt Agnes birthday. She is 99 year old!
She’s still a gem.
She was the daughter that stayed home and took care of the family forgo-ing high school while her sister went on to be a nurse and my Dad went on to business school. My Grandma was not is perfect health then and Agnes was the one to help care for her.
Grandma was a great example on how to be a farm wife and Agnes took after that example. She went on to marry and have three kids working as busy farm wife and mother, active in church and always ready to help.
When my Mom died, it was Aunt Agnes who Dad called first. It was Aunt Agnes who came to be with him. Of all the people who he could call it was her.
My Dad and Agnes became close companions. They went everywhere together from lutefisk dinners, to family get togethers to Sweden to see their parents home land. She was wonderful to my dad and wonderful to all of my kids. Being my Mom died so young, Aunt Agnew was their grandma figure. I can’t thank her enough for that. Being there for my dad and for kids was a priceless gift that only she could give.
This last year was a tough on her. She ended up in the hospital with pneumonia and a hip fracture. Up until then she was still driving on her own! She still lives on her own in an apartment.
We had all laughed one year she attended a graduation party for my nephew. She drove up in a new car. We all mentioned it and she said, “As long as I’m still driving at 95 years old, I think I need one!” It was so cute.
Even at her age, she is still a giver. She sews quilt tops for the local church group for Lutheran World Relief. One of her goals when she landed in the hospital was a want to get home and sew quilt tops again. She is also very active helping her grand-daughter put together shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.
Of all the people I know in the world, she is truly the most precious. I so aspire to be like her.
Not long ago she wrote me a letter. She apologized for not getting Christmas cards out this year…she also apologized for her “poor handwriting”. WOW. I surely hope that at her age I can do even half of what she can.
If I was ever asked who I most admire…She’d be right at the top of my list. Happy Birthday Aunt Agnes….thank you touching so many lives from your immediate family, to your extended family, to the people across the seas that receive the quilts that you were a part of making. She might think herself an aging old lady…to me, she’s what a true hero looks like.