In the little bedroom town of Saint Francisville we have experienced a loss, a great loss actually. Someone I did not have the honor of meeting has died, Wednesday I attended her wake at the Methodist Church. We stood outside in a line that twisted out the door, down the street and around the corner and as we waited my anxiety intensified. While standing my gaze shifted from my sweet southern husband who was holding a flower umbrella over my head to the line of mourners and my mind was distracted. It raced with thoughts of a women I never meet but feel I am a better person for having ‘sharred’ in her journey. You see, she came into my life as a result of her cancer diagnosis not because I am a nurse, but through a blog chronicling her progress that her brother Rod Dreher was writing called belief.net and currently through his writing at The American Conservative.
This past week Ruthie died, at home from what they think was a pulmonary embolism. She leaves a husband, three daughters, mother, father, brother, friends and a community to ponder how life will go on with out her physical presence and my mind drifts to when I was in University and the day we buried my step-dad in 1987. I read somewhere I think it was on Proverbs 31 Ministry and I am kicking myself for not writing down then but it went something like this: ‘Death is not something we get over as most people think. Death is something we learn to move around as we develop a new normal with out our loved one.’
I have been shedding a lot of tears over the last week, some for Ruthie and some for other losses that have touched my life . Today, again I found comfort and inspiration in Ruthie’s big brothers posting so I am sharing a snippet with you:
“Nevertheless, the legacy of Ruthie’s witness brings to mind these words of St. Therese of Lisieux, who became one of the greatest saints of living simply and purely for Christ and others. This benediction of the Little Flower’s could have been written by Ruthie, of her own experience:
May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.
In Ruthie’s memory, Melody