On February 14, 2015, Valentine's Day the friends and family of Ruth Louise Jacobs joined me, husband of 41 years in a celebration of her life. It was a time of tears yet a celebration of the life of a woman who impacted countless numbers of people in her 69 years here on this earth. Those of you who have followed this blog and my Facebook page know step by step the last month of Ruth's life. You know that she went to be with the Lord on Saturday January 24, 2015 with me at her bedside in a quite beautiful transition. Well on Saturday we got together to rejoice and to thank God for allowing us to be touched by her.
The Memorial Service was held at the church that Ruth loved, The Church of Divine Guidance, in Los Angeles and it was officiated by the pastor that she loved, Michael Clayton, Sr. The church was full nearly to capacity. Many of Ruth's nieces and nephews (she has lots of them) were there. They came from the San Francisco Bay area and as far away as Arkansas and Alabama. Two of our children and their children (our grandchildren) were there. Others were not there physically, for various reasons, but were there in spirit. Friends from throughout the city and from northern California joined us.
The service was wonderful. Ruth was a very classy lady and that was reflected in the service. The participants were able to share their experiences and the impact that Ruth had on their lives. We were even surprised at the eloquence with which some of them spoke. Again the result of having spent time with Ruth. The songs that the choir, and a very good friend of our, sang had many of us on our feet as we sang along with them. The songs that we selected were favorites of Ruth and it was like she was standing their singing with us.
Click here if you would like to download a copy of the Memorial Service program
After the Service there was a great time of fellowship at the repast in the church's fellowship hall. The food was great and there was plenty of it. Although the number of people who attended the service was larger than we anticipated God made a way, sort of like Jesus miracle of the 5 loaves and 2 fish feeding thousands.
Later that evening I was able to spend time with many of Ruth's nieces and nephews, many of which I hadn't seen in years. There was enough food left over from the repast that those who got hungry again were able to eat and even take food back to their hotel rooms. I still have food for a few more days in my freezer.
The past couple of months have been filled with activity. First with Ruth's hospitalization and the ups and downs during that time culminating on January 24th when the part of the marriage vow that say until death do thee part happened; then all the arrangements including Ruth's wishes to be cremated, ending with the awesome Service on Valentine's Day. Now that that time is over and all the relatives have gone home and the friends have gotten back into their normal routines, it gives me a time to really reflect on the 43 years that Ruth and I were a team. I still feel her presence, I hear her voice, I see her beautiful face, I smell her perfumes, colognes, and lotion that she used and I smile. Little things like making sure that you fill up the car when you go to the gas station. When gas got more and more expensive I wouldn't fill the tank. Ruth use to tell me Donald you can't be driving around without a full tank of gas. When I got gas today I filled the tank. The little things I remember, and I smile.
Now I have to get ready for all the firsts. This week will be the first dinner with our very good friends without Ruth, April 20th will be the first anniversary without Ruth, August 17th will be Ruth's first birthday without us being together, August 24th will be my first birthday without her, this will be the first time that the one of our good friends who has a birthday in August along with Ruth and me won't all be together for our birthday dinner. Then there's Thanksgiving and Christmas. However with the help and support of all our friends and family we will all get through these firsts.
I love you Ruth
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.