Happy Thursday! I was listening to a podcast this morning by Rachel Hollis-interviewing Lisa Kleypas discussing her writing career and historical events that shape women’s lives. I thought I would share some history of a brave woman I know.
My grandma Lindberg, Norma R Lindberg was born in 1920 and died in 2009 so I had time as an adult to get to know my grandma Lindberg. My other grandma, Faye H Dana died in 1982 and I didn’t get to know her as well as an adult; I was only 17 when she passed away from cancer.
My grandma waited until she was about 80 to share with me some of her history which I think is so fascinating. My grandma (I’ll just refer to her as Norma now) had a beau in high school- Merrill Taylor, but he went to war in I believe 1942. Norma was left at home and she is a beauty. She caught the attention of Wayne Call (Merrill’s friend) and he started courting her. One evening he invited her to attend a family party with him and he unexpectedly announced at the party that they were engaged (he had not actually asked her to marry him). So Norma felt pressured to accept him as her fiance even though she was still in love with Merrill. They married and soon therafter were expecting my mother, Carolyn.
My mother was born in 1944 and soon after her birth, Norma decided she would divorce Wayne because she was not happy and still in love with Merrill. Norma lived in a small religious community in Wyoming and considering the culture at that time, she probably worried about judgments and people wagging their tongues but she stood up for herself. She was one brave woman and now alone with a child.
Merrill came home from the war and soon reconnected with Norma. They married in 1946 and soon added two more children to their little family. After the war, Merrill got a job as a lineman and traveled often (I’ve heard this, not really sure if that is correct. A lineman is someone who climbs power poles and repairs or installs power lines in areas). Merrill was doing this work in Kern California when he was electrocuted and killed in 1950. Norma was again alone with children.
Norma had always been an industrious woman. I am not sure if this is when she started working for (?) but she worked almost all her adult life. She lived with her father at some point while getting on her feet as a single parent. These were difficult times to begin with (after World War II), but a single mother with three children had to have been daunting.
She later is reacquainted with Wilton Lindberg, (also a friend of Merrill and Wayne- it’s a small community and these men refer to themselves as “The Swedes”) who is a widower-his young wife died after the birth of their second daughter. Norma and Wilton married and added a baby girl to the family. My mother is oldest, then Jackie (Wilton’s oldest daughter), then Irene and Jed (Merrill and Norma’s children), then Sherry (Wilton’s youngest daughter), and Laurie (daughter of Norma and Wilton). My wonderful grandmother Norma kept working throughout her life but was also an amazing cook, gardener (at one time had a acre garden), and housekeeper. Her food-canning and cooking are renown-especially a recipe for Red Velvet Cake. She always entered food or handsewn/sewing machine items (she was a talented quilter and crocheter) in the fair and often won first place ribbons.
Norma was very frugal, hard working, and saved all the money she could. When she passed away, she left her children and myself (I was included because I am the only living offspring of my mother, father, and siblings-passed away many years previous) but I am so blessed to know my grandma as an adult and appreciate how brave she is and how hard she worked to take care of herself and her children. I hope you appreciate hearing the history of a brave woman I admire-my grandmother Norma R Lindberg.