In Memoriam

- Ruth Amy Metcalf -


Services for Ruth Amy Metcalf were held in Columbus, Ohio and in East Charleston, Vermont.  Geri and Ruth Anne had some brief thoughts on their mother's  life that were read at both services.  But we were remiss in not having Dick's remembrances read at the service in Vermont.  We now include them here along with those of Geri and Ruth Anne which were read by Cousin Dan Whitney who performed the service in Vermont.


This summer I planted a bunch of flowers because I knew I’d be home all summer to take care of them.  They’ve taught me some lessons along the way, and some of them relate to mom and her life.

I planted New Guinea Impatiens in flower boxes.  Gardeners like this variety because it’s hardy and what they call “self-cleaning.”  All that means is that when the blossoms are spent, they and their short little stems detach from the main stem, requiring very little attention from the gardener.  But I noticed as I was picking dead blossoms off the plants that very often the old, dying blossom falls onto a ready-to-bloom blossom. They keep the new blossom from opening until someone comes along to dispose of the old one.  It’s like the old blossom is saying, “I’m still beautiful, and I don’t want you to outshine me, you young thing!”  In our life together mom NEVER competed with her children for attention from anyone.  She was always proud of us and pointed the spotlight at us as often as she could, recognizing our abilities, talents, achievements, and everything wonderful about our personalities.  She would often tell us what she truly thought about the negative things, but she was always ready with praise for the good things, as well.  Shining the spotlight on the students I work with is much better than trying to capture it for myself.  Mom taught good lessons.

On that same note, in the last month of her life, I noticed that she was even more full of gratitude and more willing to express it than I had ever seen her. Before she broke her hip she would often say to us, “I don’t know what I’d do without you girls.”  Once a month when she came to visit for a weekend or for several days she’d make sure to let me know how she felt.  But after her injury, it was a daily dose of gratitude for our visits to her.  And she praised and thanked her therapists for working with her and for helping her with her needs.  She thanked her aides each time they helped her with something, and even gave one of them a peck on the cheek for her efforts. 

This gratitude was a measure of what was truly in her heart, all the way to the end.  I only hope that I can genuinely learn this lesson of daily gratitude from mom.   It’s a lesson she’ll keep teaching me all my life.

Here are the words to a song I wrote a long time ago for mom:

You wrapped me up in blankets when I was a little child.

You put your arms around me; gave me comfort when I cried.

And when I needed one to talk to, you were always waiting there,

To listen to my problems, give me strength to help me bear.

And when I needed some chastising, you said your piece and went away,

To show me that love means more than getting your own way.

And I realize it hurt you so much more than it hurt me.

I want to thank you for the lessons that help to make a daughter free.


Mother of my birth, Mother of my life,

Thank you for the heritage you’ve shared.

I can see Christ in you; His light shines out so bright.

And His love helps me realize you cared.

Yes, His love helps me know how much you cared.



 I will miss Mother in many ways. She was a prayer warrior, always looking for God’s sense of direction for her life as well as for her family’s.  Heaven was where she wanted to be and she wanted to see us there.

Over time, Mom and I became very close. Mom’s sense of humor and fun were a big help to me when I became morose or self absorbed.  I tried to build her up when she got down as well.  One time I bought a pair of Groucho glasses with the big mustache. When she saw it on me she laughed and laughed and I think it made her feel better.

These last three years have been a blessing to me beyond words. All who are close to me know this. Caregiving is a time consuming job, but I wouldn’t’ have had it any other way. I often told people that having Mom with me was somehow nurturing to me.

Mom taught me how to look outside myself and love someone else, warts and all, to not take myself so seriously, and most of all… to remember that God is really the one who is in control.

To my mind, it was no accident that Mother lived with me these last few years. God in his infinite wisdom knew that I needed to have Mother close so that I could learn these lessons. In giving to my Mother, God taught me to love others and put my faith in Him.

I know Mom is looking down on us as we grieve her passing. She’s probably up there playing some heavenly upright piano and singing away!

Someday I will be with her once again. I Praise God that I had the privilege to learn how deep and constant God’s love is for us through my Mother’s life.

Ruth Anne


My mother was a joy to get to know.  During much of 2006 through April 2007, I lived in Pennsylvania and was able to get over to Columbus (where mom lived with sister Ruth Anne) several times.  Talk about “growing old gracefully”… she had eased into her role as “the real Ruth Amy” quite nicely.  There were no “instant revelations”, or “lightning bolts”… it was just that we were able to relate (so much more than in my youth) on a truly person-to-person basis.

It wasn’t always that way… I caused her many trials and tribulations during the years I was at home.  Even then, however, she managed to always have a bright thought. … Don’t get me wrong, - if she believed in something and thought you were “doing it wrong” – she wouldn’t hesitate to say so.  But, especially in the years after dad passed, she was able to do it like a good general would – stepping on your toes without hurting them.

An image conveyed during her memorial service in Columbus really stuck with me.  Someone said that they believed Ruth was “up in Heaven, dancing with Jesus”.  I can really see that somehow.  Though I never did see her do that, I’ve no doubt that in her earlier years, she would have been quite capable of joyfully “cutting a rug.”  And now that she’s in a place where joy rules, I imagine her soul is dancing every day.

Mom also passed something on to me very early in my life – to not always look at the negative side of things - to look for the good thing(s) in a person’s life and magnify those things, rather than spewing negativity.  That isn’t something she just “told” me either!  I believe it was the way she approached life and I think that herein lies her true legacy - to approach life with a positive outlook and to do the best one can by focusing on that.  Pity more of us can’t do that in these troubled times.


P.S.  Be sure to continue scrolling down to see a wonderful picture of Mom in a reflective mood.

Click on the picture to see it full size
here to go to Ruth's page.
here to go home.
Click on the picture to see it full size
here to return to Ruth's page
here to return home
here to go to Henry Metcalf's memorial page
Click here to read the transcript of Ruth's service.