This post is dedicated to my daughter
Here’s to Good Women – Mother’s Day 2022 in the month of May we celebrate mothers. There are many different kinds of mothers today but they all play a major part in our lives. Some lead by example, some guide us by the seat of their pants but everyone gives us lessons to learn. I have told people many times, “I did not get the video on how to raise a child” in my bag when I left the hospital with my sweet babies.
In my case, when it came my time to become a mother my mother was five hundred miles away from me in another state. We shared many conversations on what to expect when having a child but for each of us it is completely our own experience. My first child was a boy, and he was a big baby weighing in at 8 1/2 pounds. I was in labor for twenty-four hours, but when they put this child in my arms it was the best feeling in the world.
I was a scared, anxious twenty-five-year-old mother taking care of my first child. At one month of age, he had his first doctor’s visit. I was not prepared for what I was going to hear from his doctor, he had a tumor the size of a softball in his abdomen. Surgery was needed to remove it and repair the damage to other organs. His doctor was excellent with him and me. I found myself sitting in a waiting room of a hospital counting every minute until the doctor came in to tell me the surgery had gone as planned.
He was a tough little guy and had some other surgeries ahead of him but we would do it together whatever came along. We had reached that point where we could breathe a little easier and just enjoy our time with him. I saw all the “firsts” with him, he was such a happy little boy.
He had a cold in April 1975, so I took him to his pediatrician for a check-up and some medication to relieve his symptoms. We came home and I put him down for a nap. I fixed dinner and was getting ready to put it on the table, he was not awake yet. So, I went into his room and found my child not breathing. I carried him to the living room where my husband did CPR while I called for an ambulance. He went to the hospital, but they could not revive him. Later we learned that he died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, which I had not heard of before this time.
I was now a twenty-six-year-old mother planning a funeral. I was numb, I was in a fog, was this real, or did I dream this nightmare. I remember making the phone call to my mother about his death and the scream at the other end of the phone still haunts me to this day. I went on to have a baby girl in 1976, she became the love of my life. She grew up to be everything I could ever hope for in my lifetime. She now has four children of her own, two of the four are twin girls. I learned from those early years to take every day as a gift and to be grateful for everything.
I also learned since doing family genealogy that my story was not the only story of mothers I am related to that had been strong figures in their families. I am honoring a few here in this blog post.
Nancy Baugh Cox is my second great-grandmother, she was born in North Carolina and married my second great-grandfather Ralph Henry C Cox in 1846. She gave birth to nine children: Sarah Elizabeth, Thomas Henry, Sophia Jane, Jesse, Mary Ellen, James William, Ralph Henry, Jr., Annie Perlina, and Nancy Katherine Cox (my great-grandmother). She took care of her children’s children and outlived all of her family. She lived most of her life in Missouri. She was ninety-two years old when she died. She lived and is buried in Galena, Cherokee, Kansas.
Kate Anna Smith is my great-grandmother, she was born in Knox County, Illinois, and married my great-grandfather George Edward Pultz. She gave birth to thirteen children: George Alvah, Frank, Ina Grace, Carrie Rosalie, Rubie Jemima (my grandmother), Edward Glenn, James Harold, Waunita Susan, Edna Blanche, Lloyd Wilson, Willard Zee, Kenneth Leo, and Wilma Jean Pultz. George and Alvah traveled by wagon to Kansas to find land to settle in Riley County, Kansas. Kate and the rest of the children came after they found a house to live in which was just a basement at the time. Shortly after arriving in Kansas Alvah, her firstborn died of pneumonia in 1900, and Frank died as a baby in 1884. Anna died in 1947 in Riley County, Kansas she was eighty-two years old. They became early settlers in Riley County and had many friends. They were known for helping out their fellow man or woman and passed that on to their children.
Nellie Opal Sells Brumley is my grandmother, she was born in 1900 in Farmington, Van Buren, Iowa. She married John Leo Brumley (my grandfather) in 1920. Her story was a “love at first sight” story when she saw my grandfather at a church tent rival meeting in Springfield, Greene, Missouri. She gave birth to six children: Nancy Gertrude (my mother), Leo Issac, John Jr., Gerald Raymond, Baby Brumley (1935-1935, and Shirley Ann Brumley. She gave birth to her children at home. I got to spend one summer with them in Kansas City, Wyandotte, Kansas. They had a rock house traditional in KCK. It had a big porch and a swing and we would swing on that swing for hours just talking about life. I was only ten years old at the time but I have never forgotten how much I enjoyed that summer with her and how she would be so joyful. She died in 1965 and is buried in KCK.
Rubie Jemima Pultz Weik is my grandmother and she was born in Woodburn, Clarke, Iowa. She married my grandfather Otto Richard Weik in Kansas in 1908 and she gave birth to seven children: Leo John, Edward Hugh, Don Charles, Lola Mae, Elsie Elizabeth, Ina Marie, and Merle Otto Weik. Rubie and Otto were farmers like most of their other relatives in the day. Otto one day in 1926 was doing something with one of his horses and the horse kicked him. He never recovered from his injuries, he was only forty-one years old. Rubie was left to raise seven children by herself, she never remarried. My father was only three years old at the time of Otto’s death. She carried on with the farm chores with help from neighbors and her children.
Nancy Gertrude Brumley Weik is my mother, she was born in 1920 in Kansas City, Wyandotte, Kansas. She married my father, Merle Otto Weik in 1946. She came from a poor family, her father was a carpenter that took odd jobs whenever he could find one. She lived through the Great Depression during the 1930s. Her father stood in the bread lines in Kansas City, Kansas for food to give to the family. She told me many times during my youth that if I had to go through another Great Depression I would probably not make it. She was pregnant in 1946 and gave birth to a son in September of that year. He would only live a few hours the doctor told her. He was a “Blue Baby” and there was nothing that could be done at that time. She was devasted. She went on to have me in 1950 and then my two brothers. Her life was not easy but she made the best of it because she had to take care of her family.
I have some courageous women in my family, who went through a lot but it never stopped them from raising their children, helping others when called on and who were not afraid to share their experiences. Many times in family genealogy we find that the women in families once they are married lose their identity. I love to discover in my research that many of them used their surname as a middle name of a child. I am grateful for each one’s DNA. They have made me who I am today and I am their voice for future generations. It is why I do what I do in preserving family genealogy.
Here’s to Good Women
May We Know Them
May We Be Them
May We Raise Them
Amen to That!
Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and thank you for reading this blog post.