As I write this blog my mother is in hospice care. At 96 her organs are shutting down and her often expressed desire is to share heaven with her husband, Paul, who she married at 16–he was 18. I was born three years later in a maternity home for low income families.
From the moment she learned that I had ALS and that it was a terminal disease she often said to me, “I’m racing with you get there first!”
She has been one tough woman. She did not crack under her situations–having to live in her in-laws’ house during the first four years of her marriage, living with a mother-in-law who felt my mom had been the cause of her son dropping out of high school in order to elope, experiencing her first born’s death at birth, and living with Paul, her sweetheart, gently and happily although he had at times the personality of a drill sergeant.
As I wrote about her in the Wackes Family Story:
“Paul set the example. One picture that always stuck in my mind while away from home for the first time in the Big Apple was getting up at home for high school classes in the morning and seeing my father praying at the kitchen table with his Bible open in front of him. The kids all knew every Saturday morning where Dad was—praying with other businessmen at the YMCA, after eating a breakfast he had cooked for them. They knew where he was every Sunday afternoon—at the county jail and at rest homes.
“But it was Ruth who did the patient teaching, the Bible story telling, the Bible memory work. And she was the one who was there praying with us as each of her five children in turn, usually at the age of five or six, personally received God’s free gift of eternal life.
And that developed a very special bond between herself and each of her five children.
“She knelt with me when I was six year’s old in Jacksonville, Florida and prayed with me as I asked Jesus to enter my heart.
“Paul’s radical embracing of God as his majority business partner met with Ruth’s strong endorsement. And his energetic witness for Christ was matched by Ruth’s witness to neighbors and extended family members.
“She was and is a Proverbs 31 woman.”
(Image above from Shutterstock via license)