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Four Years Ago Today

Goodbye Aunt Ruthie (Summer 2011) [1]

Goodbye Aunt Ruthie (Summer 2011)

From this space, September 15, 2011: [2]

I talked to her the other day, and knew from what my folks had been telling me that she was in steep decline. Losing weight, on oxygen again, in lots images [3]of pain. But if it hadn’t been for Mama and Daddy, who live next door to her, telling me these things, I would never have known. She never, ever complains. She mentioned to me that she had been dreaming lately of family members who had died. Our grandfather Dede. Our grandmother Mullay. Our Aunt Julia. She said they appeared to her in different dreams.

“Did they say anything to you?” I asked her.

“No, they just smiled,” she said.

“Do you think they were preparing you for something?”

“No, I didn’t get that sense.”

Of course she didn’t. Ruthie has so much hope for survival.

But she was wrong. They did come to prepare her. This morning Ruthie died at home.

Rest in peace.

12 Comments (Open | Close)

12 Comments To "Four Years Ago Today"

#1 Comment By Wes A. On September 15, 2015 @ 7:38 pm

Rod, I lost my 59 year old mother 6 weeks ago to breast cancer. She was cancer free for two years and it returned around Easter.

I appreciate you writing on the death of your father and also for this brief description of your sisters last moments. Next time I get to hang out at Bubba and Julie’s I really want to meet you.

#2 Comment By Priest Raphael On September 15, 2015 @ 8:07 pm

May she dwell with the just and may her memory be eternal!

#3 Comment By JDinSR On September 15, 2015 @ 8:12 pm

No words work on an anniversary like this.

But your book about your sister and your move back home must help.

#4 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On September 15, 2015 @ 8:25 pm

The local paper has revived an old favorite feature called the Green Sheet, which includes highlights in history. I can’t figure out whether one would want the day a family member died to be the anniversary of other great tragedies, or of hopeful developments. But we don’t get to choose really.

Sept 15 turns out to also be the anniversary of the Inchon invasion in Korea, the launching of “Green Acres,” the first Watergate indictments, and the adoption of the Nuremberg laws in Germany.

In light of some of Rod’s more recent posts about the serious tensions in the family, it is worth remembering that he was calling Ruthie all the time from Pennsylvania, talking to her at her bedside… there was close communication and feeling, whatever rivalry was also at work. This brings all of that back.

#5 Comment By Pilgrim On September 15, 2015 @ 8:59 pm

I hope her girls are doing ok.

#6 Comment By Irenist On September 15, 2015 @ 9:48 pm

I expect she and your dad are together in Heaven just now. My continued prayers for her family (including you!): such a hard loss.

#7 Comment By Anand On September 15, 2015 @ 10:15 pm

A death like this is never a good thing. But the way you have been able to heal your relationship with your father in response to Ruthie’s death is an example to us all of how to turn evil to good.

Blessings on you and your family this day.

#8 Comment By Erin Manning On September 16, 2015 @ 12:45 am

Keeping you in my prayers.

#9 Comment By Anne On September 16, 2015 @ 1:10 am

I remember hearing that morning and feeling “Darn.” I’d been hoping she’d somehow beat everybody’s odds.

It is a comfort, though, to hear how dreams and visions so often prepare the dying even when they themselves are in denial about what’s to come. I’ll always remember my husband Mike, who fought his odds to the end, becoming so excited a few days before he died by what he said was a mysterious, awesome light flooding the hospital room. “Get the nurse,” he said. “She’s gotta see this!” Let’s hope someday we all do. I’m sure Ruthie has.

May Ruthie

#10 Comment By Anne On September 16, 2015 @ 1:22 am

That was supposed to say may Ruthie and your father be united again in eternity.

#11 Comment By Giuseppe Scalas On September 16, 2015 @ 4:42 am


You are doing a great job in keeping alive the memories of your families. I’m sure that the young’uns in your clan will be grateful to you for many years to come.

#12 Comment By Hunk Hondo On September 16, 2015 @ 8:51 am

Her memory will live forever among those who knew her, either personally or through your eloquence. God watch over you and your family. There’s no longer any need to worry about Ruthie and your father.We know they are with Him.