Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Story About My Mom


I first met Ruth when Bill took me to Saddle Brook where she lived with her parents, Herman &  Winnie (Bill’s big brother & Sister-in-law).  Bill & I were “just friends” then…or so he thought.  Ruth was a pretty little thing.  She was very excited about her upcoming wedding to Donald Taylor and proudly showed off things she had in her hope chest in preparation for the big day.  (When the big day came Bill took someone else. That was o.k.  I forgive him.  I guess he hadn’t succumbed to my charms yet.)

Bill & Ruth were very close…kind of like brother & sister rather then Uncle & Niece.  They had both told me about the fun they had putting on puppet shows when they were growing up.  I wish I had known them “way back when”.

Ruth and Don had three children…Kathy (now Kate) Donald (now Don) and Bonnie (still Bonnie). I remember them visiting us when we lived on Park Place & later when we moved to Sollis Court.  It was always fun having them there and having them playing with our little ones.

Later they all packed up & moved to Colorado.  Tall and handsome Don was a very
intelligent young man & always seemed to be seeking further education.

When we became a “traveling family” we were always welcome to stop for a visit to their home in Colorado.  I remember though that on one of the trips we arrived to find that Ruth was not at home!  A kindly & trusting neighbor gladly opened the door and let us in.  (Now-a-days she probably would have called the police in case they didn’t have the Brinks alarm set). Anyway, darkness fell & Ruth & Don had still not returned so we all lay down on the living room floor for the night...all seven of us.  

Evidently, Ruth had forgotten to tell him about our impending visit.  When he returned & switched on the light  the poor fellow was amazed to see all those bodies on his living room floor…he said curiously, “Did Ruth know you were coming?” Later when Ruth arrived at home she again welcomed us with open arms and once again made us feel very “at home”.

We discovered the Ruth was an excellent tour guide of those Colorado Mountains.
She took us on a tour once and driving up higher & higher on those mountain roads I was scared to death because she kept taking her hand off the steering wheel to point at the mountains.  Grandma Mandel told me later that she was scared too and even though she wasn’t Catholic if she had a rosary she would have used it! But Ruth got us safely back to lower ground.  Yes, she was an excellent tour guide.
 Later her family moved to a city above Denver.  They had a beautiful view of the city from their porch. They couldn’t seem to get away from us because sure enough we stopped by once again. (The highlight of that visit I imagine for Bill was when he lay down on the floor to receive a massage on his aching back!)
Their final home in Colorado is in beautiful Fort Collins where her girls and their families are still living near by.  Donald and his wife Hing and their children however had moved south to Tennessee.   Of course years ago, we visited them there in Fort Collins, no way could they escape from the traveling Mandel clan.
Ruth is a very caring, strong & loving person.  He husband Don had became very ill and was confined to a wheelchair for quite a while.  Ruth took care of him faithfully and lovingly until his unfortunate death at much too young an age. 
And now, her son Donald has been stricken with a devastating disease...ALS…and has returned to his beloved Colorado.  Ruth is there taking care of him with never a complaint, always there at his side showing love and devotion to her son & trying to find ways to make him happy & comfortable. Tending to his every need & bringing him to places that he’d always loved to be. Ruth always seems to be there for others rather then herself.  She is truly an angel in disguise.