Attached are my favourite photos of my mum. I love the one where she’s in red - she has such a lovely expression. She’s about 75 in this photo. The other was from my parents’ 50 anniversary in 2003. She was 70. They both passed away in 2012, four months apart.
My preference is the first photo, even though can’t see her entire face. It captures her gentle but cheeky nature somehow.
My mum was the last of eight children born to Adolph and Julia Amundsen in Claresholm. Her mum died in 1938 during a botched hysterectomy. She was very close to my Aunt Iris - the eldest girl in the family - who was 15 years older. Iris was her surrogate mother. Ironically, they died less than a year apart - Iris in 2011. Mum was a farm girl at heart. She never learned to ride a bike but she could drive a tractor. I’ve attached a photo of her at about 6. That haircut...
Shorty (we all called her that) is the reason I sew. She passed down her love of sewing. She made most of our clothes when we were kids. I still have her 1973 Bernina. She had a great sense of humour but couldn’t tell a joke without ruining the punch line. And she started every phone conversation with “oh, hi” as if she was surprised to be speaking to me even though she called me. It was adorable. She was a tough cookie who advocated for my dad who was in long term care - woe betide the nurse who got on her bad side.
She had three grand-daughters plus a step grand-daughter and grandson. She would have been thrilled to become a great grandmother in July when my niece had Henry. I’m sad she’s missing that. She did a lot of crafts and baking of cookies and lefse with those girls.
I was really lucky to have her as my mum - and we both got a kick at the fact people would be surprised that the 5 ft petite blond was this 5’6” dark-haired big-boned girl’s little mum.
~ Christina Waldner
AIRdirondack Art Project
Alberta (above) +