Blogging has been light today, and will be light, because I’ve been rather overwhelmed with some great news and am struggling to focus on anything else: today, I (well, my agent) closed a deal for me to do a book about my sister Ruthie, this community, her living and her dying, and my return here. We’re all pretty amazed by this: grateful for the opportunity, and awed by the responsibility. I drove out to the country today to tell Mike, Ruthie’s widower, the good news. We sat on the bed, right where Ruthie slept, and I talked with him about how the story of the good life she led, and the good people who loved her and all of us through her cancer, will now be a major book.
There were tears.
And now the work on the book begins, with prayers that the narrative that all of us involved in telling what happened here these past two years will be worthy of the story and its grace. I have to thank you readers for the interest you have shown all along in Ruthie’s story. It really is an amazing narrative, one that I’m finding through talking to those who knew Ruthie is even richer than I thought. It is going to be a deep and undeserved honor to have the chance to tell it all in full-length narrative, and to shine a light on what any of us can accomplish if we live plainly, with faith, hope, and love. It’s the easiest thing, and the hardest. Ruthie did it. As I can never say often enough: I always knew she was good; I didn’t know she was great.
UPDATE: Just so you have an idea of the kind of story this book is going to tell, the photo above is from the all-night vigil Ruthie’s friends kept at her coffin (which is behind the women) before her funeral. These are some of the women who walked with her throughout her life, especially those last 19 cancer months. It was not a somber vigil, but a time of laughing and storytelling. That’s the kind of town this is. That’s the kind of people who loved Ruthie, and the kind of love she inspired.