Friday, May 6, 2011


This piece will be on both of my blogs today.

Sometimes I called her Mom. Other times I called her Mother. Once in a great while I called her Mommy. Those times were when I was an adult. My mom.

I wrote this piece years ago. Once more I post this for my remarkable mother.

The woman lived almost her entire eighty-eight years on the same square mile of land.
Yet she touched more lives than most of us will ever know.
Her mission was the life she lead.

No one was ever a stranger.
No one ever wanted for a meal or a bed.

She took in several youth who were homeless giving them a family.
Gave temporary shelter to kids in trouble.
Babysat for anyone who ever asked.

The church was her life.
She was choir director, custodian, Sunday school teacher, on every committee.

She'd wake before the sun did and cooked each meal as the day progressed
for a dozen hungry farm hands.

She killed the chickens,
made the soap,
planted crops
and raised three babies.

She saw her sisters date gangsters
and fell in love at nine with her future husband.

She was a fantastic cook who never used a cookbook.
She never said 'no' to anything.
She fought for children's rights before we admitted they had them.
She was color blind to the shades of humanity.
She never believed that there was anything she couldn't do.

She never saw a stranger and opened her house
to exchange students,
cousins ten times removed.

She buried her parents, her three siblings and her husband.
She always had a song on her lips and in her heart.
She was loved and loved like few ever have.
She impacted more lives than we will ever know.

Now she lives in a world growing more silent as her hearing fails.
She is frail and tiny, looking at her last days.
But she is beautiful.
The song still remains on her lips and in her heart.

She is bright and has the handwriting of her twenties.
Still she has an open heart and fails to understand the narrow-mindedness of mankind.
She sits and crochets with her aching hands and plays the piano like a ragtime pro.

She is a lovely sight to behold, this mother of mine.
We should all have such mission in life to change it for the better.
I had a good example.
I think I'll pass it on.

My mother passed four months after I wrote this piece. It became her eulogy. The real tribute to her life is the legacy she passed on. My mother was laughter and love. Her name was Ruth Johnson, my mom.

Oh, Mom, I miss you.


  1. She was an amazing woman, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She is missed greatly!

  2. Wonderful pictures and fantastic text. I miss my mom, too.