I recieved some bad news during a phone call from my Mama this morning. As happy as I was to hear her voice on the other end of the line, I had a feeling it would be bad news.

Mama called to let me know that a very special lady, Ruby, had passed away yesterday (29th). Ironically it was the anniversary of my Mama's mother, my Grandmother Mildred's death also. Even more of a coincidence, Z's father passed away the same day, same year as Grandmother Mildred. You know? I'm disliking this date more and more as the years pass.

Ruby was like a Grandmother of sorts to me. She was supposed to be my step-grandma as my Mom had been with Ruby's eldest son and engaged for ages. Mama and Ruby stayed close, even though the engagement, for whatever reasons, didn't work out and the son and Mama remained friends. Ruby has been a part of my life since I was 17. I can't belive that she is gone.

I really loved Ruby to pieces. She was a real character and lots of fun to be around always with good stories and she and I, when together, would chuckle and she would nudge me with her elbow and lean real close when telling me a particulary juicy part of any story and a cute little smirk on her face. Ruby loved to talk about cooking with me too. She was soft spoken and kind, but didn't take anyone's antics either. She had her limits!

She had been ill and in a nursing home for some time now. At first doctors thought she had Alzheimers, but apparently, she had something similar, but not Alzheimers, yet the memory was affected. Then she had a stroke or two (the most recent earlier this month) and a couple of blood diseases that destroyed her heart and its valves. Mama was seeing her regularly and making sure she had what she needed and was being taken care of properly. She'd go and fix her hair, do a wash and set for her when she could and put on a little makeup for her. I wouldn't want to be one of the nurses or caregivers if Ruby wasn't being treated properly and my Mama found out about it. Nuh-uh.

Poor Ruby had been suffering for a while and even in the end, Mama said she was fighting to live, against the inevitable. Mama was with her, right next to her when Ruby breathed her last and my heart broke and I started balling like an infant when Mama told me that even as she was in her last minutes, Ruby was crying, tears silently running down her cheeks, not wanting to go, even though she was in pain. That's our Ruby, a real fighter, even till the end, the poor darling.

Bless her soul, I thank God that at least she isn't suffering anymore. She is free from the pain and from the morpheine injections that apparently didn't do much of anything for her towards the end. That is some consolation to me and to her children I hope that she is at peace now in a place far better than where she left. My only regret is that she had to suffer at all. Such a wonderful lady deserved to go quietly, painlessly, in her sleep.

Rest in peace, Ruby. We will all miss you, your smiles and that twinkle in your eyes.

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