and the Beatles sing

“They say it’s your birthday… Happy birthday to you!”

Happy birthday, sweet Ruby. Happy birthday, my dear Munchkin! I hope your friends know that I did not forget your birthday. As you know, your mama is a dino-techie and I could not access this blog yesterday (turns out there is both a .com and .org for wordpress, who knew?). Better luck today, I hope! I know that you would never have been late with birthday greetings. I also know that you have never been surprised, probably disappointed, but never surprised, when I am late. And so, on we go.

Ruby was always the best at remembering birthdays, anniversaries, anything special for all of her friends and family. One year her Dad and I received a special ‘card’ in the mail. She was sending us joy for our anniversary… but, she was at the airport when she realized she had been lost in time. So she made us a card on a piece of paper, complete with cute cartoons expressing her love for us. I still have and treasure that bit of paper. Thank you, Ruby!

Munchkin was very kind and considerate. One year I took her and a friend to see her all time favorite band, Everclear, at Washington State University. We spent the night with a dear friend of ours. Sherri told me that Ruby had made the bed… and put a note with a chocolate mint on the pillow before she left. We both were amazed and touched. Such a lovely thought! Such a lovely heart!

Everclear was her top band forever. They are from Portland, so there was plenty of opportunity for her to see them. Her oldest friends are her Everclear buddies. She went to so many shows, small venues, the band all knew her. She had tickets in her purse to see them again… that show, they dedicated a song to her and one of their friends that they had recently lost to suicide. George brought me the song list.

Her suicide was a shock to us all. We knew she was bipolar. But we did not really understand what that meant. She always presented her beautiful smile. If she couldn’t do that, she did not come see us. She hid it very well. She was working so hard to get better. She had started taking medications… and what a roller coaster that is! When she was finally ironing it out, her health insurance changed and she could not afford the $ 600 per month for one of those meds, let alone the rest. Ruby went to AA and was three years sober! She went to therapists and exercised. She was doing everything right. She was working so hard to get better. Neither she nor her therapists knew about the support group for people with bipolar disorder. The name says it all: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, or DBSA. Some of you may have generously given them donations when Ruby died. Thank you for your kindness! If they are in Seattle, they may be in your local community. I hope that if you know anyone who, like Ruby, can use some more help, please send them this way. It may be just what they are looking for.

Speaking of looking… so many of you have seen signs from Ruby in the world around you. So much joy for you and me! I thank you for sharing them. Every so once in a while, the bar on my phone will light up with suggestions, and there it will be: ‘Ruby’ ‘RUBY’ ‘Ruby’. And I say, “Hi! I love you, too!”

Post Script: looks like a photo is more than I can figure out this time around… gonna press ‘publish’. Cross your fingers!

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