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, March 24, 2014

Ruby Red's Tuesday Blog: The Last Straw

One day last week it was cold ‘n I had to wear my jacket to school even though the sun was shinin’ bright. The next day it was cloudy but warm ‘nough to wear shorts. The day after that it rained real hard ‘n the wind done took a tree down right in our backyard. Mama said we was lucky that the tree didn’t fall on the house. “That woulda been the last straw,” Daddy said, then went out to take care of it with his chain saw.

“What did Daddy mean ‘bout the tree fallin’ bein’ the last straw?” I asked Mama. “Daddy’s havin’ a hard time dealin’ with losin’ your sister ‘n brother. His heart done broke twice. What he meant was if the tree had fallen on the house he wouldn’t a been able to deal with another misfortune.” I thought ‘bout that a minute while Mama watched Daddy outta the window gettin’ the saw started. “I still don’t get it,” I said. “I mean ‘bout the straw.” Mama turned round ‘n sat at the kitchen table. “There’s a sayin’ ‘bout a camel carryin’ a load a straw on his back,” Mama said. “A farmer put a whole lot a straw on the camel’s back to take to market. The camel could carry a big load but when the farmer put one last straw on the camel’s back it was too much ‘n the camel’s back broke under the extra weight.” I had to think again. “You mean that if one more bad thing happens Daddy will die?” Mama reached out for me ‘n pulled me to her ‘n hugged me real tight. “No, Ruby. Daddy isn’t gonna die just ‘cause somethin’ aggrevatin’ happens. It’s just an expression—‘bout the last straw. Losin’ Loraine ‘n Rubin so close together is weighin’ heavy on all of us. Daddy’s havin’ the worst time dealin’ with it that’s all.” I pulled a chair close to Mama’s ‘n sat on it. “Honey,” Mama said. “You know what grievin’ is don’t you?” I nodded. “Well everybody grieves differently. Your daddy is still in the begin’ stages but he’s alright. He just needs more time.” I started cryin’ just a little bit ‘n Mama hugged me again. “One day soon he’s gonna smile again ‘n tell us ‘bout all the fun ‘n funny things he members ‘bout Loraine ‘n Rubin. You’ll see.”

Daddy came back inside then ‘n washed his hands at the sink. He turned round ‘n smiled. “If Loraine was here she woulda been out there yellin’ at me to be careful a that saw ‘n to watch out that the tree didn’t fall on me.” He said. “That girl was ‘fraid a everthin’, ‘specially power tools.” He shook his head memberin’. “That job woulda taken me twice as long with her out there orderin’ me ‘round.” He squeezed my shoulder. “Hey, what ya say you ‘n me ‘n Mama go see that movie ‘bout them Legos.” I hopped up ‘n hugged Daddy. “Really? Like we used to when….” Daddy smiled ‘n said, “Yeah. Just like we used to.”

We ended up takin’ Jessie Mobley ‘n Kerrington to see The Lego Movie with us. Daddy bought us popcorn ‘n lemonade ‘n a box a M&Ms. It wadn’t ‘xactly like the old times but Daddy laughed out loud at all the funny parts just ‘bout like he used to.


WIN a ceramic photo mug with pictures of Ruby, Kerrington, Jessie Mobley, Bond, & JB!

To enter: Name the movie mentioned in this week’s post on the COMMENT section below. 

A random drawing will choose the winner! 

And say hello to Ruby while you’re there.


Shelia Rudesill said...

"The Lego Movie," says Sharon who couldn't post here so I'm entering the contest for her!

Bud Rudesill said...

Checking out the comment button to see if it works.

Judy Baker said...

Just wanted to let Ruby know that most of us have felt like we've reached the 'last straw' at one point in our life, if not, then you haven't lived long enough!! Hope the Lego movie was fun. My grandkids loved it.

Nancy Schoenlaub said...

Great to get the latest installment of Ruby. The movie title is "The Lego Movie".

Shelia Rudesill said...

Thanks Judy! The last straw is a poignant statement. So many of us are so strong for so long and then the tiniest most insignificant thing throws us off.

Shelia Rudesill said...

Thanks for visiting Ruby, Nancy! The girls loved the movie, Ruby's happiest moment was hearing her father's first laugh!

Rick Bylina said...

It's "The Eggo Movie." A story about a girl and her waffle.

Shelia Rudesill said...

Close Rick but not in the syrup! Ruby appreciates you though. Thanks for visiting!