Have you ever seen someone you've never met and known in your soul that you know them? You've never met, you've never talked, you've never communicated before, but there is a familiarity that you can't deny. That's what it was like meeting Ruby.
But even without that feeling of soulful connection, Ruby is a presence. She's someone you want to know the moment you see her. She cannot blend in. She's tall with long limbs, an angular face, and blond almost white short hair. She looks like she could walk out of a Tolkien novel.
And then she speaks and you feel valuable.
Months ago my daughter was in her first play. It was opening night, the last scene of the play, and my daughter was delivering a pivotal monologue.
All was going well and then my daughter went quiet.
She forgot her lines and stood there eyes wide and lips tight as she looked forward.
Thankfully the older cast members were able to pull through with incredible amounts of grace and understanding and the play finished smoothly.
But my daughter was quiet and embarrassed, her shoulders forward, eyes red, and her trademark grin long gone.
Yet, before I could get to her there was Ruby, on her knees in front of my daughter telling her that everything was going to be alright. I listened to Ruby as she told my daughter how she experienced similar things, how she choked and stumbled. She told my daughter that she still did so well, that she was brave, and that she would learn and grow from this.
And my daughter bounced back then bounced away to celebrate the close of opening night, her embarrassment washed away by the understanding compassion of Miss Ruby. I knew then that I'd be keeping connected with this short-haired elf of compassion and wit.
It hasn't taken me long to realize Ruby is my soul-friend. Every time I interact with her I feel the time passes too quickly and there is more I want to know, more I want to learn from her.
Ruby gives with every breath she takes. It's not gifts she handing out, it's understanding and unending compassion, laughter, and quiet acceptance . . . maybe those are the real gifts we all need and Ruby just figured it out before the rest of us . . .
She's a rare find, this Ruby.
She emanates light and kindness with an edge of mischief. And she doesn't even know it. She simply is.
During our time together she was maskless.
Ruby's energy enveloped me like a hug that never ended. I can't explain it. I can't describe to you how unforgettable being near Ruby is.
All I know is that I was destined to meet her. Perhaps in the life before this, we met and promised to find one another in this existence and continue our friendship. I am so happy to have found my soul-friend. I'm so thankful to know Ruby, a woman who will comfort a child she doesn't know one moment and slip into a Brooklyn accent while on stage for her sister's graduation the next. She'll pull you into dance circles or sit and tell you stories of angry chefs and crying clients from her past. And then she'll tell you what she learned and how thankful she is for all the uncomfortable experiences.
Ruby is otherworldly and she makes this world better.
All my gratitude, love, prayers, hopes, and peace to you, sweet Ruby.
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