From The Little Way Of Ruthie Leming, this scene from Leming-Aid, an April 2011 fundraising concert St. Francisville folks threw for Ruthie. Van Morrison’s “Brown-Eyed Girl” was Ruthie and Mike’s song:
By the time the sun went down a crowd of five hundred people milled around under the barn. Suddenly a few people at the far side began to cheer. Everyone turned to see Ruthie and Mike slowly making their way into the arena. Then an enormous whoop broke over the crowd like a thunderclap. Everyone stood, yelled, applauded. Ruthie, her bald head hidden under a baseball cap, brought her hands to her swollen face and stopped, overcome by emotion. Mike, beaming, steadied her and walked toward the front row of chairs. Ruthie sat with her head down for a few minutes, crying and gathering herself before beginning to receive a long line of well-wishers.
Our folksinger cousin Emily Branton opened the show. After several number Emily struck some familiar chords, then sang:
Hey, where did we go,
Days when the rains came…
Mike helped Ruthie to her feet, and led his girl to the dance floor. They couldn’t do much, given her shortness of breath, but they held each other close, Ruthie staring up at her husband with her chestnut eyes, smiling broadly through her pain.
“We love you, Brown Eyed Girl!” Emily called from the stage. Ruthie grinned and waved with both hands.
Watch this scene above. The older couple dancing next to Ruthie and Mike are Mam and Paw, Ruthie’s and my parents. It was a beautiful night. Here’s Ruthie’s message that night to all the readers of this blog who were praying for her:
The whole story of the fundraising concert, and her entire cancer journey, is in The Little Way Of Ruthie Leming, which publishes today. Make a donation to TAC of $50 or more here, and we’ll send you a signed, even personalized, copy. April 10, tomorrow, is the deadline for the TAC offer