Eighteen years ago today my life was a shambles. After a very long fall I had finally hit bottom. Far from there being no end in sight, it was staring me in the eye. I was locked on that gaze, enthralled by its deadly invitation.
Then Ruth entered my miserable existence and broke the connection. She proffered unconditional support. “You don’t have to live this way. Lets go home.” she said. The edge softened. The abyss dissolved. Her invitation overcame the previously compelling alternative. To honor this day is to honor her.
She’s gone now. Lost to a murderous disease that destroyed her body but not her spirit or her faith and certainly not her gifts or her legacy. I’ll never understand the cosmic forces that directed my salvation at her hand and then her subsequent destruction by cancer. It makes no sense to me. It’s driven me to seek an answer and is almost certainly what fuels my otherwise seemingly aimless wandering. Reconciling this paradox has become my life pursuit. I doubt the odds of success are weighted in my favor but I also realize that the process itself may in fact be the answer. It’s one of those things I’ll always know but never know.
I soldier on.
Even though the answers have so far escaped me, by Ruth’s grace I remain these last eighteen years a sober person, curious, more sane than not and far removed from the confused and tortured state she snatched me from that Saturday evening in 1995. For that and for the time I was allowed to spend with her and for all the help and support I received, and continue to receive, from the community she introduced me to, I will be forever grateful as I trudge the road of happy destiny.