I Will Speak Your Name At The Crossroads And Remember It

Posted: 07/26/2012 by erichblayde in Family, Life Lessons, Strength
Tags: , ,

Petrea Oitile Eide (Wirgenes)

As you can see the woman in the photograph sits barely higher than a regular kitchen table. She is old here, nearing the end of her 29, 930 days on this earth. And yet when this picture was taken she had just returned from doing what she had done every day for the better part of her life, milking cows, making cheese, cooking her husband dinner and making his after supper tea.

To her, hard work, little sleep and endless worry were no strangers, they were old friends. She grew up the daughter of a cow farmer in a little county in Norway and when the time came she married another cow farmer and took up residence with him. Over the years she raised 10 children who in turn brought her 25 grandchildren who went on to spawn approximately 30 great grandchildren and (to-date) 16 great-great-grandchildren.

Now the first great-great-great-grandchildren have begun to appear. Unfortunately the world they have been brought into is one of technology, instant gratification, and very few cows. The old stories of the once legendary woman who raised 10 children while caring for her husband, and making the cheese that was the family livelyhood are no longer told.

No one remembers the tiny woman known throughout the town of Lardal Norway not only for her cheese but for her innate kindness to all she met – even under the worst circumstances.

She never asked for anything, never refused a request, just kept doing what she had to, do day in and day out, without complaint. Through two world wars, a famine, the great depression, and many other events nothing had the power to hold back the little woman from Lardal from doing her job as a wife and mother.

During the second world war her youngest son returned from an Antarctic whaling trip with a large bag of sugar , a gift that thrilled his mother to no end, as things like sugar were not available during those times. It was around this period the youngest boy took his mother on a road trip in his car to a nearby city. It was the first time in her life she had been more than 50 miles from her little village home and that trip was (as far as we know) the farthest she ever went.

This was not a woman who led a gloried life. In fact no one outside of Lardal even knew her name, and now, a mere 49 years after her death, not even her own descendants know her name. She did nothing fame worthy by modern standards, nothing to gain notoriety. But, there was one moment, one shining pearl of wisdom that slipped through her lips at the very last moment of her unremarkable life that makes it impossible to forget her.

Her name was Petrea Otile Eide and her final words were to her beloved husband Ole

“We had a good time you and I, didn’t we”


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