Through my research over the past few years, one thing I have come across quite often is children who have died young. This is the saddest information I have had to record in my tree. I know I have my problems with the medical field and sometime scoff at doctors, but I have to admit, because of their medical advances, more mothers are able to hold their children much longer than in past. A lot of children died from malnutrition and poor health. Many things that could have been prevented though modern medicine. One example is Maggie Jones Rickards. She passed away in 1866 from blood poisoning just before she turned three years old. What we know of today as lockjaw. This is treated with a tetanus shot. If we would have had this available back then, she could have lived. Sadly, she died a horrible death. Her mother had passed away not long after she was born, so her Aunt Amelia had taken on the role of mother to her. She took the death of Maggie very hard.
There are many mothers in my tree that have lost at least one child. This was a very common occurance in the 1800s to early 1900s. I do not know how these mothers survived this. Even though they knew the risks and the odds were against them, it still had to be heartbreaking. Whenever I think about this topic, there is one mother that comes into my head. Pauline Ilg. My 2x great grandmother. She was married to Frank Ilg in 1889. They would have at least nine children in their marriage. Sadly, only four made it to adulthood, then two passed away in their young 20s. The five young children passed away from either sickness or malnutritian. They were a very poor family and could not afford much. I never would have known about all these children if it wouldn't have been for the little German date book that was kept with all this information. I have never known someone to keep all that information unless this was very important to them. Some families tried to forget they lost children because of how excruciating the pain was. But Pauline kept record of each child. I can't imagine going through all that. She must have been a very strong woman.
Even though there have been a lot of breakthroughs in the medical field, there are still circumstances where babies do not make in this world. This is still a very tragic and heartbreaking event. So this Mother's Day as you are celebrating with family, sharing photos, etc., try to remember there are some mothers who won't have that opportunity. Am I saying you shouldn't celebrate and be happy? By no means. Just don't forget about those mothers as well. Maybe do something nice for them, to let them know you are thinking of them. Make this day special for them too just as your family makes it special for you.
Thank you to all the strong women in my family tree. I know life hasn't always been easy and a lot of you have been through some very hard circumstances. Thank you for your strength to go on. I hope I honor you with my research and my life. Happy Mother's day to you all.