Ruby Red was born out of grief. She’s nine. She’s spunky. She wears her heart on her sleeve. She appeared out of the blue and stole the first line of my next novel. She took off running and I’ve been tagging along ever since.

It’s difficult to make sense of life after both your sister and brother die within a few months of each other like Ruby’s did. Her whole world turned upside down so Ruby turned to blogging to try and put things “right” again.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Tryin' Not To Be A Mess

I'm tryin' to be happy again, like I was b'fore Loraine 'n Rubin went off to Heaven. Mama says that it's okay to be a mess right now. That we can't just turn our hearts off like we was robots. But most people don't get it. Most people want us to just shut up 'bout our grievin' 'n turn our tears off. It still seems like yesterday that one then the other died. I been thinkin' I got a lot more grievin' to do.

Last week I rode the school bus 'cause Kerrington asked me to. Mama 'n Daddy said I was brave just like Kerrington said but I don't feel so brave. I was shaky 'n scared that somethin' bad was gonna happen to Kerrington same like it happened to Rubin 'n it'd be all my fault. But nothin' did happen 'n I'm glad 'bout that.

It snowed last week so we didn't have school for three days. Kerrington came to spend the night 'n we played some games but mostly we watched ice skatin' on the Olympics. The next day after the big snow storm, when the roads cleared up some, Jessie Mobley's daddy brought her over 'n the three a us played in the snow. We tried to build a snowman but Kerrington's brothers crashed it. She got so mad at 'em but I sat down 'n cried. Not 'cause they was mean but 'cause she had brothers. Them boys called me a wah-wah-baby 'n that just made me cry all the harder 'cause I started memberin' last year when me 'n Rubin 'n Loraine made a big ole snowman that didn't melt for a week. Kerrington made her brothers go home 'n me 'n her 'n Jessie Mobley went inside 'cause I didn’t feel like playin' in the snow no more. I picked up Bondi 'n JB 'n we snuggled in Mama's rockin' chair while I tried to stop cryin'. Bondi looked up at me 'n put his paw on my cheek just like he knew why I was so sad.

“My brothers are stupid,” Kerrington said. I just looked at her 'n sniffed. When I could talk without cryin' I told her that sometimes I thought my brother was stupid too. I hugged them kitties to me 'n dried the top a their heads where my tears dripped all over 'em. “I miss him so much it makes my heart ache…stupid 'n all. I miss Loraine too. She liked to boss me sometime 'n tease me till I cried but I wish I had her back. I still got some things I wanna say to 'em both.”

“At least you have 'em in your heart,” Jessie Mobley said. “Like I have Ty. We can still talk to 'em 'n I’m pretty sure they can hear us, so tell then everything you wanna say.”

“Where do I tell 'em?” I asked. “Do I hafta go to the graveyard?” Jessie Mobley 'n Kerribgton stopped talkin' 'n just looked at each other. Then Kerrington said, “If they're in your heart…can'cha just think what you want to say?” Jessie Mobley nodded. “Or you can go in the memory room…,” Kerrington said. We all just sit there, nobody sayin' nothin' for a little while.

I put the kitties down 'n we all went to my room. “I wanna tell you a secret.” We sat on my bed in the corner 'n leaned against the wall. I took in a real deep breath 'n tried not to cry again. “Loraine 'n Rubin just died one time…but, I feel like I done died twice...but I’m still here.” Kerrington opened her eyes wide 'n Jessie Mobley took in a little gasp. “I get it now,” Jessie Mobley said. She had a big smile on her face. “When Ty died it was like a dark storm…like when everthin' dies in the fall. Then came winter 'n I felt cold 'n lonely 'n mad even. But now it's spring 'n everythin' is comin' alive again.” I looked at her 'n shook my head. “Rubin 'n Loraine 'n Ty ain't comin' alive again,” I said.

 “I’m not talkin' about them, I'm talkin' about us,” Jessie Mobley said. I had to think on that a minute. “I know what you're sayin',” Kerrington said. "When your heart stops achin' so much it'll be like spring 'n you'll feel alive again!”

“But that don't mean I'll forget….”

“No. You won’t forget 'em.” Kerrington smiled. “But when you think of 'em you'll smile 'cause they're alive in your heart.”

The doorbell rang 'n I heard Mama talkin' to some boys. “It's Terrance 'n Jade,” Kerrington said rollin' her eyes,“my little brothers.” Then in they came draggin' their feet 'n lookin' at the floor. The older one nudged the younger one 'n he said they was sorry and if we wanted to come out again they'd help build another snowman. I just looked at 'em knowin' their Mama or Daddy done give 'em a good talkin' to.



“Okay,” I said. “But let's build a great big snow kitty instead.” All of a sudden we was all laughin' 'n talkin' 'n when we went out the front door I heard Mama tell Daddy how nice it was to have a house full a kids again. 
Loraine & Rubin
Rest In Peace

4 comments:

Judy Baker said...

Sometimes your post make me feel sad, but then it always puts a smile on my face too. Judy

Shelia Rudesill said...

Grieving is sad. But we have to go on living too. It's difficult for an adult to cope with the world during the grieving process. I can only imagine what it's like for a child. Thanks for reading, Judy!

Beatriz McDavid said...

Loved it, Shelia!

xo

Shelia Rudesill said...

Thanks for being an avid fan of Ruby's!!!