Sunday, March 21, 2010

The World is Different Tonight

Many of you have suggested that I start recording our Ruff family stories. I've been meaning to start this blog since Valentine's Day. I have pictures of our celebration, which included pink smoothies and pink heart shaped pancakes. You guessed it. They are still on the camera.

Then, yesterday, I had an impromptu cranial exfoliation treatment, courtesy of C. I was trying to rest my stuffy head and take a "nap." As I was nodding off, I felt C playing with my hair and running a comb through it. At times he was rubbing my head a little roughly, but I did not have the energy necessary to open my eyes and tell him to stop. Besides, he's 21 months. If I expended all that energy to stop him, his efforts would resume again as soon I got all comfy again on the couch. I discovered when Steve got home that C had been dumping dirt from a nearby plant onto my head and rubbing it in. My head, my sweater, and the couch were all covered in dirt and all had to be vacuumed. I decided that somewhere in some snazzy spa, someone is charging an arm and a leg to rub dirt into someone's hair because of the restorative and replenishing properties of potted plant dirt....right?

But, even that story did not motivate me to take a moment from the evening's duties to get this going. But today, today was an important day. It started with news that my cousin, who has Cystic Fibrosis, had gotten the call for her new lungs. I was happy dancing in the street and crying tears of joy. Seriously, I danced a little jig on the way to the car. I hope the neighbors enjoyed it. Then we found out that one lung was compromised, so this was not to be transplant day. I felt so deflated, let down, and angry. It is time for new lungs. Why not today? Why not yesterday? Why not now? Aargh! I think my cousin handled this with more grace than I did.

Then we received a call with news that Steve's cousin, Pati, lost her battle with cancer today. Though I only met her a few times, I got to know her a little through Steve's stories. She was full of life and left this world entirely too early. This reminder of our mortality made each moment that followed all the sweeter. We really did stop to smell the proverbial roses (as the real ones haven't bloomed yet).

We took the kids to a park and watched them throw rocks into the thawing lake. Later in the day, they tore up the barely budding grass in the backyard. Normally every spring I get paranoid about those new shoots being stomped on by crazy children and torn up by our wild dog. Today that muddy yard was a reminder of all that is precious in our lives. As we watched our gang through the window, Steve remembered an overnight long ago in the backyard with his cousins. Cousin Pati and Sister Mary snuck into the boys' tent and covered their faces with lipstick designs. He teared up as he told a story that used to make him smile. The world is a different place tonight. It is a world that grieves the loss of Pati and all that she was.

Do me a favor, please. Hug your loved ones tonight. Hug them tightly. Tell them you love them and burn that moment into your being.


  1. Thank you!
    I am turning off my computer right now and go upstairs and Hug my wonderful husband.
    Pati and her family are in our prayers tonight. I can relate to the pain they must be feeling right now because I also lost my sister almost three years ago and it still hurts.
    Pati was one of the first cousins I met when I started dating Paul.

  2. Oh, Gloria. I am praying for your family and for Pati's...may her next step on this journey be full of peace and light and may her family be lifted up by love.

    Thank you, also, for your joy and even your sadness on my behalf. I felt your love all the way in NY, every second. I also heard that Beth learned the news from a church friend who read my blog! Made me smile...I think that was the work of one of her/my shared McDaniel cousins, who also goes to church with Beth and who likes to keep people informed!

    Your children are beautiful, your words inspiring, and I AM SO EXCITED for this blog! I'm your first follower ;)

    Love love and more love to you and all your little dirt-diggers,

  3. So nice of you to share I look forward to more the people who told you to do it were right Gloria you can blog it up

  4. Grandpa Jerry must be smiling to see "The Ruff House" in print again and in such good hands, Gloria. He'll be welcoming Pati now into our "real home," while we keep praying for her family and for a lung transplant for your dear cousin, Piper.

    I'll beware of head rubs by Caleb when I come over...though if it would add growth to my thinning hair, I'd bring my own plant!

    Love, Mary Kay