My friend Ruth working at the Firebirds for Fort Fundraiser...
Me & Ruth selling tickets for the quilt at the Fundraiser...
Me & Ruth at our favorite place (Donut Man)having coffee...
December 31, 1999.
Me & Ruth at her granddaughter Stacy's wedding.
I started my walking 25 years ago with 3 women down the
street, Carol, Ruth & Pearl. I met Carol because her
son Kurt was in Kindergarten with Nick @ BTWN. She invited
me to walk with herself, Ruth & Pearl...we started walking
in the fall of 85. Then I started walking the 4 miles in the
afternoons to get in shape for my reunion and never stopped.
The four of us would walk to Donut Man (across from Channel 7)
and JUST have coffee. Stay an hour, walk home. Melissa eventually
got her first job at Donut Man because I got to know the owners
(Stan) daughter who managed it.
Pearl passed away about 10 years ago, and Carol stopped walking
because she started cleaning houses and had grandchildren to watch.
But Ruth and I continued to have coffee together. We would drive
to McDonalds every Saturday during the school year, and go 2-3 times
a week in the summer.
Ruth was diagnosed with breast cancer the year after Melissa (2004-she
was 80 at the time). She did pretty well until about 7 months ago.
She was having trouble with her balance, so she went to the doctor -
they found 19 tumors on her brain. Even at 86 they did radiation, and
she seemed to get a little better. But in the past month she has deteriorated.
She was in Hospice care at home for about three weeks. I've been visiting EVERY day. She was not only my FRIEND, but more like a mom to me. I loved my mom, but never had that friendship that you look forward to when you become an adult. You know, go shopping, go to lunch.
That's what I did with Ruth. I know more about Ruth than I knew about my OWN mom. I love her. And now SHE's gone. She was 87, but other than the cancer, she was unbelievably YOUNG. Hardly a wrinkle on her face (smile lines, but that's about it!) And NEVER took medicine. I asked her husband the other day and he said "she took an aspirin once"...she was pretty amazing. So I want to be like Ruth. (Although if I go sooner, that would be ok with me...33 years is a long time to wait to see Melissa again...)
Hard to believe when Ruth and I first became friends, she was 62 (and retired!) and I was 29 with an eight year old and a six year old!!!!!
Time flies when your having fun...and it goes too fast.
I love you Ruth and will NEVER forget you...