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History of Hazel Johnson Christensen

My Mother

My mother was a very frugal woman who never wasted a thing.  She had a very good disposition, too.  I wish I was more like her.  After she died, Hattie and I were standing out in Hattie’s kitchen by the stove.  Uncle John, her youngest brother, was standing there with us.  I was saying how I always liked Grandma my mother’s mother.  She was such a sweet person.  He said, “She didn’t have the disposition your mother did.  I have seven sisters, and she had the most even disposition of any of them.”  And she did.

Mother died when my son Paul was six months old.  She was only 71.  She had chronic bronchitis.  Every winter she would cough all winter long.  They thought at first it was tuberculosis.  She went to the doctor, and he tested her and said it was bronchitis.  She’d get it just as the cold weather would start and cough all winter.  It left her with heart failure, which is an enlarged heart.  She got pneumonia and died from that. 

Hattie lived there in Preston when Mother died, and she told us that she was washing dishes at the kitchen sink under the kitchen window, and she looked out and saw Father drive up with the sleigh.  When he came in he said, “Can I bring your mother in and put her to bed?  She’s really sick.”

He carried her up those steps, and she was there about three weeks.  I was in Milford.  When she died, I went up.  I knew she was sick, and wrote and told Hattie I would come up.  She said, “No, you’d have to bring your kids and it would be too hard on her.”  But they thought they could tell me just before so I could go up then.  They didn’t have time.

Just before she died, something happened.  She went into a coma, and Hattie says Father was sitting on one side of her bed and her sister Susan was on the other side.  She was just older than Mother and they were awfully close.  They were sitting there, and all at once she opened her eyes.  I guess she’d been a day or two in the coma.  But she opened her eyes and said, “I’ve been to the prettiest place; all pastel colors.”

Then she turned to Aunt Susie and said, “Susie, quit worrying about Earl.  He’s just as happy as can be.”  That was Aunt Susie’s married son that was killed.  She said, “I saw Tracy,” [Suel and Phoebe Lamb’s daughter that died in 1924] and she mentioned half a dozen of our dead relatives that she’d seen.  Then she shut her eyes and died.

Father always said, “I’m satisfied that she had a glimpse of the other side before she died.” 

I felt bad I couldn’t be there before she died.  I went to the funeral.  I took Carl and Paul with me.  The president of the Primary kept the other three.  I got to Salt Lake and met my brother-in-law Harrison; of course Edna was up there in Preston already.  Paul cried all the way from Logan.  I fed him, nursed him, but nothing helped.  When we got there he just screamed when he would see people.  I had to sit in the bedroom with him a lot of the time.  He was six months old.  Carl was three, almost four, and he was so good.  If he hadn’t been good I don’t know what I would have done.