Living Up To Ancestry Traditions: More than DNA

Military Museum Display Reenact Amputation Surgery in Sweden

My grandmother Maja’s favorite story was telling me about assisting at the amputation of a soldier’s leg during nursing training in Sweden after WWI. Imagine my encountering a military museum surgery display in Harnasond Sweden depicting that same scene? Shock.

Maja’s rite of passage story told in detail in my book, My Maja A Grandson’s Tribute explains how at age 20,Maja called into question her Swedish culture, traditions, ancestry. “It Is is one thing, she said in childhood to hear glowing stories of ancestors and yet another to prove oneself by actions speaking, “louder than words “. “Holding that leg during surgery was a big test”, said Maja. That impressive brave grandparent story has helped Inspire and shape my life.

How goes tradition and ancestry help shape our lives?

My Mom, Maja’s eldest daughter, Delores, right under the gold star

My mother was so terribly proud of her Swedish roots. These women pictured each strive to live up to what they believe are high standards of being a Swede. The monthly meetings, sending young girls to Swedish camp connected the joy that felt for their nationality and heritage.

While I could not personally relate to my mom’s growing up in Sweden, or Grandma Maja either, they conveyed a spiritual magical affection that was contagious.

Genealogy can be reduced to DNA tests. Genealogy can link to photo of long lost relatives and working to build a family tree on paper.

Grandma Maja’s Paternal Grandparents

Both Maja and my mom told stories about how those who lived by Swedish Culture and tradition valued character. Swedish Character as they described it connects to a desire to add the legacy story of one’s life in a way that is worthy to stand with others who have lived previously and left behind stories and exemplary conduct.

Grandma Maja and my mother had a soft heart of compassion especially for persons they called, “down on their luck”. They each explained why they chose to go out of their way to offer a helping hand. They each explained how belonging to organizations like, The Linnea Aid Society, Salvation Army, Dorcas Society express a tradition that relates back to Sweden and the example of ancestry traditions.

Maja, Delores and I as a young boy participated each year collecting money for the Salvation Army

It is so fulfilling to read a newspaper tribute written on behalf of one’s great grandparent’s. Ida and August Källgren were well known in Sollefteå for sharing their wealth with kindness and support.

Published by Donnie: An Admiring Grandson

Living an inspired life modeled after my Grandma Maja, who stepped up as a Swedish immigrant widow and mom of 3, facing America’s Great Depression while demonstrating uncommon grit and valor. I am determined to share her life lessons so she is no longer forgotten. I have a book to share and the reader will preview the entire story by visiting here. You are most welcome.

4 thoughts on “Living Up To Ancestry Traditions: More than DNA

  1. Thanks for sharing. I appreciated the reference to the Salvation Army, since my parents were officers in the Central Midwest Scandinavian Division for many years. Lots of good people during those days. Elsie


    1. My grandmother suffered greatly during the Depression as a widow single mom breadwinner for four. I am not sure of her bond with the Salvation Army.


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