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Friday, January 30, 2009

A Tribute to My Wonderful Mom

Margaret Catherine Johnson
January 30, 1925 to July 7, 1995

My Mom
What a beauty she was. Today, would of been my Mom's 84th birthday. I loved her dearly and truly do miss her. I want this blog post to be about her life, her memory and the impact she made on this world from the time that she was born to the time she lost her life to cancer.

This is my Mom holding kittens when she was pregnant with Sandy the first of the seven children she had.

My Mom at age 36 with my sister, Ingrid
(the one lovingly looking up at her bald little sister)
and I'm the baby in this photo.
Edna Bergren with baby daughter, Margaret.
Note: she was a baldy too, like me.
My Grandma looks so chic in this photo.
Mom was a darling little blond toehead with blue eyes. Isn't she a cutie! Her Swedish heritage surely shows through at this young age. My Mom was an only child for the 1st seven years of her life, and than along came her only sibling, her little brother, Vernon. My Mom loved to sing and her favorite thing to do was to go to Shirley Temple movies for .05. My sister, Sandy told me that my Mom admired Shirley Temple so much that my Mom would take a navy bean and put it in her cheek, pinch it together, and than tape it at night, so that she could one day have dimples like Shirley. How cute is that? My Mom also loved to dance with her singing and as an only child she had to go with her parents to the bowling alley and would stand on the counter and perform for all of the adults. That would of been fun to see.
This photo is great, as it includes my Great Grandma Kump, my Mom as a teenager and her little brother, Vernon. Note the gorgeous vintage flower basket and lovely flowers. Both my Great Grandma and all of her daughters were lovers of flowers. I think my three sisters and myself have inherited that love of flower gardening from the Kump lineage.

My favorite photo of my Mom!

She was a wonderful woman, if only I could be more like her. She was soft spoken but very friendly, she was as honest as the day is long, she never said anything bad about anyone, and she was always thoughtful.

Photos of my Mom and Dad during their time of dating.

January 19, 1946
Margaret Catherine Bergren weds Ralph Linne' Johnson

Wedding Photos 1946
They were married in a blizzard!

My parents were married for 50 years! That is incredible.

The photo below shows my parents love-

Photos of Mom and Dad and their seven children. My Mom gave birth to seven kids, three boys and four girls in a 12 year time span. She was pretty much barefoot and pregnant.
My Mom was a homemaker and with seven kids in toe, she was kept quite busy. My parents had the first three kids in four years. There were two girls at the top, three boys in the middle, and two more girls at the bottom. My Dad always says, the girls at the top and again at the bottom were so that they would have built in dishwashers and never needed to buy a dishwasher. That was sure true.
My Mom was really quite the hostess in her 50 years of marriage. They bought the "home place-farm" that my Dad grew up on and with that came all of the relatives and company over the years. Our family was always the gathering place, so I have fond memories of many extended family gatherings.

In 1991, my Mom was finally diagnosed that December with a non-curable cancer, Multiple Myeloma. She was a survivor and fought many times to keep going over the years that she was sick. She was a very Godly woman, had a beautiful voice and used it to glorify God through being in the choir at church, singing for many local funerals and many weddings down through the years. My Mom was the sweetest woman I've known, and never had anything bad to say about anyone.

The above photos are some photos showing the seven children with their children.

This is a 3 Generation photo with my parents, myself and Emily as a baby. My Mom was very sick during my pregnancy as well as the entire time after Emily was born, but she would always get excited to share the joy Emily's birth gave to me regardless of how she was feeling. Here she is shown wheelchair bound, with oxygen, as well as other difficulties. My Mom lost her battle to cancer when Emily was just 8 1/2 mos. old. I know she's in Heaven and has a new healthy body and one day I will see her again, so on days like this when I'm feeling blue, I will put my trust in seeing her once again. I love you Mom!

Emily Victoria Schaumann
This photo was taken just after Mom passed away.
The day before Mom died Emily learned to give kisses, and
gave my Mom lots of kisses. She passed the next morning.
Thanks Mom for giving me life and being the wonderful person that you were.
You were my best friend, as well as my Mom.
Love you always-


  1. What a beautiful tribute to your mom, Gretchen. I enjoyed reading all about her and am in awe how she raised seven children. What a woman! Thank you for sharing her story.

  2. Beautiful Gretchen. No words can express how moved I am reading about your mother's life (I have tears running down my cheeks). The supportive and encouraging friend you have been to me and so many others is a tribute to your mother as well.

  3. Hi Gretchen. It is so nice to meet you! I found you thru Junk Market. Love your blog and love the pics of your Mom. She was beautiful. Thanks for sharing your story. I would also like to say thanks for the beautiful pic of the vintage little girl, she is darling. Love the card you made.

  4. Gretchen, this is wonderfully touching! I love all the photos!!! And the kisses! So special that they could connect in that way!

  5. Thank you so for sharing such wonderful memories, and the pictures show the strong bond and love your family has. I've learned (and you already know)the deep meaning of the word "cherish", as I lost my parents almost two years ago. Your tribute made me think of my parents and warmed my heart. Thank you.

  6. This was so wonderful and very touching! It sounds like your mother was a lovely person - I would have liked to have known her.

    Eileen http://ruralwisconsin.blogspot.com/

  7. Very heartwarming! I too, am one of seven with three brothers and three sisters. Unfortunately my 76 yr. old mother, the heart of our family, has Alzheimers Disease. Yet heartbreaking, it makes us realize we have so much to live for. Things can always be worse. Thanks for sharing your mom with us! Andrea

  8. Hey there Gretchen:

    I really enjoyed reading about the family and the pictures.Ralphie was a good looking young man and you look a lot like your mother. I can see where the boys get their looks now! I didn't realize the family was so big!!!! We have several pics of our family as well and boy are there a bunch of us. Mom was the oldest of 10 so you add those plus their spouse and the children, makes for a great party.

    See You soon.


  9. Thanks everyone for taking the time to read my blog and tribute to my Mom. I appreciate you following my ups and downs, as well as the junking journeys and jewelry design. Your support means so much.
    Friday was a hard day, but my week-end at the cabin was great, and I'm back to being cheerful.
    : ) Maybe, I just needed to do this tribute for therapy.

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