Memories of Grandpa & Grandma  

Jackie Stradling Wilkes

One summer while Grandma Richey was staying with my folks in Farmington, N.Mex. she requested that I type her journal for her because she was afraid people would not be able to read it, because it was written with such a shaky hand. That would have been the summer of 1960, because I was pregnant with my second child Scott at the time. I often had wondered what had happened to that manuscript, because that was in the days before copy machines. She would translate any words for me that were hard to read and thusly completed the typed version that summer. I remember some of the stories she told and expanded on as I typed them. I was so inspired and impressed with her wonderful outlook on life in spite of her horrific trials she endured.

Grandmother told me that summer complaint was a terrible and dreaded visitor in the summer to their young babies. It was diarrea, which was very deadly in those days. She said the twins got it one summer and the only thing she could get them to eat was bread sopped in milk, as she put it. She said the babies would get where they wouldn't eat. The twins, of course, survived and she said it was due to them liking the bread in the milk.

I remember while she stayed in my parent's home, she would keep us all busy hunting things for her to darn, because she wanted to keep busy and useful. My mother would find socks or other mending to keep her busy. She put some pretty little baby quilts together with her beautiful stitching that is almost a lost art today.

She was very frail when she came to stay with my parents, but never complained. She was very sweet natured and always smiling. Although, she would come in for a small meal quite often, because she said her stomach would start hurting, and avoided that by not letting her stomach get very empty. She would be happy with a nice piece of homemade bread and butter and slice of tomato, with a glass of milk. She never could eat very much at a time. She ate meals with the family as well, but needed in between snacks quite often. She said she understood why babies cried when they were hungry if their tummies hurt like hers.

Jackie, Helen, Wayne, Sally, Mary Beth,
brother, baby, Grandma, baby, brother

She told me that she always prayed to the Lord to please spare her life long enough to raise her children, so they wouldn't have to go through what she and Lizzie had to. She said that he did spare her life through several very serious illnesses. She said she was very grateful that the Lord allowed her to live to raise her children and didn't know why he had left her here to live such a long life in frail health, but she "daresn't complain." (How she put it.)

She was a joy to have around and an inspiration to me all my life. I have thought I could endure anything that came my way, because she did, and daresn't complain either because of my many blessings, in spite of my own trials in life. I dearly loved her.