As I look back upon my life, I have often thought, why am I the person I am today? Who is it that helped shaped my life and taught me to be a responsible individual? I firmly believe that those who are most responsible are my parents and the examples they set for me during my formative years. The lessons I learned early in life have stayed with me throughout my lifetime.
When I look back to my early youth, I give my father some of the credit for the small successes I have enjoyed during my life. He taught each of his children how to work and to be honest with ourselves and others. In all the years that I knew him, I never heard him say an unkind word about others. He loved to work, but when the work was done, he liked to have fun and enjoy life.
When he was a young man twenty years of age living in Norway, his father died. Dad at that time was the oldest child living at home, and the family was dependant upon him for support. At that time the Norwegian authorities wanted to take Dadís younger brothers and sisters and place them in foster homes. Dad would have no part of this and told the authorities that he would take care of the family and see to their welfare. This he did until they were old enough to be on their own.
Dad had the ability to solve problems. He faced many during his life, and he always managed to find a solution to them. The one experience which stands out in my mind is the time in Lava Side when the cows swam out to the island in the Snake River. You read about this incident in a previous chapter. To solve it he built a boat, and he had the confidence when it was finished that it would float and do the job. This experience taught me: If you have a problem, look it straight in the face, a solution will come, and then have the confidence to see it through.
My mother was always a hard worker, with a sunny disposition. She was always willing to go out of her way to help others. She contributed greatly to the achievements in life of each of her children. She was always willing to take a chance to make each of us happy. I think about the days after the death of Father and of the hardships and heartaches she suffered through. She never gave up on life, and she worked very hard to make a life for herself and her family. She too loved fun and enjoyed life and was a great influence on my life for good.
I will always be thankful for my heritage and will be forever grateful and indebted to my parents and untold others who have given me the chance to accomplish the things I have in life.
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