Actually I never knew Ruth because she had died about 12 years before I was born. What I do know of her was passed down to me via stories told by my parents.
She was their first child...to be followed by my brother two years later. Her time on this earth was only a little bit over three years. She was born with congenital heart disease...and in the 1930 there was very little that could be medically done to save her life. On an early December day her short life came to an end.
The reason why I know it was an early December day is because I remember my parents mourning for her in early December each and every year. I remember coming home from school and finding the house quiet, Mom & Dad holding hands, tears in their eyes. They say losing a child is a pain that never ends. I believe that for I witnessed it in my parents.
I was told that she was gentle with animals and in turn animals loved her. Mom told me a story about finding Ruth in the back yard with mourning doves gathered around her feet. Would my sister have grown up to be a veterinarian?
Sometimes my imagination takes flight as I wonder what it would have been like to have had an older sister. Would she have been happy? Would she have had a family of her own? Would she have been a wonderful and wise woman with welcoming love. It is easy to imagine all of these wonderful things for her.
Sadly, we will never know. A young life full of promise cut short too soon.
There is one event that I remember my mother sharing with me. It happened on a warm summer day's evening. Mom found Ruth sitting by herself and she asked her what she was doing. Ruth responded "I think I am going away soon." Mom, still trying to find out what she was thinking, said "where are you going?" Ruth responded in her little piping voice "I don't know...but I don't think you can go with me."
A few months later, Ruth went away.
At her funeral, our Aunt Christine wrote a poem for and about her. I am sharing it with you:
Written by Aunt Christine
Our family circle is broken
Our hearts throb in their pain,
For God has taken our daughter
To brighten His realm again,
It may be that even in heaven
They wanted her bright smiling face
And it may be that only our darling
Could successfully fill that place.
Oh the way seems so sad and so dreary,
Our burdens so heavy to bear,
And we wait for the end of the journey
Where God will erase our sorrow and care.
Our sad hearts long for her always,
Since she's gone to that home so fair,
But a beautiful memory still lingers
Around her toys and her small empty chair.