I had a sense when I was writing last weeks post, that my mother Ruthie’s body was failing and in the process of letting go. She died the next night, Monday October 2, 2017 at 8:10pm.

It was a beautiful experience to share with my sisters (Mary Jane and Cheri), who arrived in Phoenix the previous Friday for a long anticipated vacation. We were surrounding her as she transitioned, each sending her off with love and encouragement. By the time of her passing, we realized she was very much the captain of her destiny. There were to many synchronicities for it to be otherwise.

Her wish was to go quickly, before her mind deteriorated beyond her body, and at home. Her biggest fear was that with the Alzheimers, she would forget her kids. On the day of her death she had beautiful, but brief encounters with all of us. It was obvious that she knew exactly who she was talking with. Cheri is known for spending her entire vacation in the pool… and Mom asked her “Are you swimming everyday?” When Fito asked if she knew who he was… she responded “Of course… Fito.., my son-in-law”.

I am of course grieving… but not as much as I am celebrating her life and the beautiful way in which it ended.

About 2 weeks ago, she asked me “How did I end up here in Arizona.., was it because of money?” I said to her “No.., you ended up here because we were suppose to spend these last 10 years together.” We both learned and grew so much from one another. I have been blessed.., and also stretched in ways that I could have never imagined. She was too.

Both of us have had to address biases and beliefs, that had we not shared this time together would never have come up. I know because I left home at 16 and moved thousands of miles away at 19. We had a good and close relationship, but it was also one of challenge and misunderstanding at times.

However since moving here.., we had a chance to get real with one another in a way that if we had been states apart, would never have happened.

I think this is true for all of my siblings as well. They all have had a close relationship with her, and each for some period of time lived near her or close by. They all had their own unique and personal connection. Actually, that might be one of her great gifts. To treat everyone as an individual and build from there.

Many people in Phoenix, including my Storm Wisdom family, met her the first year we opened. She was my first employee or should I say “volunteer” as she didn’t want to get paid. She loved being there and created many long-lasting friendships. Others simply knew her from our annual celebrations which she always attended.

She was a bright light. Her self-deprecating sense of humor and storytelling, especially with her strong New England accent was engaging. She laughed a lot and cried easily. She was a character with character. A loving mother, a loyal friend and dedicated Christian.

I am who I am today in large part due to her influence. I will miss creating new memories with her… but not as much as I will enjoy remembering the ones we have created already! I could not be happier that even in the end, she did it her way.

RIP Ruthie Dow 11/18/1936 – 10/2/2017
Here is her online Obituary

With Light, Love, and Laughter