Make a Difference

In 1920 children were playing with pogo sticks; The Age of Innocence by Edith Whatron was published; the US President was Woodrow Wilson and the Canadian Prime Minister was Sir Robert Borden. Gas cost $.30/gallon; eggs were $.39/dozen; the average income was $1,130 per year and a home could be purchased for $6,000. And, in a small town in Canada called Montreal South, Ruth Hoye was born. 

Last week she celebrated her nintieth birthday and her four children had made arrangements for a celebration to honor the occasion.  There was a slide show of pictures taken throughout the years, congratulataryletters from the Prime Minister of Canada and other dignitaries, and speeches from family members that told of how she had influenced their lives over the years.

When it was her turn to speak she shared stories about her early life and how she met her husband (who was sitting beside her and will reach his nintieth birthday next summer!). She reminisced about travel adventures they had shared over the years and made us laugh when she told tales about their antics during the years they lived in Germany.

She talked about her “greatest accomplishment” of “having four kids and watching them grow”. As the wife of one of those kids, I owe her a debt of gratitude for being the kind of mother who raised a son who is kind-hearted, helpful, respectful, and all of those things that come together to make a great husband.

At the end of her speech she said something that has played over mind many times since that evening.

“You are all computer literate and so have the world at your fingertips. So, go make a difference; you can make a difference; go make a difference in the world.”  — Ruth Hoye

I believe that we have much to learn from those who have gone before us if we are willing to listen. This woman who was born in 1920 and who has kept up with the times to the extent  that she is online and uses email to keep in touch with family members who are far away, continues to make a difference in the lives of those around her.

In speaking these simple words she made a difference to me.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. What an impressive woman, and what a fortunate family to live with her influence, past, present, and future. I’d like to say something deep and meaningful, but all I can think if is–Wow.

  2. How wonderful to be able to reap the benefits of so many years of wisdom. My mom will be 90 in March, and we are planning a huge party for her. Mom was the quiet farm woman who taught us kids so much through her actions of hard work and undying love for us and our dad. She worked hand-in-hand with Daddy for 40 short years, as she would say, but what a gift of wisdom and love she has given us.

    1. I love stories about how seemingly ordinary and quiet women made such an impact on those around them, and it sounds like your mom is one of them. Such a blessing!

  3. Happy Birthday to your Mother-in-law 🙂 Her life seems rich with story and insights, a treasure to have in your life. I just love that she uses the internet and keeps on tackling the brave new frontiers of life, kudos to her!

    1. Thanks for popping over, Joanne! I too think it’s cool how she has kept up with technology and uses the internet!

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