Friday, December 17, 2010

Remembering Ruby

Okay, I haven't written or blogged in many days. I did write the family holiday newsletter and have mailed it to our family and friends (which at last count was 120). I continue to expand our communication to the friends of our children and the family members on my husband's side and my family.

My mother-in-law told me once that I was the matriarch of the family. So I looked it up on just for the heck of it. We all know basic definitions, but to really grasp the meaning, I love to look things up.

ma·tri·arch –noun
1. the female head of a family or tribal line.
2. a woman who is the founder or dominant member of a community or group.
3. a venerable old woman.

I don't why but when I read # 3 I thought it said vunerable. So then I looked up:

ven·er·a·ble –adjective
1. commanding respect because of great age or impressive dignity; worthy of veneration or reverence, as because of high office or noble character: a venerable member of Congress.
2. a title for someone proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church to have attained the first degree of sanctity or of an Anglican archdeacon.
3. (of places, buildings, etc.) hallowed by religious, historic, or other lofty associations: the venerable halls of the abbey.
4. impressive or interesting because of age, antique appearance, etc.: a venerable oak tree.
5. extremely old or obsolete; ancient: a venerable automobile.

Wow Ruby, I feel really great to have a likeness to #2, but #4 and 5...

So it made me think about my mother-in-law, who passed away in February 16, 2001. Ruby loved people very deeply, almost a fault. It's hard to explain, but she had a challenging youth that set the stage for her life. She lived in her own world much of the time and managed her household as best she could. Her sons and grandchildren were her life. She was a very loving soul who gave from her heart. Her heart was big and she was always weighing out what was fair for all and she dearly loved the holidays. And could she shop!

We would take the kids and do lunch and hit as many mall stores as possible. Ruby also ordered from catalogues and my dear father-in-law was her wrap-master. He was delegated to do most of the gift wrapping as she did the majority of shopping. They were a team and like many couples who live long enough to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, they had their ups and downs but they were solid in their commitment to one another.

I was blessed to spend many hours with Ruby during the days her sons and my father-in-law would hunt. She shared her childhood remembrances, the joy and pain. I loved her as I do my own my mother.

The morning she passed away my father-in-law had called an ambulance as she wasn't breathing. They worked on her both at the house and on the way to the emergency room. My husband went to pick up his father and I headed to the ER. I had hoped to speak with her and when I got to the waiting room, the doctor came out to tell me she had passed away. I asked to see Ruby one last time. They agreed, but apologized that she was still hooked up to all the equipment they had used to attempt to revive her. I was glad her sons and husband were spared. It was as though she had passed the torch to me and I thank God I had the chance to pray over her and touch her hand one last time as she made her way to heaven.

Merry Christmas Ruby, I am going shopping today and I know you will be with me in spirit. I miss you. We all do.
Love, Emily

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