July 2, 2009

I'll Always Remember

An Arrangement For Ruby
by Moi

Her name was Ruby and she was the 7th of 8 girls born to a farmer in Northern Alabama. Growing up she had to do all the hard work required of a farmer's daughter as well as the domestic chores of cooking , cleaning and sewing . She never questioned her fate because in her day you were living in "high cotton " if you were able to put food on the table and this was usually possible by the sweat of your brow.

She married the son of a farmer and they set up their own household. I was the 2nd daughter, the third of four children. All of us learned responsibility from a very early age. There wasn't a lot of playing or free time as our days were filled with work. We learned to cherish the rare occasions when we could find a respite from the hard toil we did everyday. No wonder country music is filled with either sad or funny songs.

I heard the stories about her growing up but I really don' t remember the sad day that my mother, who was 40 at the time, died from a miscarriage. I was 4 at the time. She was a tall, strong woman but working in the fields non-stop during her 5th pregnancy caused her to lose the baby and her life.

Growing up in the small town where everyone knew her they would always tell me what a wonderful woman she was. I was happy to hear that but I also wished that I had known her myself. There's no void in my life bigger than the one she left. I think of the joy she must have felt when she held me to her breast for the first time and how heart-wrenching it must've been when she realized that she was dying and leaving her children without a loving Mother. She asked her sisters to take care of us but the sad fact was they were not in a position to do so, having children of their own and not making enough to take care of us as well.

I'll always remember today, Mommie Dearest; today, July 2 is your birthday. I truly believe that we will meet again, as mother and daughter and that all our pain and grief will be forgotten in our joy.

Happy Birthday, Ruby.


  1. This was very touching. Having children of your own you KNOW how heartbreaking it must've been for your mother.

  2. Thank you Debbie. Yes indeed having my own children and a grandchild makes me much more aware and appreciative of what my own mother suffered.

  3. A very touching post. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  4. I'm touched by reading your post-and the way you shared it with such a clear, strong voice. I am sure you will both meet again one day;-)

  5. Ma, it is sad that you don't remember your mother Ruby, but you know she was a great lady and I see her strength in you.
    Happy Birthday Grandma Ruby, you'll always be in our hearts.

  6. Thank you all. This is such an emotional day for me , remembering the mother I lost at such a young age.

  7. This is such a poignant post, Carolyn Gail. I'm sure your mother would be very proud of the woman that you became; you are sharing her love with your own family.


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