Twenty- eight years ago, on Easter Sunday, my mother, Ruby Ross died after months of fighting her final illness. My daughter Caitlin and I sat by her side that day, soon joined by her best friend Ellie and her husband Lee. Mom opened her eyes when Ellie entered the room, held her hand, and asked her, “how are you doing, dear Ruby?” Mom’s eyes sparkled and her face opened into a smile as she gazed at each of us in the room and responded simply, “ I am fine, just fine.” Several hours later, when we had all gone home, she breathed her last. This day was both the saddest day of my life and the most inspiring. Twenty- eight years later, I still think of my mom daily and see her through my own actions and gestures as well as through the actions and gestures of my daughter. We tell stories of her legendary baking and sewing skills, her “joie de vivre,’ and her ability to organize people into focused groups, making changes for the youth in our community. We also remember her tough life as the eighth of nine children growing up on a dairy farm in the lowlands of Scotland, and for her service in the Land Army during World War II. Ruby’s life embraces the Easter story. She lived a graceful life through extreme hardships and moments of creativity and joy. In the last months of her life, those who loved her watched as she gradually let go of her physical body, and in the last few hours of her life, we watched her embrace the mystery that was yet to come. I find myself embracing a complicated set of emotions most Easter Sundays. There is a definite “Alleluia chorus moment,” when I feel the presence of Jesus, the Risen One, and there also is a tinge of loss as I acknowledge a longing to hold my mom and all those I love and who have loved who are now gone. I look forward to both Easter Sunday and the weeks beyond to embrace both.
- Pastor Jill
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Christ the Good Shepherd
Various editorials, articles, and other items of interest.