December 13, 2010

Christmas Promise

I got one of "those" calls last week.  "Judy, I am calling about Ruth.  Please call me."  Ruth.  My dear friend, Ruth.  She and I worked together as a team with special ed. students for six years.  She was my assistant, my shoulder, my back up, my cover, my relief, my salvation.  When the day was done, she would often laugh and say (In a Jack Benny tone of voice), "Well, Judy, we made a memory today."  I could not have survived those early teaching years without her. 

We were more than work partners though.   She was my friend.  Even after spending all those hours together during the day, she would call me in the evening and we would chat and laugh about all kinds of things...politics, family, children, friends. We would meet for dinner or take a special shopping trip to an antique market.  I never tired of her company.

She was older than me.  My senior by 13 years, but age was certainly never a barrier for us.  She and I just had one of those friendships that only come around once or twice in a lifetime.  If you are blessed as I was. 

She moved to Florida when her husband got a nice job there.  She gave me her bedroom furniture.  I still use it.  I visited her once with my husband and children, and she set up base for us while we enjoyed a visit to Disney World.  It would be the last time I would see her.

I talked to her off and on over the years.  She was invited to both daughters' weddings though I knew that was a stretch.  She called all excited about how the girls had grown and gushed over how pretty and successful they were. She vowed to set my youngest daughter up with one of her co-workers. Glad she didn't, but it was a vintage Ruth scheme. We still laughed and cackled over the phone and the years apart melted away in seconds. 

How did my friend become so ill and pass away without so much as a goodbye? I am certain that was not her intention.  I am sure she intended to fight the lung disease, secure a transplant, and live to laugh another day. 

But that did not happen.  She died at the young age of 69 leaving a grieving husband, children, grandchildren, and friends. 

There was one more thing you need to know about my friend, Ruth.  She loved the Lord.  She often shared what she had learned in her bible study or sermon.  Not in a preachy way, but in a "I need to do this better/more myself" way.  I learned about God from her example. 

Christmas is not the time I want to say goodbye to my friend, yet it is the perfect time to cherish the promise that Christmas holds.  Ruth is in Heaven now.  Heaven has one more happy angel.  The memories?  She left those with me.

Thank you, Ruth.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. Not being able to say farewell makes it hurt even more I'm sure. Thank goodness for blogs so you can write your words of love for others to read... Ruth's legacy has reached another person thanks to you. ;-)

  2. Ruth was such a great woman - I will never forget her or her family. I know how much she means to you and am glad to see you put it into words. I hope her family gets to see this one day.

  3. I'm so sorry for your loss. My mom died about a year ago, and the night before she passed, she didn't feel like talking to me on the phone, I wish I got the chance to tell her one more time that I loved her.

    I'm stopping by from SITS.