Thursday, January 21, 2010

I have a story to tell.

Ruth Anne Gorsage was born on June 29, 1935. She came into this world as a blessing to her parents. They had tried to have children many times, all resulting in miscarriages or death shortly after birth. Mammaw often told me the story of her birth and I remember asking her to tell it to me just a month or so ago. Her Daddy worked an entire month to earn $5 so they could hire a doctor to deliver the baby. Oh what a blessing that $5 brought. It brought my Mammaw, Ruth Anne, into this world. She was the apple of her mother and daddy's eye.

Her mother, also named Ruth, was sick. She had tuberculosis. She fought hard to live for her husband and new daughter. She tried treatment after treatment to help with her disease. I remember my Mammaw telling me her vague memory of going to visit her mom in the sanatorium. You see, they didn't know what to do with patients that had diseases like TB back then. So they were put in sanitariums with all of those confused souls. Some in there for just reason, others in a position like Ruth.

Ruth, desperate to get better, joined a clinical trial. The thought was that they could blow air into TB patients lungs and it would "blow out" the TB. Oh how far medicine has come. But for Ruth, that was the last breath she would take. The experiment was too much for her little body and she passed away when my Mammaw was only 8 years old. She was beautiful. Dark, black hair, a rounded face and sweet smile. Mammaw didn't remember a lot about her mom, but she remembered her singing. "She was always humming and singing", Mammaw would tell me on one of the countless times that I asked her to tell me about her "real" mom.

What a blessing Ruth brought into this world. She gave me my Mammaw. The sweetest, warmest most wonderful person I have ever known. I can tell you this with all certainty. I never, ever saw or heard a mean word come out of my Mammaws mouth. She was the closest thing to an angel that I have ever come across. She lived a blessed life and bore 5 children, saw 7 grandchildren grow to adults and was blessed with 5 great-grandchilren. People all over the WORLD have been touched by knowing her.

My Mammaw had been sick for many years. I could see it in her beautiful eyes. She wanted to live for her family, but oh how tired she was. Her last option was chemotherapy and she bravely choose the treatment. Just like her mother, her little body could not take the treatment. My Mammaw, the woman you see me smooching in my header picture, died on January 12, 2010.

I will hold her in my heart forever. Such change has happened in my life over the past 2 months. But I am ready now. Mammaw was so proud of me and Andrew. She loved us. She believed in us. And I know that she believed in me. We had a special relationship that I am so thankful for. She helped mold me into the person that I am today and Mammaw, I will keep my chin up and keep on singin' and believin' for the both of us.

love.
Mammaw and me in the hospital on New Years Day, 2010.

Easter, 2009. She was so beautiful.

Christmas Day 2009. Mammaw gave me a ukulele and taught me two songs. We sang and played all morning together. I will never forget that day.



10 comments:

Amy said...

Oh, thank god!! I have been waiting for these words. I adore you. Whatever Mammaw and Debbie did, they did it right. I am convinced that Ruth had everything to do with the power outage this morning in Norton. Peace in the dark. Love, love, love, love.

Amy

Grateful Gramma said...

A truly beautiful tribute, Valerie! Mammaw is definitely beaming!

Mary Grace Mock said...

Crying.

That was beautiful. Thanks for sharing Mammaw with us :)

Molly said...

How beautiful. Mammaw was an angel and I'm thankful that she shaped you into the person that I, and so many others, love dearly.

Molly said...

How beautiful and touching. Thank you for sharing her sweet story. She's smiling so proudly at you. She's an angel that shaped you into the wonderful person that I, and so many others, love and adore.

Johannah said...

I just started laughing, which may seem odd to others--but I just remembered about the time you opened a care package from her at Old Holly and she had sent you the crocheted tank top! Its good to remember all the laughs too. Love. Love. Love.

Michael said...

Oh,Valerie, how blessed I feel to have been able to read this. Sometimes words can do so much more than carry meaning. They carry deep and profound emotions. Your words here do just that, and my day is richer for having read them.

Molly Harper said...

That is absolutely wonderful! Grandparents are the BEST!

lauren said...

I'm so, so, sorry -- Val, this is beautiful.

Crystal Pinson said...

Valerie, I am speechless. I sit here with chills and a heavy heart. I will forever consider myself blessed for having the opportunity to take care of such a wonderful woman like Ruth. I think it's fair to say 'they just don't makem' like her anymore'. I can only imagine how proud of you she must be. Beautiful words for a beautiful soul!

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