I have written about my mother, my grandmother, and my aunts. They played a big part in my life story, of course. But there is another beloved mother that was just as important to me.
Mildred Lorraine Smith was born in
Mildred’s father, Murray, was a Methodist minister. He also was licensed to teach in
Mildred Smith Hicks and her oldest son Don Earl Hicks
Mildred came into my life in 1958 when she married my father, Leon Fremont Richards. She and Daddy met while working in the Safeway Grocery Store in Stephenville, only ten miles from Mildred’s home (the one her father built) in Lingleville. They married January 25, 1958, in Desdemona,
David, Peggy, Sue, Judy, Leon
Mildred in the middle holding Ann's hand
I was the second from the oldest of six kids – Daddy’s three girls and Mildred’s two boys and one girl. Our step-sister told me and my sisters years later that she was so excited when she heard Daddy and Mildred were getting married. She said she will never forget it. Sitting at the dining room table (the one my middle sister now has in her home) Mildred and Daddy told her and her two brothers that they were marrying and that they would be getting three sisters. She said she was ecstatic, “Now I’ll have sisters!”
Although I always called Mildred by her first name instead of Mom or Mother, I never felt she was anything but a mother to me. She had the kindest spirit and was such a gentle person. She and Daddy matched one another perfectly. Mildred had a hearing problem that worsened with age, of course, but she had had it since childhood and she always had trouble with her balance. I can close my eyes now and visualize my reaching out to touch her arm when I sensed she needed help.
She worked hard for her family, and she and Daddy were able to keep her father’s homeplace going, raising vegetables and fruits and pecans, keeping
Mildred lived long past Daddy. She was a widow for sixteen years and seemed to always miss him. Those sixteen years were filled with work and friends. She loved to quilt and was known to have the best looking quilting stitches of any in the area. Everyone loved to look at her quilts. She continued to have a garden during the years after Daddy’s death and it was a pretty large undertaking for several years. Only during the last few years of her life did the garden spot shrink.
She developed Alzheimer’s disease. It was so hard to see her change and lose her memories of who we were and even where she was. But it was her childlike answers to our questions that I now remember during those months of decline. She broke my heart one day when a light suddenly went off in her mind and she looked at me and said, “You mean, you are MY Judy?”
Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren all loved her as well as her nieces and nephews. She was a devout woman and a member of the
Carnival of Genealogy: 72nd Edition
The topic for the 72nd edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is: Mothers!
Mother’s Day is right around the corner and this is the perfect time to honor your mother, grandmother, godmother, step mother, den mother, aunt, neighbor, or friend who happens to be a mother. If you’ve written about your own mother for the COG before, consider writing about another mom on your family tree.
Let’s make all our moms famous! The deadline for submissions is May 15th and next edition will be hosted at Creative Gene.