Missing My Friend Ruthie!

Last October, Ruthie left the home she shared with her daughter, Susan, to go back to spend some time in her little condo in Florida before going on a cruise around the world with a past "love of her life". Ruthie is 78 years young and by far one of the coolest people I know. After the cruise, unfortunately, the love her life wasn't what she remembered, and I'm guessing he was probably too old for my girl Ruthie anyway! Then the most unexpected thing happened to not just Ruthie, but to us all. Her daughter had met someone very, very quickly and was convinced this was the guy, you know, as in "the love of her life". So, Ruthie was never able to come home again since the new man in her daughter's life had moved in before Ruthie even had a chance to move her things out. It still hurts me as I write this today.Ruthie is awesome, and I do mean TOTALLY awesome!! She's wise, creative, talented, very caring and so much more. She is my mentor. And she is the strongest woman I know! I will always remember the morning my son was working out front of the store. He had been gone for a little over a year because of some stupid mistakes he had made. Ruthie came around the corner and saw him. She grabbed him and began sobbing, and then next grabbed me while still sobbing, she was just so happy. She's held and rocked all the Country Roads babies in her arms. Ruthie use to read to Hannah when she was three (who is now 14 and works for me) while her mom worked at the store. Ruthie had the most awesome section in my store for years, Back Door Cottage. It was fabulous and our customers today still not only miss BDC, but Ruthie as well. Once a month, she would hold "Operation Sell" meetings in her home. She would gather myself and a few of our dealers and we would discuss marketing ideas. The former school teacher Ruthie, would shine at those meetings! And today, all of that has been taken away from us, her friends, the one's of us that were left here without her!At 78 years young, Ruthie went out and bought a computer and a book and learned that computer very quickly. Even though I don't get to see her, we at least get to e-mail each other all the time. We send quotes to each other, words of wisdom, you know. And she gives me advice, it's advice I always listen to. One of Ruthie's passions has been her garden that she had to leave back here at her daughter's house. I can't make myself write "home" because how can it be a "home" with Ruthie not there? As she told me in an e-mail the other day, "I knew every inch of that garden, and I keep thinking the oranges would be ready to be picked and I would bring them in to share with everyone at Roads". We miss our oranges this year more than you know Ruthie! I don't understand how daughters can hurt their mom's so badly, I just don't get it, especially when it is someone as wonderful as our Ruthie. I could go on and on, but out of respect to my friend, I will quit rambling, or is it bitching? Maybe a little of both. And for those of you that KNOW me, I always have ONE last thing to say when I shouldn't, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do, so (sorry Ruthie),"bless your little heart" Susan! My friend Malisa really has a great way with words, she taught me that one, thanks Malisa!! I want to share the e-mail below I received from Ruthie a few weeks ago. She really loved her garden and was sharing with me her thoughts. You know, I miss her so much. . .

This is a "story" I wrote about my garden in 97. I had forgotten all about it being tucked away in my Bits of Wisdom file until you wrote about planting a garden with Riley.
My Garden
Once, while standing in the garden surrounded by piles of trimmings---you know sweet peas do turn brown and hollyhocks do need to be cut back---a visitor remarked, "Is the reward worth the work?" I was momentarily stunned by this remark---Work??? I truly had never considerate this "work". We take care of the things we value.

I liken gardening to the rearing of children. Seeds are sown and then you nuture. Plants and children need discipline and loving guidance so they are aware of their boundaries.If care has been taken you step back and wait and then you marvel at the beautiful blooms. Then you smile--Wow---What a reward. Work?? What a strange word.

Sometime we all have to say goodnight to all of our creations. The joy comes in knowing we have been given the pleasure of creating the ulitmate garden path. What a life!!

Keep on planting all of those beautiful gardens in your heart----you are never alone in your garden even tho' you may be sitting on the swing on your front porch.

You ROCK Ruthie!

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