14 October 2011


She has been gone for years
this woman of love
who was closer than a great-aunt
closer than an aunt
surrogate grandmother
more like a sister
often my best friend
always called Ruthie,
never Ruth

She was the sixth born
of nine children
a younger sister of my mother's mother

She watched her older sister marry and have children
and her younger sister marry and have children
and though she did at last find a husband, children were never given

She kept house for herself, her husband, her father and two bachelor brothers
and had more love to spare for nieces and nephews
as if they were her own

I never knew my grandmother, my mother lost her when I was only one
but there was Aunt Ruthie
lavishing more love on me (it seemed) than any of her other nieces
perhaps she saw a need, a hole that wanted filling
and she poured and poured and poured out love

As a teen, Aunt Ruthie was the one I could share my struggles with
things I was afraid to tell my mother
as a young woman I could call her anytime
regaling her with the ups and downs of romances
I was awakened in the night at the exact moment
she passed from life to death
although I didn't get the call informing me
until the next morning

There are moments still
when I think
"I have to call Ruthie"
to share some special tidbit in my day

and I wonder if she knows
her laugh lives on in me
and the twinkle that I caught
became a flickering fire
I hope it burns bright enough
for her to see.

late and scattered.. but here, written as part of a High Calling community project.  To read more voices click here


Ann Kroeker said...

Aunt Ruthie's legacy lives on in you. This is such a sweet story of how one generation invests in the next, and the next. I'm so glad to meet her in this story...in you.

Thank you for linking this to the Word Portraits Community Writing project. You shine.

Jennifer @ JenniferDukesLee.com said...

Scattered? I hardly think so, dear-heart. Not scattered at all. :)

What a lovely reflection.

I lingered long on the words about you waking up at the very moment she passed from here to There. The very moment! Ahhhh... Grace...

You. Are. A. Blessing. So glad you linked up. xxoo

Brandee Shafer said...

This is really beautiful, and I believe Ruthie looks down. I woke up at the moment my Grandma Shafer died, althought I didn't get the news until the next evening.

Pam said...

Beautiful! I love that you treasured her even back then, as a child. I do believe that sometimes God allows our loved ones a sort of goodbye...like you waking up at that moment. My mom told me she felt that way when her sister died at 50... this story was a blessing to read :)