Ruth is a friend of my mother. She’s lived a simple life in a trailer in rural Oklahoma raising her grandchildren on minimum wage with the help of her spouse of 20 years.
Ruth died last week, and her spouse is alone. Alone without the benefit of Ruth’s social security, her pension, nothing. You see, Sharon is Ruth’s widow.
The light-bulb went off for my mom. Why shouldn’t Sharon be entitled to the same benefits as any other widow? Why should the life they built together be so unceremoniously tossed aside? Ruth and Sharon’s relationship never hurt my traditional marriage.
This is what the marriage equality movement is fighting for. Ruth and Sharon. The right to live and love and pass that love along to their grandchildren. The right to leave your spouse with the benefits you worked for.
My mother contacted my cousin to tell him that she understood a little better what he was fighting for. Her message:
Crying over my lunch. One of my members who has become more of a friend then just someone you deal with professionally just died. These two ladies have shared their lives for many years. No matter who called they would say this is Ruth&Sharon. Well Ruth died yesterday so Sharon called me to set up an account for people to donate to so she can pay for a simple memorial service. I took care of business but now I am much closer to understanding your stance on same sex marriage Sharon now has no financial help. Love ya
My cousin turned it into something awesome because he is cool like that. He gathered donations and matched funds to be sent to Sharon as an anonymous miracle. He did this in addition to the work he does with The Trevor Project. He is a blessing that reaches far beyond the LGBT community.
Within one day, donations reached the maximum of what he could match. Thus is the ever continuing magic of community. It gives me hope in the face of a world that seems more insane and cruel each day. This kindness won’t bring Ruth back or even fix all the wrongs and injustices, but at least Sharon doesn’t have to feel alone.
I can’t do much, but I’ll be pitching in as well. I can’t fathom the hurt of losing the love of your life and being left adrift. It’s not right and if my small donation can help lessen her burden, then it’s the least I can do. I cannot share all the details due to privacy concerns, but if you want to help too, I will act as middle-woman and get whatever funds deposited into her memorial fund. Get in touch with me or just hit the Paypal button with a note telling me that it is for Ruth and Sharon. At the very least, spare a kind thought or prayer for Sharon.
There is so much need out there. I know we are all stretched pretty thin. Please don’t feel obligated. Just know the opportunity is out there to be part of her little miracle.