She’s So Fine

This morning just before four o’clock, my dear mother opened her eyes in Heaven. The nearest thing to my “other self,” she woke to find Jesus had wrapped His arms around her and welcomed her into His glorious presence.

In this space, I’ve posted more than a couple times with stories and recollections concerning my mom. The picture above was taken last December. We knew at that time her days on earth were winding to a close. Once the lockdowns were put in place at her long-term care facility, visits with her ceased. She died six weeks short of her 94th birthday.

It’s impossible to leaf through my memory to provide a full picture of Marion Ruth West (1926-2020) who fashioned herself (early in life) as Ruthe West and on one occasion, Bobbie Pringle, eventually living most of her adult life as Ruthe Stricker. Just the variations of her name offer a bird’s-eye view into her fun-loving, often-impulsive character! The world is poorer for having lost her, but Heaven is blessed … because she will do her part to keep St. Peter on his toes!

Over the last several years, it was clear she had grown impatient with this world and the weakened nature of her existence. (She hated being dependent.) Blind and hard of hearing (especially after her hearing aids disappeared during a hospital stay), she often asked why God didn’t take her home. Had He forgotten her? Was He purposely tormenting her?

No answers could adequately satisfy her why questions. In truth and given all the struggles she’d encountered in the final two years, my siblings and I were stymied by her apparent strong will to live. I often think it may have been her father’s voice urging her six-year-old self:  Be a good soldier, daughter. After I’m gone, soldier on. Even when the din of earthly existence crowded out all audible conversations, she’d have heard his voice speaking comfort in her soul.

During previous visits with my mom, the sonnet below was edging its way into form. We’ve all experienced the frustration of having to wait. From personal observation, it seems an especially aggravating burden for elderly folks. For my mom, it became a trial having to wait. Didn’t people realize she had places to go, people to see?!

On this blessed morning, only One Person stood in her field of vision … what Joy to know and instantly recognize His face! And her family rejoices with her.

14 thoughts on “She’s So Fine

  1. Even though I know she is with Jesus, I will miss her. Now I have only one paternal relative of the previous generation left. My generation is now coming of age & sad to say there is no one who can hold a candle to those who came before.

  2. Beautifully written Renee. The pandemic has made this journey more difficult for both the elderly and their families. I can do relate to this. What sweet assurance knowing she is healed, vibrant and in the arms of Jesus.

  3. The photo of her as a young woman reminded me of you, Renee, when I first knew you. I could tell she was your mom. The two of you looked so alike. Blessings from our God as you are celebrating her time on this earth and her journey home to Heaven.

    1. Thanks, Lynda, for your comments! Saying we looked alike is a high compliment. God’s blessings on you as well.

  4. Renée,

    Thank you for the blessing of your beautiful thoughts about Mother and your excellent sonnet dedicated to her memory. Terri and I, together with one of our dearest but distant friends, have been focusing recently on the words and meaning of Psalm 27:14, a most fitting passage of Scripture: “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage; and He will strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord.” So much of life involves waiting, but understood from God’s perspective, waiting on Him is never wasted. Mother’s entire life was a clear demonstration of this.

    1. So true, “waiting on Him is never wasted.” Thanks for reading and for your comment.

    2. Eric & Family,
      I am sorry for your loss here on Earth; but Heaven awaits us all where we can Rejoice together with our Beloved Family & worship the King of Kings!!! Much 💘 & 🙏!!!
      Lynda Cather

  5. What “fine” and loving thoughts and memories to honor your beloved Mother! Praying for comfort and peace for you and your family. 🙏🏻

  6. So sorry for your loss of your dear mother. I can only imagine how hard that loss is. I pray that she is in heaven looking down at you. Like your mother, my mother went to The Charles Ellis School for Girls because her father died in 1933, when she was 3 years old. My grandmother had to go to work too, to support my mother and my mother’s older sister, who also went to Ellis School. My mother turned 90 last month, and my aunt (her sister) died in 2016, just before my younger brother died. My mom speaks to this day with such fond memories of going to The Charles Ellis School for Girls. My mom graduated in 1948 or 1949 and was able to go to work as a secretary at the Pentagon for the Department of the Navy. She loved Ellis School. She went to camp there in the summers and was so appreciative of the education she received there. I am so glad I got to see myself the remaining buildings of the school a few years ago when my husband and I were looking at sending our son to boarding school at The Hill School. We decided to keep him at home at the school he has been at since kindergarten, but the side trip to The Ellis School is one I will always remember.

    1. Thank you, Leslie, for your precious reminiscences! Your mother and mine might have known each other, but my mom graduated in 1943 (so a bit older). Were you able to view the linked file I included for the school? It’s in the Family tab under Charles E. Ellis School. It provides a wonderful history.

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