My mother-in-law exited life last Monday night. There was no warning, no lingering illness to remind us that we need to visit more and do more and care more. The chance is gone and I feel more than raw. I didn’t appreciate enough the wonderful mother-in-law I had. Mother-in-law jokes just didn’t apply to her. Even though I married one of her precious three sons, I never felt threatened by her in any way. She exuded acceptance and tolerance even when we didn't see eye to eye. As a young wife and mother, she taught me how to bottle peaches and pears. I was so proud of that first batch I did with her. Best of all though, she taught me that what I thought mattered to her.
One of my best memories is playing Trivial Pursuit with her. I believe that Ruth was one of the most intelligent people I knew—her memory for details made her a brilliant conversationalist too. I always felt completely accepted by her and she made a point to support me whenever she could. She came to book signings. She came to pottery sales. She bought books. She bought pottery. She validated me without flattery.
|My husband is holding our first son. Ruth is in the stripes.|
|Ruth and Mick in Yellowstone|
|Ruth with Ginger|
|Here she is holding our first grandson. She attended the blessing.|
Even though she didn’t attend church all that much, if one of her kids or grandkids were giving a talk, or receiving a special calling, or going on a mission, or blessing a child, she supported them, often with her presence, but if not with an encouraging word. It was not about the church. It was about the people she cared for. When our son went on a mission she paid a monthly amount toward it and purchased his luggage. This was not a woman who had extra money. She longed to travel. She longed to fix up her house. She did manage to do some traveling, but her house never got fixed up. She sacrificed and made do and was generous to a fault. Living life the way it should be lived didn’t amount to attending meetings. What mattered is what you did on a day-to-day basis. Ethics and moral behavior wasn’t talked about—it was lived. I miss you Ruth. You were one of a kind.