Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Monday, July 31, 2017


I belong to a number of Facebook groups centered on areas I have lived and the memories of other people who want to share their own memories. One is for the Kansas town I grew up in and one is for the town my husband's family is from. 

Two of them are Vintage Phoenix and Arizona Memories. I love these because I can see photos of places I remember or, sometimes, places I want to visit. They bring up restaurants, movie drive-ins, and other places full of memories. Some share family photos and others found photos or postcards of special places. 

One thing I like about these sites is the challenge. People will post a photo and ask if any one knows where it was taken. The challenge is met with people posting their ideas and some doing research to answer the question. I tend to get caught up in solving the mysteries, perhaps too much so. 

Last week I received a message request from a lady, Joyce, who had noticed my profile photo. I usually post an item important to me, rather than a photo of me. Right now it is a blossom from my night-blooming cereus a cactus that blooms only at night and then the bloom shrinks away and disappears. 
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My cereus came from my mother who passed away in early May 1990. Since that time it has often bloomed around the time of her birthday in early March or near her death date or even Mother's Day. I have many babies from the original and my daughter has some at her home in another state. 

Last week it had eight blooms at once. I didn't get a picture. 

Anyway, Joyce said she had a cereus and would like to exchange babies, as I call them. We messaged back and forth and realized she is in a different part of the state so we would have to mail them. I know cacti are shipped all the time but I had a hard time imagining how I would do that. 

She wrote back and gave me ideas on how to ship a baby and then sent a photo of her cereus. 

It was then I remembered I had enhanced the image on Facebook. I sent her another photo of my cereus and we decided we had the same one. 

Then Joyce told me the story of how she received hers. A man she knew, who was about 90 at the time, gave hers to her. He died at 105 and the flowers help her feel like she still has a part of him. Kind of the same feeling I get with mine; that it is a message from from Mom.

She also said she gravitates to people with the name "Rita" because that was her mother's name. I can count on one hand all the people I have known in my lifetime with the same name so that is an odd coincidence in itself. 

We won't be sharing "babies" but we are still friends on FB and I feel a little connection when I see her pop up on one of the groups. Maybe someday one of us will visit the hometown of the other. Maybe not. But we will always have our night-blooming cereus.