This Mother’s Day (2017) was the first that I had no mother on earth. And, oh, how much I miss her! She was my friend, my mentor, my counselor. It pained her to see my body weaken from ALS. Her she was, 96 years old, walking with no cane or walker and watching me decline from walker to wheelchair.
My mother was 18 when I was born. So we kind of grew up together. Two years earlier, at age 16, she had carried a baby girl, Eunice Eleanor, for seven months, but the baby girl died 30 minutes after she was delivered.
My mother had a new baby every five years for twenty years. I was a sophomore in college when she called to tell me that another baby, her last, was on his way.
My father, Paul, to whom she was married for 65 years, was a gregarious, hard working building contractor in Fort Lauderdale and a strong Christian leader in the community.
But it was my mother, Ruth, who did the patient teaching, the Bible story telling, the Bible memory work drill master. And she was the one who was there praying with each of her five children in turn, usually at the age of five or six, as each of us personally received God’s free gift of eternl life.
And that developed a very special bond between herself and each of her five children.
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 her family and neighbors.
She was a Proverbs 31 woman.
Ruth died on October 2, 2016 in Clermont, Florida after a very brief illness of one week. She was 96 years old and spunky as ever. Shortly before her death she received her driver’s license renewal, good for another ten years! (See my earlier post written shortly after she died.)
The lyrics below by Stephen Jones perfectly describe my mother. Listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as they sing “A mother’s eyes reflect the love of heaven.”