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Laura’s Mom Learns

Today I would like to share with you the life of Ruth Smith. Ruth was a coworker of mine—she worked in public relations for our program at Kent State University. A wonderful woman with a great sense of humor, Ruth often wrote for local papers. Often times her editorials detailed her experiences as the mother of a handicapped child.

Ruth was able to uplift and inspire many individuals for many years through her essays. These essays have been published in her book “Laura’s Mom Learns.” You can read several of Ruth’s essays through her website www.laurasmomlearns.com.

In addition to Ruth’s essays regarding motherhood, are blogs sharing Ruth’s battle with cancer. Sadly, Ruth Smith passed away on Thursday, June 25ruthsmithth, 2009 after a 6 month struggle. We all mourn the loss of this kindhearted, humorous, and talented individual.

I hope that in honor of her memory you will each take the time to visit her site and take a look at some of her blogs and essays. I have included an excerpt from one of her essays below to showcase Ruth’s beautiful writing, I hope you enjoy it.

“My first solo was also my first experience with stage fright. Years ago, because of an inspired performance for my small second grade class, I was chosen to sing in the annual school talent show. I had learned the song from a Mouseketeer record and I sang that song for anyone who would listen.

The day arrived. As I watched the acts preceding mine, I felt my first flutters of apprehension. I turned and looked at the people behind me and during those few minutes I became separated from the rest of the world. The faces, colors, and sounds around me blurred and I experienced the fearfulness of a person about to be condemned.

Mrs. Cross, my beloved teacher, tapped my shoulder and I followed her to the stage door. I walked in front of the drawn, velvet curtain into the brightness of the gym. I turned, faced the room, lifted my eyes, and saw the whole school in front of me. I felt my knees grow weak and warm tears behind my eyelids. The words and music of my song were out of reach.

Down on the floor Mrs. Cross made her way towards the stage. She leaned over the edge and smiled up at me. I lip read the message she was giving me: Sing to me, she said, sing your song for me.

In her kind face I found my song. Looking only at her I sang it, although the enthusiasm with which I had practiced was non-existent. When finished I hurried off stage into Mrs. Cross’s arms. As we made our way down the hallway, I stopped. The audience was applauding.

I listened and could not connect that applause to me – why are they clapping? I thought. I didn’t even sing to them. They were the enemies – I had faced them as in battle, and they had won. I joined my class on the floor, hung my head in shame and cried silently.”

Although your war against cancer was lost Ruth, you have won many battles for all of us. You will be sorely missed by all who knew you.

Ruth’s book is available for purchase via her website: www.laurasmomlearns.com

June 26th, 2009 at 9:17 am

It is with a heavy heart that I take this moment to convey my condolences on Ruth’s falling asleep with the Lord, on behalf of my family to all who were touched by Ruth’s life and especially to all of Ruth’s family. I know that she is in a better place and that she continues to love us all. It is we who are going to miss her laughter and voice and beautiful writing.

Diane and Family

June 28th, 2009 at 5:05 am

Larry and I offer our deepest sympathies to Ruth’s family and many loving friends. A beautiful voice has been silenced but Ruth’s legacy lives on through Laura and the lesson’s Ruth shared with the world in “Laura’s Mom Learns”. The outpouring of love and support we witnessed during her illness was a testament to her gifts as a mother, wife, friend, neighbor, co-worker and advocate for the disabled.

We will miss you more than words can say, Ruthie.


June 28th, 2009 at 6:22 am

David,Laura and the rest of Ruth’s family – my deepest sympathies to you in the loss your family has suffered. These last months have been a test no family should have to endure and you have done it with dignity, compassion, love and strength.

My copy of “Laura’s Mom Learns” is among my most treasured possessions for its beauty, its insight, and its honesty. Ruth’s lasting legacy is so wrapped up in its writing and, certainly, its motivation – Laura.

I am so very saddened by her loss.

Lise Russell

eelliso1 is a contributing writer for projectgroupthink.wordpress.com. Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog.


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