Thursday, May 11, 2017

Honoring All Mothers on Mother's Day

Mother's day is fast approaching. A day set aside to celebrate all the wonderful things mother's do for us. A day that is supposed to be full of joy and happiness. And for most mothers, it is. But for some mothers, this day brings sadness and pain. It is a reminder of the children they have lost. For most of us Mothers we will receive hand drawn cards, mud pies, handpicked flowers, homemade crafts and many other wonderful things that come from the minds of our precious children. We will save these little treasures because they are from the hearts of our children. For some mothers, they will not receive these gifts. Their children may have went to heaven before they even had a chance to take their first breath. Some children were able to spend a few years here on earth and in the arms of those mothers, but are no longer here. No matter what the circumstance, there is a saying that a parent should not have to bury their children. It is the worst pain that can be felt. I have never gone through this, but the pain I feel when I lose someone I love is excruciating. I can not imagine going through that kind of pain. Some mothers have been blessed enough to have more children, but that does not take away the pain of missing those children who will not grow up with their siblings. So this blog post is honoring those mothers who have loved and lost.

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.

Maggie Fuchs
Ruth WheelerRuth Wheeler
Millie RickardsMillie Rickards
Pearl SwopePearl Swope
Honey IlgHoney Ilg
Pauline Ilg
Lilly RickardsLilly Rickards
Sadie McGrewSadie McGrew
Mary Alice SwopeMary Alice Swope
Lizzie DamesworthLizzie Damesworth
Ann FuchsAnn Fuchs
Louise StrawhunLouise Strawhun
Maggie HelfrichMaggie Helfrich
Nellie FuchsNellie Fuchs
Mary HilkeMary Hilke
Sarah RickardsSarah Rickards
Mary KendellMary Kendall
Amelia JonesAmelia Jones
Grace RickardsGrace Rickards
Mary Elizabeth WheelerMary Elizabeth Wheeler