It was grey day. She had been packing for a week, but at 90 years old, some things take a bit longer. Still, on October 22 she was ready and slipped peacefully from earth to heaven.
Standing at an old farm gate, St. Peter’s job was easy that sunny day. He noticed several animals, especially a spaniel & a collie, some cats, maybe a few cows, and even a parakeet, perk up. “Ruth Maw-Rangeloff?”
A gentle light shyly approached and he bent towards her. “And what have you brought with you?”
“Only my most precious belongings, sir.“
He touched her heart; it was strong in its faith, pure, and really quite full.
Written there were her family & friends; a long cherished list with the loves of her life; her 6 children, 16 grandchildren, an ever-increasing number of great-grandchildren, much loved brothers, in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, a sister, and many close friends & coworkers.
Inside was her love for her students and her years spent teaching at small country schools and Sunday school. Her kindness and goodness in the love she had for the many residents she cared for at the Golden Manor. He saw her appreciation for His creation – the earth and all its animals – in her love for her farm (with the occasional lapse of her good humor usually due to one or more stupid cows). True, his eyebrow raised a bit with how much she loved Two and a Half Men, but he laughed with her English comedies and was impressed with the library of books in her soul. He saw her mission to Honduras and her adventures in Jamaica and China, where she walked on the Great Wall at 80 years of age. He saw her gratefulness to the family who cared for her in her latest years.
Before he even finished, Ruth was excitedly peeking past the gate. Ruth had been born into one of the kindest families on record and they’d been waiting for her a long time; her mama and her papa, Clayton and Quincy, with her son Donnie standing at the front. Her greatest friends were there too, impatient to play cards – Sophie, Glennie, Audrey A, and Shirley. At the back with a bundle of peonies, and a large yellow rose, was her husband Donald.
St. Peter opened the gate and Ruth ran into Donnie’s arms.
“Any regrets,” St. Peter called.
Ruth paused. “I will miss the rest of my family.”
St. Peter checked his list. “They will be here, but not quite yet.”
Ruth nodded and looked up at Donnie. “Do they have coffee and chocolate here?”
“All you can eat.” Donnie handed her Starbucks and peanut M&Ms.
And Ruth smiled.
Funeral services will be held 11 AM, Saturday, October 29, 2022, at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, 255 Columbia Ave, Tappen.
Visitation will be held 6-7 PM, Friday, October 28, at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church. A prayer service will begin at 7 PM.