What You Leave Behind: A Brief Tribute to Grandma Ruth

Sunday, January 13, 2008
At 11:30 pm on January 11, 2008, my paternal grandmother passed from this life into the next one that awaits her. During her last hours, she was surrounded by her loved ones—three generations of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. It was as she wanted, to be among the love and laughter that was her family.

I am struck by the legacy she leaves with us. I remember her humor, determination, and honesty. There are so many things that I remember now, along with the realization of the impact that one person's life can have on others.

My grandmother did not discover a cure for any serious diseases, although she was expert with band-aids and a kiss. She never won a Nobel prize for Literature, but she loved to read, passing on that love down to the rest of us. No television network offered her a contract for a cooking show, but her cookies and meals will be long remembered.

I do and will continue to miss her deeply, but the memories I have are good ones. I am awed by what she accomplished through kindess and compassion. I am grateful for her life and that I was fortunate enough to be part of it. I can only hope that I can live a life as full of love, hope, and compassion as hers.