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7 Weeks & 2 Days Ago, I Said….

December 29, 2017

[NOTE: if you’re unsure of context, simply scroll down to yesterday and read that first.]

Rev. Causer, Thank you. And thank you to the people and pastor who ARE the Okawville United Methodist Church. And thank you all for being here this afternoon. And above all else, thanks be unto God for sharing Ruth Scheets with us, and for letting us share in her life.

And WHAT a life! Pretty safe to say she knew how to live it to the fullest. Rev. Causer and Patty and Joseph and I want to give you a chance to share your memories, recollections, and reflections of life with her in just a moment. What are some fun, classic Ruth Things that you remember? Something she said or did? Something the 2 of you shared? Or just some snapshot of her, some scene you remember. Please permit me a handful.

I’d like to begin with her Duck. This was long before I was born. IIRC, she, or someone, had gotten Andy a duck for Easter…maybe it was just something people did back then. My mom being my mom, the duck didn’t go live on a farm or anything. She kept it at her parents’ house in town, in the back yard, in like a dog crate or something — and a child’s wading pool. But my favorite part of the story was when she’d tell how she’d take the duck for a walk: little dog collar, and a leash, and they’d walk around town. Which seemed perfectly normal to her. Of course it did.

2nd: She loved teaching, and at recess she played baseball with her classes — Shortstop, not kidding — but hated early morning playground duty when it was cold. Loved warm weather, loved the beach.

3:When I was a kid, she and I would drive places all the time, and we’d talk all the time; no surprise there. But in the motel rooms, she’d get out a little watercolor set and paint landscapes, seascapes, people, dogs, children pretty much anything — and then, in classic Ruth fashion, set them out on the table by the window of the room with the curtains open — to dry — and usually people walking by would stop, admire them, and sometimes tap on the glass and ask if they buy one. She’d open the door and give them the one that had caught their eye.

4: She loved her Dallas Cowboys. She loved the NFL! One of the last games she was able to follow was a Super Bowl. Patty and I had brought her a McDonald’s Cheeseburger, fries, and a chocolate milk shake. Get this visual: she’s sitting there with the cheeseburger in one hand, milkshake in the other, and French Fry hanging out of the corner her mouth like a cigarette — and she said, “I don’t know which one to enjoy first!”

5: On one of our last outings, such as they were, I was driving her wheelchair around the parking lot of her nursing home. We were on the sidewalk in front of the building and she suddenly had me stop. I thought something had happened! And it had: she had noticed the late afternoon light on the row of shrubbery. “Just LOOK at that, Joseph! The light, the contours… That would be such fun to sketch!” I told her I could zip home and be right back with some pencils and a sketch pad. I’d burst out with these things before I remembered she could barely write her name at this point…but she remembered that reality, and she sighed and said, “Oh, no, let’s just enjoy this.”

Again: “Oh, no, let’s just enjoy this.” Which was kind of one of her 3 Big Tips on Living Well, and Living Long:

drink coffee,

eat Almond Hershey’s, and…

Enjoy Every Moment.

By the grace of God, she did; and by the grace of God, she still is.


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