She died in 1918,long before I was born, but because of photos like this and the family stories that my grandmother, who knew and loved her, told me, I feel a sense of powerful connection to this woman. At least a few of her genes and chromosomes survive in me and that makes us kin. So, happy birthday Sophia. I don't live close enough to put flowers on your grave, but I'll go over to the Find A Grave website and leave a virtual bouquet.
Too proud to go back to England, she moved, for some reason now lost in the mists of time, to Burlingame, Kansas and ended up making a respectable living as a dressmaker and milliner in a town that was only a few years away from it's frontier roots as a stop on the Santa Fe Trail. She remarried H.W. Filley,a widower, and local worthy. When her oldest daughter died at the age of 32 leaving four young motherless children, she took them in and did the mother thing all over again with her grandchildren, one of whom was the grandmother about whom I have written elsewhere and whose stories made Sophia a real and living presence for me when I was a child.
I'm not sure what the occasion was. I only know that thanks to Jama, the occasion to celebrate today is Sophia's birthday. Happy Birthday, Sophia.