RUTH ANN RUSSELL PIERSON 12/16/1952 -12/24/2019 She sits on the swinging bench, beneath her trademark ivy, in the garden she has curated. Her toes, once numb from illness, savoring the lush grass. Her hands, free from stiffness and pain, drawing precise lines in her sketchbook. A lifetime of art has poured from these hands. Portraits, ceramics, illustrations, paintings...so much art. Classes, taken and taught. Commissions. Her school display cases were legendary. There wasn't a craft she hadn't tried and no toy or action figure she couldn't repair. Beside her, her favorite calico stretches in the sunshine. Ruth is capturing a scene she hasn't seen in quite a while, her family. Her father Samuel, and her brother Lloyd tinkering away and talking shop. Her mother Wanda and her sister Edna, baking elsewhere but near. Her kids-Jennifer and Alyssa, grandson Gage, great-grandson Nathan, nephew Michael, cousins, and many other family members through marriage, aren't yet in her garden, but she's content, knowing they're alright. Thinking of her kids, reminds her of her Big Life Moments. Accepting Christ as a young adult. Graduating from Columbia High then Columbia Basin College. Birthing babies, one normal and one quite large. Ouch. Her time married to Patrick Pierson taught her that respect and honor can persist after divorce. She remembers all of the young people who called her Mama Ruth. Later, she learned ingenuity to overcome illness. Humor through pain. She is still mischievous. Presently, her mind has burbled up another of her silly poems, completely inappropriate of course. She chuckles, writing it down. She can't wait to share. Her toes wiggle in the grass and she settles in to begin another sketch.
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Published in Tri-City Herald on May 10, 2020.