Friday, December 24, 2010

What I learned from Sara

Sara was my boy friends mother. He’s not my boy friend any more but for 13 years, Sara was the woman I came to know and love as my boy friends mother. I met Sara and her husband Bob on a beautiful summer night in 1990, a few months before my 23rd birthday at the Lake house. When I met her, I liked her immediately and came to love her and admire her quickly. She immediately embraced my son and me into her family and always made us feel welcomed and so loved. Sara was easy company, easy to love and extraordinary in many ways. She loved and valued her family and had a deep richness about her. She was lovely, very lovely and everyone loved Sara. She was kind and humble, graceful and patient and beautiful in every way imaginable. A true woman of integrity, that’s who she was. Sara always looked great and kept a beautiful home, or homes I should say because at one point, she and Bob had three homes, all at the same time. She was always resourceful, generous and had a heart of gold. She had an ah-mazing memory and was an attentive listener. Sara also loved and appreciated the art of the hand written note. Her note cards were always great and a delight to receive in the mail. I’ve kept every single one. In fact, she was the person who helped me appreciate the art of the hand written note and inspired me to write them through the years to friends and family to stay in touch. Sara had a gentle spirit and yet was super resilient. In all the years I knew her, spent time with her, had coffee with her, took walks with her, visited her, shopped with her, she never, ever said anything negative about anyone, not anyone. Not once. And I think that's amazing. I have never met anyone quite like Sara. She was truly an extraordinary human being. She always saw the good in people and always found something positive to say about everyone and that always stood out to me. If someone ever mentioned anything remotely negative about someone, Sara was guaranteed to shine light on something good about that person. Meeting Sara in my early twenties influenced my life in positive ways and watching her do life, helped me see the good in people too. 

I learned a lot from Sara. I learned that real strength is born from biting your tongue and practicing patience. I also learned that even if something doesn’t unfold the way you expect it to, you don’t have to share your thoughts out loud. When those moments unfolded in her life, I would often catch her make an adorable little smirk but she never complained. She inspired me to put that into practice. I didn’t always fair well nor do I claim to do it well now but time and maturity and her example have certainly helped me in that area and I appreciate the pay off because it has served me and others well. Thank you Sara! Thank you so very much! 

Sara is no longer with us. She left us quite suddenly a few years ago and way too soon. It’s always too soon, no matter how old they are. She’s now in heaven resting in peace but she will never be forgotten. In fact, three days after Sara passed; I received a note card in the mail from her. She wrote to tell me that my son Michael surprised her and her husband Bob with a visit. She shared with me in her note card how delighted she was to see Michael. Receiving that card and reading her words three days after her passing wrecked me and made me feel special at the same time. She left me with the gift of words, just like Sara to do something wonderful like that.

If I could send a note to heaven to write one last note to Sara ... it might read something like this: Thank you Sara. Thank you for being lovely and so extraordinary and for being such a wonderful character in my story. Thank you for loving me and for teaching me in the most unassuming ways. Thank you for being a pillar of strength, for being such a bright light in my world and for being such a beautiful example of grace and beauty. You inspired me to be every bit of the woman God has created me to be, what a rich gift and blessing. I miss you so much and think of you fondly. I always will and I will always cherish the memories of yesterday.

I’ll forget you never Sara. Thank you for everything. The way you lived and the way you loved left an indelible mark on my heart. I’ll love you always … 

Missing you  ....


Nothing but a breath, a comma separates life from life ever lasting. Death is not a period, nor exclamatory or even a semi colon. Death is a pause as one transitions from this life to the next. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010


This morning I spent some time reading several old journal entries that date back to 2001 through 2003. Those were bittersweet years for sure. It’s always an interesting experience to go back and read what I was feeling and thinking and experiencing in my past. When I read those entries from that time period, I discovered that I’ve grown significantly as a person, both emotionally and spiritually. Perfect I am not, I have not “arrived” but I certainly have grown significantly since then. Reading these entries reminded me that I’ve experienced great healing from past emotional wounds and survived and learned some really tough lessons. Reading these entries also reminded me that we’re always evolving and growing at some capacity. I’ve experienced some really sweet blessings through the years, and yes some struggles for sure. But I overcame each and every one of the struggles I wrote about. It’s incredibly interesting to read these entries and reflect on the past because at the time, the struggle and the pain associated with the struggle seemed so monumental, and so overwhelming. The struggle felt like a giant that I was sure would cause me to cave and die a slow death. Fortunately, it didn’t unfold that way. God, time, hope and my willingness to persevere helped me to over come each and every one of those obstacles. I’m so thankful for that. A wise person once said: “Anyone can give up. It's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, well that's true strength.” Today, I’m thankful that I’m an over comer and for the strength I’ve gained through my experiences. I don’t always feel so strong but I’m discovering that I’m stronger than I give myself credit for. Writing and reading what I write helps me remember that. And on a sweeter note, some of my entries reminded me of how sweet and delicious it is to be alive and to experience the sweetness of connectedness, connectedness to God, my friends, my family and some really special people in my life that have helped me along the way by just being part of my life. Their time, their love, their listening ears, their friendship, their words of wisdom and their prayers have helped me through some really tough seasons in life. I’m so thankful for them.

Dear God,

Thank you for each and every person you have allowed to come into my life and thank you for each and every experience in life. Some have been bitter, others sweet but in the end, they have shaped me and have made me who I am. At 43, I realize that everything happens for a reason. Good is good, in fact sometimes good is really very delicious and when the tough times come along, and they always do, you can and do bring good out of that too. I get that. I have a long history of that in my life. Thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you for bringing good out of my hardships. And thank you for never giving up on me. I don’t always get it right and for that I’m truly sorry. Thank you for bringing such wonderful people into my life. These special people bring out the best in me and I like bringing my best self to everything I do and every one I do life with. Thank you for all the beautiful moments I’ve experienced and still experience in life because they’re magnificent, delightful and lovely. I live for those moments and treasure those memories. They bring me great joy, sometimes uncontainable joy and I love that feeling. God, I’m so thankful that I’m finally grown up enough, maybe wise enough to appreciate and treasure the people in my circle and their amazing impact on my life. I’m thankful for all the wonderful moments, big and small that I experience. Sometimes great joy is experienced in what others might perceive as insignificant but to me, acts of kindness, thoughtfulness and meaningful gestures regardless of size or frequency are what touch souls.

God, please help me to always be the kind of woman who lives her life leaving nuggets of love behind doing small things with great love. I may not always do things really great but I know that I have the capacity to do small things with great love. Help me to love great always.

Mother Teresa once said: “Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love.” I love that quote! Most days, my heart is filled with joy and great gratitude, for life, people, things and that makes me feel wonderfully blessed. When my heart feels that good, life feels super rich and lavish. I love what joy produces and I love what it attracts.

Feeling incredibly thankful today. Thanks God!

My cup runneth over …

~ Ruthie