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Ruthie Sends Another One Home

As my longtime readers know, my sister Ruthie Leming believed that there was meaning in her cancer, that whether she lived or died, it was all happening for a reason — and that good would come out of it. “We just don’t know what God is going to do with this,” she would say, hopefully.

I just received an e-mail from a complete stranger that, to me, shows me one thing God might do with Ruthie’s story. Someone who saw the essay I wrote for the current issue of Real Simple magazine, about how Ruthie’s death led my wife and me to move to my Louisiana hometown, because it showed me what really mattered in life, sent me this e-mail. I have slightly edited it to protect his privacy:

This morning, my wife sent me an article that you wrote in Real Simple. I have bounced my family around the country since graduating from LSU in 2000.  Recently, I have been offered a considerably good opportunity to change companies and move to an area outside of [a major Northern city].  This opportunity presents excellent long term opportunity and job security.  During this same time frame, I unsuccessfully sought a position with a company based in Louisiana.  Both of our families are located in the Baton Rouge and Hammond areas.  For years, we have stated to others that we did not desire to move “back home”.  However, the recent prospect has been undeniably pulling at my heart to do just that.

This is completely out of the ordinary for me to write an email to a complete stranger, but I couldn’t resist sending one to you to thank you for writing that article.  Reading that article put a tear in my eye and helped me to put in perspective the importance of my decision not only for me, my wife, and young family, but also for the rest of our family that has not been able to be a part of our lives except for holidays and funerals.  Today, I did what I know is the right thing for us, and declined the offer with the company in [that city] and have decided to focus all of my energy on my job search in the Baton Rouge area.

Thanks for sharing your story and giving me the motivation to take the risk.

Isn’t that something? If this young man is successful, he and his wife will be restored to their Louisiana families, and their children will grow up knowing their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. All because of the life an anonymous small-town schoolteacher named Ruthie Leming lived.

Man, I tell you, this letter made me feel so good. It’s exciting to imagine how many people will be moved to make a similar decision about returning to their own homes and families by reading The Little Way Of Ruthie Leming. Every son or daughter returned to their families because of Ruthie’s story, and every family restored by the move, will be a gift of my sister, and part of her legacy. I can’t wait for April 9, the date it’ll be published.

Always do good. You never know what it’s going to mean to others, to people you don’t even know.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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