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.