SHERWOOD, Ark. — Finding a way to smile soon after the death of a loved one is rarely easy. It’s especially true after five current and former Sylvan Hills students were killed in a Wyoming crash last month.
But one mother is finding happiness through the friends of her lost daughter, particularly one who would have been her daughter’s prom date.
Ava Luplow was one of the two seniors in a group of five killed on their drive back from visiting a college. The others include fellow senior Suzy Prime and three former students Andrea Prime (sister to Suzy), Maggie Franco, and Salomon Correa.
According to Ava’s mother, Sarah Wimberly, her daughter was going to go shopping for a prom dress when she got back. She was also going to be asked to go to prom with one of her best friends.
“I wanted to go with someone who was a really happy person, always in a great mood, could always lighten you up any day,” Braum Smith said of Ava.
Braum Smith and Ava Luplow always knew how to have a good time. The two knew each other since 9th grade, attended church together, and goofed off frequently.
Both Braum and Ava’s families were expecting Prom to be their next big dance. Braum, his mother, and Ava’s mother had planned everything to surprise Ava with a “promposal”. They made a poster plus picked a time and location, but it was one more thing taken by a deadly crash.
“In the midst of all the chaos, it’s just those little things that you think about that she’s going to miss that brings you to your knees and makes you really sad,” Wimberly said.
“She was just amazing. Just perfect. If there could be a perfect child she was Ava,” Wimberly stated about her daughter, unable to hold back tears.
Braum wasn’t sure if he was going to go to prom following the deaths, until he decided it was what Ava would do. His family had an even more spectacular idea to include Wimberly.
When visiting her home Braum asked, “You want to take her spot and go with me?”
“If she (Ava) can’t go to prom then I would love to go in her place,” Wimberly said.
Wimberly’s prom dress, hairstyling, nails, and more are being covered through donations. Ava’s friends are making sure she’ll be welcome in the entourage.
“All of her friends make me proud, and it’s really helped me heal just in the last couple weeks having them here,” Wimberly said.
“They kind of act similar in some things,” Braum admitted. “You know I can tell she probably got it from her mom.”
They will both be wearing pink, Ava’s favorite, eating some of Ava’s favorite food before the dance making sure they have a good time for themselves and also for Ava.
“Doing something for her is definitely the most important part for me,” Braum concluded.
Sylvan Hills High School prom will be on April 29.