Friday, March 13, 2015

Norma Lindborg Berg, 1916-2015

Norma Lindborg
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Norma Lindborg Berg.

The songbird of Ainsworth has flown.

Or maybe that is not a good metaphor — it's true that Norma loved to sing, and retained her sweet soprano even into her nineties; but "songbird" suggests something flighty and elusive, and that wasn't Norma. She was reliable. She was a worker.

Norma Lindborg Berg was one of the first people I talked to when I started my historical research. She was 93 when I met her. I was a stranger asking for her help; she received me graciously, and spent many hours talking with me about her family, her neighbors, and her long life in Ainsworth. In the process, we became friends.

I admired her. She was intelligent and strong-willed, but with a sense of humor; she was kind, conscientious, and tactful, and cheerful in spite of the difficulties of old age and the troubles she had gone through in her life.

But what I think of most when I think of her is this: sometimes, when we went outdoors, whether to work in the yard or to go grocery shopping, she would stop and look up at the sky — and that cost her some effort, as her spine was bent from osteoporosis, and her eyesight was dimming — she would look up and say, in a voice full of wonder, "What beautiful clouds!" Later, lying in her bed at a nursing home, she would gaze out the window, up to the blue sky and those beautiful clouds. At the age of 93, 95, 97, she was still amazed by the everyday beauty of the world — that really struck me, and stays with me.

Now the songbird has flown, or the worker has left the vineyard, but always, when I look up to the sky and think how beautiful the clouds are, I will remember Norma.


Janice said...

What a nice tribute.

Rachel said...

Beautifully written. She sounded like a great lady.

LLoyd Puchek said...

Yes I agree, her facial features looks like her dad Gus.A beautiful tribute.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to talk with my Great Aunt Norma and document our family history. It was finally nice to meet you today at her service.

Colette Lindborg Williams

Ainsworthiana said...

Colette, it was nice meeting you, too, after hearing so much about you over the years! It was a great privilege to know Norma; I just wish I had met her sooner.

LLoyd Puchek said...

I will remember Norma in the exact same way. Personally, I would have given anything in life to meet a family such as the one Norma came from.

Anonymous said...

That's my Mother. She'll always be my first and best Girl!