Ruby Wright Eddy was born in 1915, almost 96 years ago. Yesterday, I received an email from my mom and dad telling me that Ruby had passed away. This news caused a flood of memories to come to my mind. I thought I’d share some of those memories with you.
Ruby was my “backdoor” neighbor. She and her mother (who lived to the age of 103) lived in a little house behind our house. I don’t know how many times in my life that we’d invite her over for lunch or supper, or how many times I’d carry extra food and desserts across the yard to her house. I also remember a time when we actually stayed at her house due to some physical threats my dad received because of his preaching. I don’t know if at the time I knew why we were staying at her house, but I remember thinking it was really fun. For me, it was like a vacation even though we were just across our back yard. Ruby was also our mailman. Whenever we went out of town, Ruby would collect our mail for us.
Ruby was my first employer. I don’t know how old I was when I started mowing Ruby and her mother’s lawn, but I couldn’t have been over 10 years old and I continued to mow her lawn until I went off to college. At the age of 10, the $3.00 I was paid for mowing her yard made me feel like I was rich. By the time I was in High School, I didn’t want to take the $3.00 from her, but she absolutely insisted.
Ruby was my 4th grade Bible class teacher. One of the best memories I have of all my years in Bible class is when, with Ruby’s help, I memorized Romans 12. What a great chapter to memorize. She made it fun. And today I am thankful that I still know that chapter because of Ruby. In fact, I still have a memory verse chart that Ruby made in the class. It was a bulls-eye with an arrow, and if you knew the verses, your arrow would stay on the center bulls-eye. Ruby knew how to motivate boys and make learning fun.
Ruby was popular at church. All the kids, when they reached a certain age, would go sit with Ruby in church. She would fill half a row with little girls who wanted to sit with her. I’ll never forget waiting until I was old enough to sit with her too, only to have my mom tell me that it was just the girls who were sitting with Ruby. I guess I hadn’t noticed, but it didn’t matter. Ruby was cool, and I wanted to be able to sit with her in church.
Ruby was my role model. There was a time in my life when I thought all girls had “cooties.” I had determined that I would never marry, and I used Ruby as my role model. I used to say, “I’m going to stay single just like Ruby.” Can you believe it? Ruby ruined everything for me when she was 54 years of age and got married for the first time. My role model let me down, so I guess I just gave up on my vow and gave in to the inevitable. (Kim, if you’re reading this, I say that tongue and cheek. Okay, Honey?) 😉
To me, Ruby was a friend, a neighbor, an employer, our mailman, a Bible class teacher, and a role model, to God she was a faithful daughter. Well done, Ruby! Thank you for a life well lived.