ANNA MARY HALVORSEN PETERSON
(My Mother’s Mother)
By LaRhea Nielson Twelves
|Mary Halvorsen Peterson|
|Mary H. Peterson LaRhea & Wendell, Elda P. Nielsen|
As I matured I began to realize that Grandma really had a hard life, but I do not remember her ever being depressed, sorry for herself, or complaining. She was fun to be with and had a cute sense of humor. We all loved to be around her.
Always before Memorial Day she would come to our house and Mother would get out the crepe paper and pipe cleaners and we would make flowers. After we wrapped the pipe cleaners with green crepe paper, we would make the flowers onto the stem. I particularly remember tulips and roses – all colors, but mostly red. Red seems to stand out in my mind. When they were finished Mother would dip them in melted paraffin wax. Crepe paper flowers were the forerunners to plastic flowers. Beautiful silk flowers followed them. Mother raised beautiful flowers in our yard, but we always helped Grandma make her special flowers until Mother [Elda] died. She was only forty seven years old. Her death was very hard on Grandma. Children are supposed to bury their parents. When it is reversed, it is devastating to parents.
|Mary Halvorsen Peterson|
LeRoy Elda James Peterson
|sisters Tina H. Jensen & Mary H. Peterson Beckstrom|
There were no Assisted Living Centers or Nursing Homes at that time. There was only the “Poor House”, which was located on Ironton Hill between Springville and Provo. My Aunt Harriet, Marcellus (Uncle Cell) Nielson’s wife, needed someone to take care of her father after her mother died. His name was Mr. Thorn, and he lived about three blocks north of our home. Grandma moved into his home and cared for him and his house until he died. This was not unusual in those days. After that Grandma’s brother, Uncle Tom, needed a caretaker for his father-in-law, who was a widower and lived on a farm in
Palmyra. Grandma took care of Mr. Otteson for several years. I don’t really remember Mr. Thorn well, but I do remember riding with Mother in our Model “A” Ford on Sundays to Palmyra to bring Grandma and Mr. Otteson for dinner. My brothers and I loved having Grandma come, but Mr. Otteson was “such a bore”. He talked incessantly about the “Old Country” (Denmark) and we secretly wished that he were there. Now I think that if we had been smart we would have listened and asked questions. I'm sure we would have learned a lot about the land of our heritage.
|Mary & Tina Halvorsen|
After Mr. Otteson died Grandma moved back to Mapleton and lived in a trailer house in Uncle Roy’s back yard. Meanwhile I had married and was living in Alameda, California where my husband, a Navy fighter pilot, was stationed. It wasn’t too long, maybe a year or two when my father called me and said, “If you want to see Grandma Peterson alive, you had better come home soon. She is in the hospital with breast cancer that has invaded the pulmonary cavity and is not expected to live.” Our daughter, Valerie, was 18 months old. She and I flew home and stayed for two weeks.
|Mary H. Peterson James Peterson|
Grandma was very weak, but was happy to see us, especially her first great grandchild. We had some precious visits and flew back to Alameda two weeks later. Grandma lasted another 10 days or so and died quietly in her sleep on April 19, 1947. She was 72 years old.