Miz Sally wrote a post about her Aunt Ruth a bit ago and it set me to thinking about my own Aunt Ruth.
I've written about her before, how she was my mother's younger sister and was only 13 when I was born, how she was my Aunt but also my very best friend when I was growing up, how I'd sit on the bed and watch her and her friends get all dressed up to go out on Friday nights, how she taught me to dance soon after I learned to walk. I've written about how special she was to me and how devastated I was when she died soon before her 41st birthday. I wasn't done learning from her you see, I still had so much to ask her, to tell her, to share with her. I still miss her so very much but I think I miss her most during this time of the year.
Aunt Ruth loved Christmas and was the one solely responsible for bringing our scattered families together for a huge holiday celebration. She'd tease us unmercifully during the weeks leading up to the Day by giving us little hints about the present she'd bought each of us. The presents weren't grand or expensive but she always chose them with us in mind, always knowing what we'd love the most. I remember one year it was a snowman who, when you took his head off, delighted us with a belly full of candy. After the candy was all gone, we could use him as a sweet, little, container for storing all sorts of things.
Another year she hired a lady to make us darling little cat pajama bag pillows to adorn our beds. She knew our favorite colors so mine was blue and white, Paula's was yellow and white, and Terri's was red and white. I still had my pajama bag until the fire took it away over 4 years ago, it's one of the things I miss most.
My Aunt Ruth was also the clown in the family and she passed her joy of laughter onto my sisters and I. We never knew what she'd come up with and we often managed to get one up on her in retaliation.
She had 4 little boys and sometimes just needed to get away alone, even if it was just to the grocery store. One day she went to town and left my cousin and I to tend to the little ones and we waited until we knew she'd arrived and called the local Kroger, where we knew she did her shopping, and asked them if they'd please page Aunt Ruth because we had something important to add to her grocery list. We didn't give them her last name cause we knew when they paged Aunt Ruth, she'd know it was her. When she finally came huffing and puffing to the phone, we told her we were out of Hershey Bars and could she please add those to her list.
I can also remember times when we went shopping with her and she'd have to laugh when she got to the check-out over some of the stuff we'd added to her cart, a gallon jar of dill pickles, half eaten donuts that we'd opened and sampled before putting them in, a package of hotdogs with a couple missing. She'd just laugh, shake her head, and tell the guy to ring them up.
My Aunt Ruth was so proud of us and I sure wish she'd lived to see all the little ones we have now. She'd have loved them with all her heart and would have remembered every birthday and every other special occasion. She never forgot how to play.
I hope when I am gone that someone will remember me with even half the love as I remember her with.