Graceful, poised, elegant, intellectual, dignified, determined- these are some of the characteristics that describe a woman who has inspired me to live life to its fullest!
Gramma Ruth was born on May 31, 1914, in the town of Elbow Saskatchewan, Canada. She is the oldest child, and was raised mainly by her mother, after her father died when she was only eight. Even as a little girl, Ruth dreamed of one day becoming a school teacher. Following many rigorous hours of study and preparation and to her surprise and delight, she was able to graduate from college with a degree in education. Soon after beginning her career in education in a one room school house, she met a handsome young man named Ken Robins, who was also from Saskatchewan. The young couple quickly fell in love, and were married in 1941. Ruth fantasized about her and Ken raising their children in this beautiful, vast land in which she envisions them growing old together. To Ruth’s astonishment one beautiful summer day, Ken declared that he had a dream that would change their life forever! This dream was one of traveling to the east to begin a college where young people would be able to learn the Word of God. Ruth was reluctant at first, but over time she lovingly agreed to begin the journey east to a begin their new and exciting life. Upon arriving in New Brunswick, the couple eagerly chose the place where they desired to build their home and the college. In 1944, Ken, with the help of his best friend, John, founded the New Brunswick Bible Institute. This is the school where I recently graduated from the Biblical and Theological Studies. What a privilege it has been to study at the college that my Grandpa and Gramma began sixty years ago!
Ruth was able to fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher, not only in the west, but for the majority of her working years, she taught young people in the east. Her love for teaching has never diminished, and she remained the English teacher at New Brunswick Bible Institute until she was eighty-two years of age. Her love for reading and writing has impacted me in numerous aspects of my life. As I reminisce over the memories that I have made with Gramma, I am always reminded of how much she cherishes learning. When Gramma would baby-sit me and my brother, she would faithfully read us a bed-time story, which was usually from the “Burgess bed-time”stories. I remember being fascinated by the way in which the characters seemed to leap off of the pages as Gramma described in detail each character in the story, such as “Chatterer the Red Squirrel”. Gramma knew exactly how to read a book so that the listener’s full attention was fixated on each and every word. The twinkle in her eyes, and the fervent tone that she used while reading a book was compelling to me. As a young child listening to those stories, I could feel my heart bursting with enthusiasm as my imagination and intellect flourished.
Gramma Ruth is a lady whose words are graced with wisdom and kindness. She is not only a beautiful person on the outside, but her inner beauty shines through her like a ray of golden sunshine. She is an inspiration to all who meet her, and she remains an encouragement to many young people to keep on learning. I remain perpetually amazed at the remarkable ways in which she handles life’s calamities. Gramma always demonstrates strength and endurance, even when life becomes overwhelming.
When Gramma was a young child growing up in the west, she was faced with many perplexing circumstances that could have hampered her success in life. She learned early on in her growing up years, that our quality of life is based only on ten percent of the circumstances that occur, and ninety percent on how we decide to react to those circumstances. Gramma has also shown me that our outlook on life determines our quality of life. Gramma’s zest for life inspires me to embrace each day as a gift, and use it to impact the people around me!
Gramma is now ninety one years old, blind in one eye, and partially deaf, but she continues to live each day with fervor and ascertainment. It seems as though each time I visit Gramma, she is absorbed in the pages of another piece of literature. I highly revere her passion for learning, and cherish the wisdom that she so graciously bestows upon all.
Gramma continues to teach me that a life that is dedicated to learning is a life well lived. I am thankful for the time and effort that she has lovingly poured into my life, and I am proud to be her granddaughter!