Memories of Ruthanne

An album of special memories from friends and family.

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There are now 157 messages in the memory album.
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Viewing messages 16 to 20.
Eileen Hardy |
To Ruthanne’s family,

Greetings from Wells. I would like to echo the tributes and testimonials expressed by others to date and add some memories of my own. I was blessed to have Ruthanne/Dr.RBS in my life in her role attending my eye care – and over time on a more personal basis as well. At the time of my initial pilgrimage to Boston from New Jersey, I knew only of Dr.RJS. When I expressed unease about Dr.RBS performing surgery, Dr.RJS FIRMLY REPLIED, “She has better hands than I do”. I never looked back. As it turned out – for me there was A Greater One than The Great One. Ruthanne’s star quality clinical/surgical skills were enhanced by her sensitivity and by the healing energy she exuded from within. She comforted me as I grappled with the new reality of the disease we were treating and yet she would brook no self-pity. The first time I heard the expression ‘You know the drill’ was Ruthanne’s response to me as I began to whine about having more surgery.

After an even later surgery I remember Ruthanne giving pretty little potted plants to patients – another healing gesture. I also remember beautiful classical music during my first several surgeries. For me, filter surgeries were pretty stressful. As Ruthanne finished my last revision and I was being wheeled out of the operating room, she cheerfully said, “Eileen, I wasn’t too aggressive this time. We can always do it again”. (Yuk, I said uncheerfully to myself). Well, that revision is over three years old and going strong. Ruthanne’s beautiful handiwork preserved my sight to enable me to drive and otherwise function well. For that I am eternally grateful. I will also always treasure our personal time together during lunches and exchanging e-mails. Ruthanne, you are with me often as I do my pushes and insert my drops and you are in my heart forever.

To Bob, Nick, Laura, Anne, Dick and all Ruthanne’s family, I wish you continuing countless blessings.

With much affection,

Eileen Hardy
Wells, Maine
3 February 2004 - Wells, Maine

Sam Miller |
I knew Ruthanne for about seven years. I always had a deep respect for her. Whether she was chastising Nick and I for doing something we shouldn't or simply driving us to the movies, she was always there for her family and friends. I hope the Simmons family, Stern family, and everyone else who loved Ruthanne can recover somewhat from this terrible loss.
11 November 2003 - Needham, Massachusetts

Mary Wallis |
Hello. I'm the hospice nurse who looked after Ruthanne in the weeks before she died. A year has passed since then, and Ruthanne still stands out so vividly in my memory. I remember her smile as I walked toward her one day as she was sitting on the couch in the living room, and how I came away from that visit knowing I had been in the presence of a wise, courageous, and profoundly dignified human being. I was with her a few hours before she died, and there again was the glimmer of that same smile. "I'm fading," she told me, with such a calm recognition of what was happening to her.

One of the privileges of being a hospice nurse is that you can learn from witnessing others, before it's your time, how to remain whole and undistracted (centered is sometimes the word that's used) as death approaches. Ruthanne showed me what it is to have true integrity of spirit in the midst of tragedy. I don't know if she was ever afraid, but she had a fearless honesty that seemed as if it could contain any disquiet. I am sure that her honesty - her absolute candour - helped to sustain her family too.

Bob and everyone, I send you my good wishes this November. As it happens, I am staying at a friend's in Needham this month while my house is being renovated. I think of Ruthanne and all of you every single time I turn onto Great Plain Ave.

Do be in touch if you'd like to talk.

10 November 2003 - Holliston

Eileen Clare
My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.
10 November 2003

Marguerite Gregoire
To Dr. Simmons' and Dr. Stern's families

Remembering Ruthanne on the eve of the first anniversary of her death.

It's hard to imagine that a year has gone by already. And yet, Ruthanne, there is not a single day that I don't think about you. God, I miss you. I catch myself speaking about you in the present. I've often wondered why. Perhaps because your memory's so clear. But now, I think I know. This same beautiful angel that passed through my life is now smiling down at me. I feel your closeness.

I give thanks to your family for their generous time in writing to me within the last year and also for sending me updates of your foundations. It's an honour for me to contribute to the Simmons International Glaucoma Fellowship and also to support the New England Eye Research Foundation, having seen first-hand how these programs can not only benefit trainees but also patients like me. I remember with fondness the different Fellows who took such very good care of me, always under you and your dad's firm but gentle guidance. May your spirit live on through these so vey noble foundations.

You came into my life and I will be changed forever. And I also feel so blessed for your family's continuous love. They are a constant reminder of how close I hold you to my heart.

To your mom and dad, to Bob, Nick, and Laura, all the best.

I'll be loving you always,

1555 Meadowfield Place
Ottawa, Ontario K1C 5W1

7 November 2003

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