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Every day can be Mother’s Day

As another Mother’s Day rolls around again on the calendar, Linda Radford, 69, of Bismarck is an awfully proud mom.

Her daughter, Cassondra Galbreath, has almost completed her doctorate; her oldest son, Aaron, is a former city alderman and serves on the school board; and her youngest son, Seth, is a firefighter, trained EMT — oh, and the town’s mayor.

And then there were the exchange students — but we’re getting way ahead of ourselves now.

Born Linda Tiefenauer, she explained that for the most part she was raised by her grandmother at the foot of Buford Mountain.

“I stayed with her a lot,” she said, sitting in the living room of her Bismarck home. “Then my parents — we lived at Caledonia for my first nine years and then we moved over here to Bismarck in 1956, I believe. So, I’ve been here ever since!”

She met her husband, Roger — who serves as Bismarck’s animal control officer — through her cousin who told her, “I want you to meet the cutest guy I’ve ever seen.”

“I said, ‘I really don’t want to,’ but she said, ‘No, come on and go.’ It was like 10 o’clock at night and I had my hair in soup can rollers. I took my hair down and went out and met Roger. We’ve been together 51 years as of May 12 — the day before Mother’s Day is celebrated this year.”

According to Radford, the family has welcomed 10 exchange students into their home through the years.

“So, we feel that we have sons in Germany and Denmark,” she said. “We did that while the boys were growing up. We did area rep for them and took care of the other exchange students. I feel like a mom to a lot of boys!”

When asked what she found to be the biggest difficulty in raising kids, Radford said, “You know, I can not tell you anything difficult. I loved my children from the get-go and at the time they were raised — it was all in the ’70s, ’80s and early ’90s — I enjoyed every minute of it. I did not have any time that I did not enjoy them. They’ve been very good kids.”

It was a little bit easier to get Radford to come up with some reasons why she has enjoyed being a mom.

“Just being best friends with them and learning through their experiences,” she said. “Seeing through their eyes. We actually learn so much from our children, we really have. Some of the joys have always been playing with them. I was a young mom, so I played with the kids when they were little.

“Seth excelled in band — and we loved music and the band. Cassondra loved dramas and plays; and Aaron loved everything! He liked student council and all kinds of things, so we’ve just really learned and lived right along with them. Everything was a joy. I can’t ever say that I’ve regretted being a mom.”

Now, when it comes to what advice she’d offer a mom getting ready to have her first child, Radford said, “I think that you have to remember that they are their own person. You just can’t push things off on them that they don’t like to do.

“Just enjoy every minute of it, especially when they’re smaller and as they grow — in high school. Just be friends with them. I mean, you have to be the disciplinarian also, but that just kind of falls into place. If you’re good friends and they love you and respect you — and you respect them — it will all work out.

“We’ve always prayed over our children. We’ve always had God in our lives. We’ve always taken them to church and Sunday school and we’ve tried to live our lives in their eyes. Most of all I would say to young moms, to pray over those children and watch over them. Remember that they are on loan to you from the Lord.”

This year, Radford and her family will celebrate Mother’s Day just like they always have through the years — together.

“Most of the time the kids come over here,” she said. “The sons will cook … well, Aaron’s not a very good cook, but Seth is. I have two grandchildren, Cassondra has two boys, and so they come over and we relax and have a good time all day at home just like we’ve always done. We love home.”

“Most of all I would say to young moms, to pray over those children and watch over them.” Linda Radford, mother

Linda Radford will be celebrating another Mother's Day this weekend with her kids, from left, Aaron, Seth and Cassondra (Galbreath). She said there's nothing the family enjoys more than gathering together at home on that special day.

Linda Radford will be celebrating another Mother’s Day this weekend with her kids, from left, Aaron, Seth and Cassondra (Galbreath). She said there’s nothing the family enjoys more than gathering together at home on that special day.

The Radfords are a close family that tends to do most things together. Here, Linda, Roger, Seth and Aaron take part in a ribbon cutting held at Linda's store, Radford's Whisper of Home, in downtown Bismarck.

The Radfords are a close family that tends to do most things together. Here, Linda, Roger, Seth and Aaron take part in a ribbon cutting held at Linda’s store, Radford’s Whisper of Home, in downtown Bismarck.

Linda Radford will be celebrating another Mother's Day this weekend with her kids, from left, Aaron, Seth and Cassondra (Galbreath). She said there's nothing the family enjoys more than gathering together at home on that special day.

Linda Radford will be celebrating another Mother’s Day this weekend with her kids, from left, Aaron, Seth and Cassondra (Galbreath). She said there’s nothing the family enjoys more than gathering together at home on that special day.

Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or kjenkins@dailyjournalonline.com

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