Dear family: Good morning! When going through some of mother's things, I found this carbon copy of my father's story about his mother, Annie Eliza Keele, which dad wrote back in 1960, and as I read it, I cried, because I didn't remember reading it before, and because it told me so much about my wonderful great-grandmother, and about dad as well, because I always thought of him as being tough, and never shedding a tear, and even as I typed it this morning from a faded carbon copy, I found my cheeks flooded with tears again. I want to share this with you today. Have a wonderful day, and know that we love you. Your friend and brother. Jim
MOTHER'S HISTORY BY JAMES H. LEE 1960
I have many times made the request of my sisters to take time to ponder and write some of the things that they remember about our precious Mother. So, at this time, I, Jim Lee, am going to put down on paper some of the things that I remember about her.
She was the mother of 14 children of which 9 were girls and 5 were boys. She was a very attractive woman with big brown eyes and beautiful teeth and a generous crown of auburn colored hair. She had always had beautiful roses in her cheeks and her eyes sparkled when she laughed.
I remember when we worked in the fields, beet fields, mother would always come with something tasty for us at about 10 A.M. and 4 P.M. She was always concerned about her men, also about her girls.
Although she was the mother to and had 14 children, she was never old. Many times she would go to the dances with her girls and it was hard for her to make people believe that she was their mother and not their sister.
Truly, the saying that "there is no love like a mother's love" was true about her. For every heartache one of her children had, was also her heartache.
I remember when I lost my . The whole world seemed to have fallen from under me. I moped around for three or four days and just keeping to myself. Her heart ached for me. One night when I went to bed, she quietly came into my room and slipped in by my side. She took me into her precious arms and I cried out my sorrow on her shoulder. It sure relieved me for I felt much better the next morning.
She taught each of us how to cook and prepare a good meal, boys and girls alike, so that when the time came that we had to cook, we wouldn't be lost.
She was a practical nurse and a good one. Three different times she brought me back from death's door with her love and care. Then when death called her and none of us were able to do for her what she, so many times had done for us, it almost broke my heart.
Then there were my heartaches during her long illness, which was caused by a miscarriage, blood clots stopped the circulation from her legs and so her legs and feet died first, which caused her such pain that she had to be under shots almost constantly, she couldn't stand for anyone to help her change her position but me. She thought that I alone could and was able to help without hurting her. I spent many hours and days alone with her watching her die from the feet up. Her skin on her feet became transparent so that I could see the bones as if it were just plastic covering the bones. Then her legs went this same way. Finally gangreen and blood poisoning brought her relief. Many times I had and did cry unto the Lord to take me instead of her. Little realizing that such a puny offering could not pay for such a priceless gem. We got hold of four different Doctors but none were able to cure her and to remove the clots from her legs. Then in desparation we called Dr. Green from Parowan, Utah to come. Mother had worked for him as his nurse during the terrible flu epidemic of 1918. He called her his "Old Life Saver," for when a patient was that bad that he could do no more for them, he would turn them over to Mother and she would bring them through almost without exception. When Dad called Dr. Green and told him what had happened to Mother, he dropped everything and came to Delta. We were all present when he came. Also there were two other Doctors. When he came to her bedside, he knelt down and put his arms under her head and wept bitterly for his "Old Life Saver". He sobbed out, "Oh, no, this can't happen to my "Old Life Saver." Then he examined her and tried to force the blood through the veins by massaging, but to no avail. All the while knowing that there was no hope. And all the while there were tears of grief falling onto his hands. Our hearts went out to this wonderful Doctor for he was a great man and a wonderful Doctor. But despite all our efforts, the Lord took her home and left such a deep and empty spot in our hearts. Many times in the fields, cultivating beets, tears of memory have fallen down my face as I remembered how precious she was and I could feel her presence near as if she were trying to comfort me as she had done many times before.
Remembering back to the time when our oldest boy was killed, I had been helping them clear some ground on a new project. I had my tractor on my truck and was returning home late in the afternoon. We stopped at a farmer's house to see about buying a cow to take out to Blaine's place. After making the arrangements to get the cow, we returned to the truck, to find a flat tire on the back.
It being almost dark, we hurriedly took off the tire and took it to a garage, and had it fixed. Blaine called his wife to come, and they would go home from there. While we were hurriedly putting on the tire, a pick-up truck driven by a boy and accompanied by his father came along the highway and seeing us in a crouched position, thought that someone was hurt. He applied his brakes to stop. The left wheel's brake, grabbed ad swung his pick-up around and into us knocking us under the truck. Blaine's head struck a bolt and knocked a hole in his head, just above his eyebrow. Me being badly hurt, my chest caved in and my lower gum almost severed, I saw his quivering body lying on the ground and felt that at that moment, I would never see him alive again. Another car came along and took him to the hospital along with me.
He never regained consciousness. He lay between life and death for three days. About 2 AM on the 3rd day I way lying on my bed in the hospital feeling miserable, when I felt the presence of my Mother, as I had often felt before. I turned as if to see her, but I couldn't, but knew that she was there. I knew, in my heart, that she had come for my son.
When the Bishop came the next morning, he said, "It's all over." I said, "I know. For my Mother came for him."
By James Horald Lee