We all leave trails in life, and I think that my mother, who died thirty years ago, would have been very pleased with ways two of her grandchildren have chosen to honor her.
Ruby Florine Sreaves (a.k.a. Mom) was born in rural Newton County, Missouri, ninety-five years ago today. She was always proud of the fact that she shared a birthday with advice columnists (and twin sisters) Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren - and I, a history major, was pleased as well to know that my mother was born on "Bastille Day."
Mom died young, the result of a lifetime of heavy smoking, but during the time she was with us she accomplished a lot. Mom always worked, sometimes in various family businesses, and sometimes on the payroll of others. She obtained a cosmetology license while in her forties and spent several years working as a "beauty operator." She also took up painting late in life and left many paintings of nature scenes, most of which have been distributed among her grandchildren. He other craft skills included sewing and crocheting.
I have written about my mother in this space before, and anyone interested in the family history is invited to look back at the post I wrote (while living on Okinawa) five years ago today.
My intention with this current post is to focus on ways that two of Mom's grandchildren have chosen to honor her memory. My niece, Heidi Smith Pfetcher, named her youngest daughter "Ruby." When Heidi gave her baby that name, my Dad said to me, "Your mom would have been so proud." And yes, she would have been!
Last summer a movie was filmed here in West Plains. The feature-length motion picture was written by my son, Tim, and directed by Ramaa Mosley. Tim and Ramaa had worked together previously on "The Brass Teapot," a film which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2012 and has since played in theatres and was featured on Showtime and Netflix (where it can still be found).
The movie that was filmed here in West Plains is called "Tatterdemalion," and features some young professional talent as well as a few local actors. One of the central characters in the film is named "Florine," and the family name of the main character is "Sreaves." I'm fairly certain Mom would have been very proud of that, too!
And the fact that Heidi and Tim both chose to pay homage to their grandmother makes me proud as well!
Happy birthday, Mom. We all love and miss you!