Local Author Robin Anne Griffiths Shares a Glimpse of Her Recently Published Book
Iva Mae: The Book of Mom
By Robin Anne Griffiths
After all the years of planning and changing her own funeral arrangements, she was gone. Robin sat in her home office in what felt like the aftermath of a long hard journey. She was thinking back on Iva Mae’s life, and found it hard to believe her mother would only be in her memories from now on. Iva Mae had been planning her own funeral since Robin was a child. No one really knew why she was so obsessed with the details, but it was a regular topic of conversation, especially as she grew older. Robin and Sandy, her older sister, made fun of it, and it became a regular joke between them and their youngest sister, Tammy. At ninety-one, Iva Mae had finally gone to meet her maker, and the family put together the pieces of the plans that had been made over the years. Robin believed they had done a good job under the circumstances. She also believed that although her mother would have been pleased, she would have been a little disappointed as well.
Over the years, Iva Mae’s funeral plans had ranged from a chicken dinner picnic at the cemetery with her favorite gospel singer of the moment to her being flown first class from her final home in Fort Worth to the small cemetery near where she grew up on a farm outside Labette City, Kansas, which had fewer than a hundred people. Iva Mae envisioned all her friends and family arriving for the preaching: it would be her last chance to have all the sinners in her life saved.
Iva Mae had not been an easy person. As Robin went through her mother’s personal items, she started to piece together a life filled with family, needs, sorrow, and happiness. It all began in 1922, on the farm in Labette County. Looking at Iva Mae’s long life, Robin was amazed at all the different things her mother had experienced over ninety-one years: so much change, most of which she had accepted without a blink. But regarding the few things she did not accept, there was no room for negotiation. Iva Mae had shared stories of her life and growing up on the farm with her family. Robin was going through the metal box that held her mother’s important papers, such as burial plans, special photos of her with family members, and a brief autobiography. This box of miscellaneous papers had been around a long time. Robin could remember it from childhood. As Iva Mae aged, she made sure that Robin and Sandy always knew where it was and whether anything new had been added or changed. But the contents still were surprising.
This is the story of Iva Mae Treadway. As a young Kansas farm girl in the 1920s and ’30s, Iva Mae grew up without electricity or indoor plumbing, and faced numerous hardships ranging from a devastating house fire to her mother’s death when Iva Mae was fifteen. Her adult years were plagued by health problems, money worries and two rocky marriages. Yet through it all, her faith in God, ability to find
happiness, and love of family never faltered. Iva Mae: The Book of Mom offers a glimpse into America’s rural past and chronicles the struggles and triumphs of a woman who did not let fear stop her from discovering what life had to offer. Known for her cooking, love of holidays, and adventurous, ready-to-go spirit, Iva Mae lived her ninety-one years to the fullest. This is her story.
About the Author
Robin Anne Griffith’s life adventure began in Parsons, Kansas, and continued in Springfield, Missouri, until her love for the tropics led her to Southwest Florida. The lust for adventure has always been at the center of her existence. From running marathons, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to traveling the globe, Robin has never feared pushing the limits. Now filling her days are all types of outdoor activities, her family, writing, helping others and looking for the story in the lives of the people she meets. Robin and her husband, Jim, live in Bokeelia, Florida, along with their rescue dog, Tiberius, and eclectus parrot, Kozmo. RobinAnneGriffiths.com