Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ruth

With thumb recuperting, I am relying on past writings. I hope you enjoy them. My mother was a remarkable woman missed daily by her daughters. Her name was Ruth, a name I hope you don't forget.

The woman lived almost her entire life on the square mile of land. Yet she touched more lives than most of us will ever know. Her mission was the life she led. No one was ever a stranger. No one ever wanted for a meal or a bed. She took in  youth who were homeless and gave them a family, gave temporary shelter to kids in trouble and babysat for anyone who ever asked. She never said "no" to anything.

The church was her life. She was choir director, custodian, pianist, Sunday School teacher, on every committee. She would wake before the sun did and cook each meal as the day progressed for a dozen hungry farm hands. She was a fantastic cook who never used a cookbook. She killed the chickens, made the soap, planted the crops and raised three baby girls. She saw her sisters date gangsters and fell in love at nine with her future husband.

Mom fought for children's rights before we admitted they had them. She was colorblind to the shades of humanity. She never believed that there was anything she couldn't do. She never saw a stranger and opened her house to exchange students, travelers, cousins ten times removed. She buried her parents, her three siblings and her husband. She always had a song on her lips and in her heart. She was loved and loved like few ever have.

As she entered her 80's, her life became more silent with her hearing failing. She was frail and tiny in her last days. But she was beautiful. Her song still remained. She was bright and still had the handwriting of her twenties. She still had an open heart and failed to understand the narrow-mindedness of mankind.

She sat crocheting with aching hands and played the piano like a ragtime pro. What a lovely sight to behold, this mother of mine. We should all have such a mission in life, to change it for the better. I had a good example. I think I'll pass it on.

Postscript:
My sister informed me a couple of years ago the reason for our mother's dedication to others. I was just a baby and had contracted spinal meningitis. I was not expected to live. A child in the bed next to me died. Mother prayed over me as they packed me in ice offering her life to God if he would save me.

She gave her life in service for my life. Mom, you lived up to your promise. Now rest.

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