Soosie passed away ten years ago, on Valentine's Day. I can't believe it's been that long, or that my life-long dream of having a baby girl to name for her has already come true.
She was a beautiful, strong, intelligent woman. She set such a wonderful example for me, that I could do absolutely anything I set my mind to if I worked hard enough and stood up for myself. I really, desperately, hope that I'll be able to set even the slightest shadow of that example for my own sweet Ruthe.
Ever since Ruthe was born she's spent a lot of time looking up into corners and just past our faces and smiling, or talking, or just staring so deeply and intently that we just know there's someone there that only she can see. I've always loved thinking that it's Soosie standing there, loving my little girl and cheering her along the road to recovery. That thought would always give me comfort when I couldn't be at the hospital with my baby, or when she was in a procedure room that I couldn't be in.
The past couple of months, since my grandmother passed away have been especially heart-breaking. Yiaya should be here to watch my Ruthe grow up. To hold her hand and take her shoe-shopping and bring her little trinkets from her far-away trips. She should be here to tell her stories about Soosie and sit in the front row at her piano recitals.
Yiaya loved Ruthe so much. She called to check on her progress at least every other day while Ruthe was in the hospital. She came to visit once or twice a week, just to see how much bigger Ruthe had gotten. She would find the sweetest little pajamas and bring them by, promising that they'd been washed without any dyes or perfumes and that she'd kept them in a plastic bag just so we knew there weren't any germs at all. She loved her. So much. And so perfectly.
I can still remember the day I told Yiaya that John and I had decided to name our baby girl after her mother. She just lit up. She told me she was just "tickled" that we had chosen the name Ruthe. That she had thought how nice of a name that would be, but she wasn't going to say anything because it was our decision, and that she was just so tickled.
Tickled. Who says that? It's such a silly, happy word. But that was Yiaya. She was just always so happy. And silly. She would say such funny things, and use different voices when she told us stories, and dance a little jig to make us laugh.
Ruthe is going to miss out on a lot of wonderful things without Soosie or Yiaya here anymore. But I think she's probably thinking the same thing about us, right now. That we're all missing out on so much fun and laughter and love because we just can't see them, right there in front of her, smiling and dancing.