June 14 is flag day here in the US. Not a day that really brings much focus in the average person’s life. Growing up, our mother would always say “It’s Flag Day. Happy Birthday to Miss Reeves!” This wasn’t a reference to a family member nor anyone we knew, but to a primary school teacher that taught my mother in Iowa back in the 1930’s. I assume Ms. Reeves never had children of her own, but one of her students passed along the memory of her birthday every year to her children. Kinda crazy! Her name continues to be mentioned between my sister and I on the day as a way to keep our mother’s memory alive. We will probably continue to keep this little tradition going until our deaths.
In Mexican culture, Day of the Dead -dia de los muertos, they say that death has three phases. First death is when you physically die. Second death is when your body is buried. Third death is when no one remains to remember you and you vanish from history. We’re keeping Ms Reeves from slipping into the third death realm. We’ll never know what became of her or if she had family, but she made an impression on our mother and that’s what counts.
Happy Birthday Ms Reeves!
2 thoughts on “Remembering someone we never met”
Oh that’s lovely, and so interesting about the Mexican belief
I’m not 100% sure if it is entirely true. I have read it in a few places and experienced the celebrations in person (Oaxaca Mexico in 2005). Anyway, I like the sentiment.