My Grandma, Ruth Alberta Taylor Ritchie, would have been 100 years old on May 16, 2018. She died Monday, July 30, 2007 at 89 years old. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss her. I was her only grandson and she proved over and over again to me that she loved me unconditionally. When I was a young man and I enlisted in the USMC, I called Grandma to tell her. After a long, thoughtful, pause she said (and I remember her words vividly) “Tony, I can’t say that doesn’t scare me and I can’t say that it makes me happy, but I do believe that you need to do what you think is right. I think that you can do anything you set your mind to and I am very proud of you. I will always love you.” That kind of love and care enabled me to do all kinds of things in my life. Grandma was born with one kidney and ended up on dialysis the last few years of her life. God bless my wonderful parents for taking such great care of her but being on dialysis at 89 years old is hard. One evening when I was sitting with Grandma to give Mom and Dad a well-deserved break. Grandma put her hand on my arm and she said, “Tony, I love you but I just can’t do this anymore.” Less than a week later, Grandma died. I was with her right before she died and my final words to her were, “Grandma, thank you for always believing in me and I will always love you.” I know she heard me.
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