luck accompanies her everywhere

luck accompanies her everywhere

luck accompanies her everywhere,
tied loosely around her wrist

Sallie Emma Fowler Rutledge
1910-2005

I love this picture of my Memaw. My dad said that he thinks she is 13 or 14. After her funeral in February, the family each took some of the flowers that people gave us in memory of her. I had no idea what I wanted to do with the flowers, but I wanted to do something interesting. I tried to select ones that would dry nicely – not just look beautiful for a few days and then fall apart.

These flowers were sitting in a glass in my bedroom. I would think about what I could do with them each day. In April I enrolled in a art class at the Durham Arts Council with Ryan Ogilvy. I brought in several projects to class, but I didn’t have anything ready to work on. So I just started playing with the flowers. I became obsessed. Using matte medium, a paint brush and tooth picks, I created the background for this piece.

Mom and Dad brought the pictures down for me to scan during Henry’s graduation. Between lunch, opening gifts and dropping him off, I scanned the image and started playing with the size. By the end of the day, I had already started cutting her out.

I asked Dad if she had a favorite verse, story or song. He couldn’t really think of anything. One of the little branches looked like a wish bone, so I decided to use it somehow. Finally I sat down for a little break and this verse came to me. I really liked it somehow. It goes with the picture. She seems so happy and confident.

Yesterday Henry asked if Memaw was very lucky. I can’t say that she was. But I would say that she certainly wasn’t unlucky. At her funeral, my dad shared with us the story of her life. It was so sweet and interesting. He told about how she and my grandfather were full of life and always had whatever their hearts desired. The local children loved to see them whenever they would visit from High Point. Later on in life, she ran my grandfather’s store and sold candy and gas to all of the people who took Highway 8/65 to Winston-Salem and back each day. He shared how she never had anything tragic happen in their life – no children lost or any severe hardship. Everyone loved Memaw. To live such a happy life and be so loved is the result of a little luck.

The night before at her visitation, several girls younger than she is in this picture came to tell how much they loved Memaw. They would play games following her around the rest home. I was so amazed that her impact spanned her entire 94 years. (Each of the shiny pink bulbs represents a completed decade.) I only hope that I can do the same.

Monday, May 23rd, 2005

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