Chapter 4 - Where we meet Sophia


Sophia is actually the second name, or middle name, of the woman that inspired this soap.  Her first name, Ida, was in keeping with the time she was born, but Sophia better captures the qualities that most influenced my story.

Sophia is named after my great-grandmother.  Obviously, I didn’t know her when she was young, but I do know she was ahead of her time.  She was born and grew up on the prairie, in a dugout home in Kansas. She told wonderful stories about growing up on the prairie when it was it not quite tame.    She attended college in the early 1900s and it was there she met Joshua, my great-grandfather.  They were married and at a time when people stayed put, they moved a fair bit for his work. They seem to have been deeply in love. Unfortunately, while she was pregnant with their first child, Joshua was shot in a dispute.  The dispute was pretty pointless, he was shot by a customer who had not paid a bill.  According to a local news report, he was put on a passing train with the hope that he could reach Paris, Texas in time to receive medical help. Unfortunately, the train arrived in Texas too late.   So eight months pregnant she boarded a train in Texas to return to Kansas to bury her husband and await the birth of their child. Their son was born less than a month later and named Joshua in honor of his father.  She went on to marry again, have another child, and she lived into her nineties.  In many ways, the later chapters of her story left behind the romantic, adventuresome early days, trading those for stability for her young son.

You can see in the picture that she was a romantic – bare shoulders, the layers of ruffles and the bow right in the front of the dress, the blue tint in the photo, the curly hair that is almost, but not quite, contained.  Her story of loss could have defined her, but it didn’t.  I remember her as a steady, calm, and determined.  Most of my memories involve Sunday dinners, the birthday cakes she would bake (always angel food), her deep faith and her steadfast devotion to the soap opera As the World Turns. 

The Sophia line celebrates her spirit – right down to the color of the soap (blue) to mimic the colors in this photo.  The scent, a mix of lavender and ylang-ylang, with a hint of bergamot captures her personality.  Lavender for that steady, calm demeanor, ylang-ylang for the romantic adventurer and bergamot, because she could be a bit sharp (especially if you interrupted her during As the World Turns!)

So here’s to Sophia – the one that was part of my story, and all the Sophias we know – romantic, steady, determined, facing loss but moving forward, occasionally tart, making us smile and inspiring us with her strength. 

1 comment

  • Janet

    Grandma instilled in each of us the never-ending thirst for knowledge and self-improvement. Her attendance at Bethany College makes her granddaughters third generation college graduates. A great achievement of which she is proud. Did you know she was a daisy girl at Bethany Tech?
    Grandma always displayed just a little bit adventurousness, but always with decorum, just like her angel food birthday cakes.

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