My grandmother, Ruth, was 96 years old when she passed away just after midnight on Sunday morning, April 9. She was the last of my grandparents to pass - the end of a generation - and she hung in there a lot longer than anybody thought she would.
Grandma Ruth was also an ardent reader, though she preferred quite a different genre than those I like - although psychology and brain injury were on her lists. She was a trained nurse, and worked for the School District of Philadelphia as a beloved school nurse for what seemed like forever. She loved the children she worked with at Jenks School in Chestnut Hill. She was smart, well-read, and kept notes on everything she did.
In her 80s, Grandma Ruth decided to pick up where she left off with her high school French. She never went anywhere without her Bible and her "dungaree" drawstring handbag with "I LOVE JESUS" embroidered on the side. She's known as "Grandma Praise the Lord" because she always greeted everyone that way - even answering the phone.
To my brothers and me, Grandma Ruth was like a third parent, and she drove us all over the place. Sometimes we would just go and sit at Valley Green and feed the ducks... a tradition I kept up when my children were born. She could sit there for hours in her vinyl lawn chair, just watching ducks.
I'm proud of what Grandma Ruth accomplished in her lifetime - she was a strong and proud woman who worked hard and cared about many people.