Sunday, January 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Aunt Ruth!


A remarkable woman in my life was born 93 years ago today. She was my grandparent's last child, my Dad’s baby sister; she is the mother of six, grandmother of eleven, aunt of a couple dozen and friend of countless.

She is my beacon - the living proof that aging does not have to be a scary thing. That it is indeed possible to have a full, rich, healthy and vibrant life well into your nineties.

For her 87th birthday, she had a 'Celebration of Life' party - 29 years single, 29 years married & 29 years widowed. She gave every one of her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, beautiful handmade quilts that she had been working on over her lifetime. For her 90th birthday, the women in her life - daughters, daughter in law, nieces and some friends, gathered for a lovely luncheon. She made each of us hand knit slippers and went around the table and told what each one of us meant in her life.

I still chuckle about what she said of me - that by the time I came along, she though 'oh big deal another niece'. She really didn't come to know me at all back then, but now she thought of 'Newfoundland' & we weren't done with that yet. Indeed - she has been there twice more since her 90th birthday.

I love her sense of spirit and adventure. Each time I called to see if she wanted to come to Newfoundland, which is in fact a pretty big trip from here for anyone - there was not a single moment of hesitation, in wondering whether she was free or able - it was an instantaneous "YES!" In fact, one of her motto's in life is "If someone asks you to go somewhere, GO. Or they stop asking."

On this summer's adventure, she enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to dress up in curtains & be surprise Mummers at a public concert, which included much dancing and making a fool of ourselves. And while my other two, much-younger guests, were not interested in going to two concerts in a row - one not starting until about 10 pm, she immediately said 'I'll go!', and the two of us had the most wonderful time. She became famous in the town last summer, with total strangers coming up to us, saying 'Is this Aunt Ruth? I've heard about her. During that trip she also suggested that we have a sharing circle by candle light, down in one of the little outbuildings, which we did two nights in a row til past 2 am. It was not only the most wonderful memory, but it is the beginning of a new tradition of doing that with all my friends who come out there.
We have spent many hours, well into the wee hours, talking about all kinds of things - family history of course, but also life in general. When I talk to her, I sense no age at all - there is no 'elderliness' in her voice or her manner or her attitude. Or certainly in the way she gets around - I can hardly keep up with the woman.

Yes, indeed - she brings a smile to my heart. For her I wish many, many more happy & healthy years. For all of us, I wish the spirit & enthusiasm for life that my dear Aunt Ruth has. Happy Birthday, m'love.

This last picture is of another dear, wonderful & sweet lady in my life - my adopted 'Nan' from Newfoundland, who will be 99 in April.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

LOVE hearing about strong women like this. She ranks up there with Grandma Moses, Tasha Tudor, and our own, Norma DeCamp!

Thanks for sharing,
Jill

LDahl said...

Happy Birthday Aunt Ruth, you are one beautiful lady!
The last pic is just awesome.

Ev said...

Yes Jill, you are right! Just like Norma! And LDahl ... what a nice thing to say. That's actually exactly what Nan says so lovingly to her ..."I thinks of you all the time, you're such a beautiful woman!" They both are and I so, so blessed to have them in my life.

Anonymous said...

My friend and I were recently discussing about how involved with technology our daily lives have become. Reading this post makes me think back to that discussion we had, and just how inseparable from electronics we have all become.


I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Societal concerns aside... I just hope that as the price of memory decreases, the possibility of downloading our brains onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's a fantasy that I dream about almost every day.


(Posted on Nintendo DS running [url=http://will-the-r4-r4i-work.wetpaint.com/]r4i ds[/url] DS SeKu)

Ev said...

Actually, don't you think we already are downloading our brains and to a great extent, our hearts onto digital media? For better or worse, there are millions of people sharing more thought process openly, when in the past it would have remained a dusty old journal that may or may not be found & perhaps remained unread forever. The wonderful thing about this media is that we have so much choice for spending our time with what and who touches, moves, inspires, motivates us. All as close as our fingertips. I LOVE it!