OPINION COLUMNS

Looking back at 2015: Inspiring ‘mom’; Sister pushes siblings to their best

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, December 26, 2015
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Proud Mother

PROUD MOTHER – Scarlet Sears (center) raised her siblings, Saffron and Sequoia, and now is starting over with son Stryker. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Last spring at a track meet in Jacksboro, I went to interview Sequoia Smith after competing in the shot put.

Before reaching Smith, he started playing with his nephew, Stryker, and talking to his older sister, Scarlet Sears. Eavesdropping like a good reporter, I heard Scarlet congratulate her kid brother, but then in a motherlike manner she started giving directions and asking questions.

Richard Greene

Richard Greene

It stood out to me, but I didn’t think much about it until later when talking with Smith about advancing to area and the interaction came up in conversation.

That’s when I learned that Scarlet was much more than just a caring sister. Along with her husband Courtland, she’d raised her brother 11 years her junior, along with sister Saffron who is nine years younger.

As graduation neared, I learned that Sequoia had finished No. 3 in his class. It was quite an impressive feat, considering Smith’s busy schedule that included football, basketball, track, one-act plays and FFA.

The week of graduation I got a chance to sit down with the three siblings – Scarlet, Sequoia and Saffron, who had come home from school in Hawaii to see her brother walk across the stage.

Not long into the interview, they told the heartbreaking tale of how their mother, Margaret Smith, had allegedly hired James Laughery to murder their father, George Smith, in 2007. Laughery was convicted of the murder. Before Margaret Smith could be tried, she fled and has been missing since August 2009.

On Mother’s Day in 2006, Saffron and Sequoia came to visit Scarlet and Courtland Sears in Boyd and never left.

The Sears became the legal guardians of Saffron and Sequoia and raised them as their own children instead of siblings.

The Smiths enrolled in Boyd schools in 2007 and became ingrained in the community. They credit the community of Boyd in helping to raise them.

At each of their events, Scarlet could be found providing support and encouragement.

Excuses about circumstances were never made. Instead, with Scarlet pushing them, Saffron and Sequoia excelled.

Sequoia walked across the stage with the most cords in the class, a fact that delighted Scarlet.

Today she’s even more proud of her oldest two kids. While playing football at Oklahoma Panhandle State this fall, Sequoia compiled a 4.0. Saffron also had a successful semester.

“I’m proud of the kids and what they’ve done,” Scarlet said. “It’s all them. They just truly are genuinely great kids.”

But behind them they had the perfect balance of mother and sister to guide them.

“She’s been a sister when I wanted a mother and pulled the mother card when I wanted a sister,” Sequoia joked last June.

They prove anything is possible with love and a little pushing.

I look forward to hopefully covering Stryker one day.

Richard Greene is sports editor of the Messenger.

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