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Rev. Elizabeth
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« on: January 04, 2016, 05:37:59 PM »

apples in the autumn
syrup in the spring
and in mid June,
He didnít like strawberries,
except to pick them.
Of a June morning, when
a box of strawberries appeared in the  kitchen
I knew Ralph had been there.
I only like to pick them, he would say.
Ruth likes to eat them.
When Ruth died there were no more strawberries
He wouldnít pick alone.

And I would visit him

Banging on the door I would yell
Ralph, itís me.
Hoping he would hear me.
Peering in I could see him stretched out on the sofa.
His afternoon nap interrupted.
It took a bit for him to wake up, get up.

Always the gentleman he welcomed me.
Life is uncertain he would say as he tipped back in his recliner.
Life is uncertain.

His bald head tilted  back.
his hands folded on his stomach
There would be silence.
I waited, watching.

She wasnít supposed to die first.
She was a school teacher you know.
I had to quit school in 8th grade to help my father.
He had a bad heart.
Life is uncertain.

He would tell me stories.
of the house he had lived in for close to 90 years
of the road he had watched being built
of his youth, his friends, his life.

How he and a friend had supper interrupted
by a driver stuck in the mud
How they unstuck the driver
Who gave them a dollar.
They  had to give the dollar to his father,
 who sat and ate while they worked.

Life is uncertain, he would say.
pulling out a photo album
and we would visit it
I looked at the pictures.
He told me their stories.
Over and over.

Getting to up to leave he would lead me to the kitchen
To show me things that were Ruthís.
To show me the land he had worked year after year.
Where he had seen deer at the verge of the meadow

Then he would open the oven door.
Thatís where he kept the peppermint patties.

He would give me one
And I would thank him and leave.
Always the gentleman, he walked me to the door.

And as I left, I could see him
sitting in the bay window, watching
As he always did
looking for someone to wave to.

Life is uncertain he would say.

Rev. Elizabeth Griffin, January 4 2016
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2016, 06:02:08 AM »

Yes, Ralph was truly a wonderful neighbor.  Used to tell him, I was amazed how he could see me when he drove down by & waved.  He told me, "I always wave, just in case you are there & I don't see you."  My parents as well as the rest of us thought the world of Ralph & Ruth.  Whenever they sensed something was wrong, Ralph would drop by.  "Not trying to be nosy," he would say.  "Just wanted to make sure everything was ok."  We have some wonderful neighbor's, but sure miss Ralph & Ruth.  "Yup!!  Yup!!" We sure do.

Henry Raymond
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2016, 12:20:51 PM »

Ralph and Ruth will always have a special place in my heart.

Ruth always made homemade doughnuts for Halloween, where a witch costume and have them in a cauldron.  Even as I out grew going trick or treating, I still went up on Halloween and got to visit and get my doughnuts!  (Yes even in College, I showed up in my Rugby uniform)

When Ruth passed and it was the first Halloween without her... no more visits, so I thought. The day after I hear a knock on my door and it was Ralph, with a bucket of candy, bringing me Halloween..... Tears, HUGS and Kisses from that visit and the next year as well.

A wonderful couple who always were there for anyone..... Until we meet again. ~Mary Kay

"Life is too short, so love the one you got!"
Joanne Delaney
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2016, 03:40:23 PM »

This is lovely Liz.  A special man he was.
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