Friday, December 29, 2017

Celebrating A Tribute to Ruth

Each week Ruth Ayres extends an invitation to share the celebrations from our week. I began 2017 celebrating those people who have inspired my writing life.  One of my beliefs for this year was that we RISE when we lift others.  My goal was to lift a person each month.  Sadly, this didn't happen, but you can read my other tribute posts here:

A Writing Gift - A Tribute to Fran
Found Poetry - A Tribute to Terje
The Beginning - A Tribute to Katherine 
Cherishment - A Tribute to Margaret

I want to end the year with a final tribute.  I have waited to write this post because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to capture everything I wanted to say.  I wouldn't be able to get it right.  And I want it to be right because this person has helped me to RISE as a writer, a teacher, and a person. (And yes, I still think it falls short.)

Today I celebrate my friend, Ruth Ayres.

I remember the first time I met Ruth face to face.  It was my first time at the All Write Conference.  I had known Ruth through blogging for almost a year and was looking forward to meeting her.  I walked into the lobby of the hotel and there she was with a a group of fellow bloggers.  She recognized me and came over to hug me. 

What I remember most about that time was how welcoming and down-to-earth Ruth was.  She included me in conversations, in time by the pool, and in lots of laughter.  I quickly learned, that is just Ruth.

In time, I realized that Ruth began influencing my life beyond my blog, and I began a far-away friendship with her.  

As the school year started, I would come from conferences with students from hard places.  My heart would ache for them and the life they were living.  I remember saying to my team, "Every child from a hard place needs a Ruth."  

During my daughter's first year of teaching, I didn't think she was going to make it through the first few months.  I sent a message to Ruth asking for help, and she began praying for Megan.  That is when I told myself, "Everyone needs a Ruth."

I wanted to push myself as a writer and extend it beyond my blog.  Ruth has become my encourager, my nudger. (She's quite good at nudging!)  She helped me to say and mean the words, "I am a writer."  I remember thinking, "Every writer needs a Ruth."

If you are here celebrating today, then I know I am not alone in my admiration for Ruth and the gratefulness for the impact her words have on us.  To celebrate, I have written a found poem from comments from her fellow bloggers and friends.

Your words, 
filled with passion,
connect many
shine brightly
and give us hope.

Your love,
permeates everything you do
and spreads to everyone 
who knows you.

reach out to others
and lean into love.

bring joy and inspiration
make our world beautiful
and make us smile.

are a gift.

Thank you
for nudging,
for sharing, 
for writing, 
and for being a light 
in the darkness.

Deeply grateful for your words
and to have your voice 
in our ears
in our hearts, 
For, we would have never written a word to share  
if it weren't for you.

©Leigh Anne Eck, 2017

Thank you for just being Ruth.


  1. Yes, we all need a Ruth! As she writes, her words are true and encouraging. In person, she is full of warmth. Thank you for writing these words of tribute to Ruth.

  2. Beautiful. Thank you for writing this post. I have never met Ruth in person, and I live on another continent, her words have moved me forward, this is how powerful her words are. Celebrating Ruth togethervwith you.

  3. What a gift! You are right, we all need a Ruth. (We also need a Leigh Anne too. 😊)

  4. We all need a Ruth. We all need you, too, to remind us that who we are matters. Thanks for being you!

  5. What a beautiful tribute to Ruth!! Thank you for reminding us of this, too. What a beautiful found poem! I agree with Jennifer, we also all need a Leigh Anne!

  6. This is such a lovely and heartfelt tribute. Just beautiful and well deserved for Ruth.

  7. To gather people together in helping each other, to be that person who makes one feel okay in every way is what Ruth does. You've written a wonderful post about Ruth, and yes, "everyone needs a Ruth", Leigh Anne. Thank you.

  8. Leigh Anne --
    I'm at a lost for words. This post is such an unexpected gift. Thank you for the time and intention it took to create it. Stories have such a magical power when we send them out in the world they wrap around others and lift them up. It is an honor to be part of your RISE tribute.
    Shine on,

  9. I agree completely! Ruth has been instrumental in so much of my writing life. As have you and the other you have highlighted in this post. Thank you Leigh Anne!

  10. Your words spoke what we all feel, Leigh Anne - thank you!

  11. This is so true! What a wonderful tribute to a very special person!

  12. This is a beautiful tribute to a fantastic person. Thank you for honoring her this way. There are many people who have grown because of Ruth.

  13. We do all need a Ruth What a great found poem you wrote in tribute of what Ruth brings to the field of literacy and life. In your writing, Leigh Anne, you captured Ruth. Happy New Year!

  14. How thankful we are to have found "our Ruth" and through her a connection to each other! A blessing!