Friday, February 24, 2017

Beautiful Gem, Ruby

On February 6th, my mom's longest-standing and one of her very dearest friends went Home to be with the Lord she loves, after battling cancer. Mom met Ruby when they were 5 and 6, before 1st grade (they didn't have Kindergarten back then) in their hometown of Crozet, Virginia. They were friends for 55 years. They will always be friends. It'll only be a while until they see one another again. She was one of those rare lifelong and extended into forever friends. When I thought of my mom's besties, Ruby was always included in that count.

Ruby was a truly remarkable woman and will be missed by many people, especially her husband, sons, and grandchildren. My heart hurts for them. Because I have tasted grief and loss, it helps me to be more empathetic and understanding to others facing it, even when the losses are different. 61 is too young to die, but what a gift for her to have had that many years on Earth.

We spent the weekend in Virginia a couple weeks ago for Ruby's services. One of her sons played his guitar and sang a song at the graveside service. I don't think there was a single dry eye. On the day of her burial is when I decorated Lily's spot for Valentine's Day, when this breathtakingly beautiful sunset was painted across the sky. We called it "Ruby's sunset." I'm so glad we saw it and captured several photos to share with her family. 💜 💕 🌅 💕 💜

This has been quite the blow for my mom, as Ruby's cancer came back after many years and it happened quickly. I've known Ruby my entire life. One of her sons is my age.

She was always so incredibly kind, loving, and generous to me and my sister, Emma. She had quite the knack for decorating and loved all things elephant. I like elephant things too and when I see them, I think of her. She had a shop in our hometown, where I've gotten many things from. The lovely blue spread on my bed right now came from her.

She had hundreds of flourishing plants, which she loved. All her fingers and toes were green hehe. Her husband gave many of her plants away to loved ones at her service, which I thought was so meaningful. My sister and I got a shamrock plant to share, which of course is special to me with my little mid-March girl.

Here's my mom caring for Ruby's plants when she was out of town a couple Summers ago. Actually, these are incredibly just some of her plants! Unfortunately, we are having a difficult time finding a photo of my mom and Ruby together, as she didn't like taking photos much..

It's been special listening to my mom's many memorable stories of her friendship with Ruby over the decades. We've laughed at her cuteness and how funny she was.

She was also so dear to me about Lily always, from when I was carrying her to after she died. My Facebook Memories is full of comments and posts from dear Ruby baby, as my mom called her. It's crazy when I see these posts now to think not only is the little baby gone who we were talking about, but now so is Ruby. She was the only person who correctly guessed the date Lily would be born when I asked for predictions. She was excited about Lily coming and for my parents to be first-time grandparents. Her own grandson was due and born the same month as Lily. Ruby shared the song with me "Your Hands" by JJ Heller, that I ended up playing at Lily's Memorial Service.

My mom and I have shed some tears thinking that Ruby has gotten to meet our Lily girl now. Lily is without her grandmother and Ruby is without her grandchildren, so it makes my heart smile to think of them together now.

Not only has my heart been hurting for my mom and Ruby's family and because I miss Rubes too, but it has stirred up painful memories thinking of Lily. With her birthday approaching especially, and the anniversary of when we put her in the ground.

My friend Joan, whose daughter Maeve was also stillborn, put words to what I'm feeling. Her cat who she's had for many years is dying and she wrote this: "My pet grief today is intertwined with every loss I've felt. Grief and love are the threads that stitch us together. Pull on one and all the other threads bunch up or unravel... Grief begets grief."

That's exactly how it feels. The grief of Ruby's death is stirring up the pain of the grief of Lily's. Death is just so wrong, no matter what age someone is. It is not how it's meant to be. Oh, it makes the hope of Heaven ever so sweet.

As my mom said, Ruby had the perfect name for the gem she was. She truly has taught me so much about the dignity of life and how to be brave and courageous with how she fought cancer and faced death. She was one tough cookie, with so many things she faced in life, yet she didn't complain or ever lose her kindness.

You will be remembered, loved, and missed, Ruby. Another spot to visit regularly when we are in Crozet.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this beautiful tribute to my beloved friend, dear daughter! What a sparkling, shining gem she truly was, and my birthstone just happens to be ...... drum roll please .... ruby! Love Ginny forever, precious Ruby! We will meet again on streets of gold to live together eternally with our Jesus!


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