Eighteen Years

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.


11 responses to “Eighteen Years

  1. And It sounded like you wanted to be heard and understood that this was an important day and although I did ‘t know you then… I heard your reflection and its beauty.

    Sent from my iPhon


  2. I wish to share so much. Thank you for revealing yourself, Richard… Richard , Richard with whom I have shared a very few cocker spaniel driven moments…Curious how moments are measured.. So very amazing that we ultimately only feel our thinking in the moment… And as knee jerk controlling as that may initially lead us… It is only in not controlling that we control…I only mean to say that every moment to me is a blessing and a paradox… You mentioned paradox in your latest communication… I have become so aware of paradoxes… They are everywhere the more one explores…. I am aware of thinking that if one is aware of paradox, and truth within each.. How can there be a “truth”? It only might be leading the way to acceptance of everything right now. And everything right now is pretty OK … And I ‘m thinkin you might agree ? Right now?

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. Huge congratulations, Richard. I believe we make contracts with the loved ones that will guide us in this lifetime. As well as the folks that will break our hearts. Just as we signed on to do the same for others. We are all here to help in whatever form that may take. I wish I had met Ruth. But happy that I get to know her through you and your memories of her.


    • Mindy, I’m always surprised someone from the home base community tells me they had not known Ruth personally. I suppose it’s because she’s the one who introduced me into the group and I had ever since ‘shared’ friends with her. It never seems to occur to me that over the past six years I’ve acquired more connections outside that inner sphere. That’s a good thing. Life is about living and growing and moving forward hard as that sometimes might be. I wish you’d met her too. I try but I know I’ll never be capable of capturing her aura in any set of words I construct. I’ll never stop trying though.


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