Last week we lost a truly inspirational woman. Maryon Ruchelman, my Mom's mom, passed away in Houston TX.
Grandma Maryon was born in Kingsville TX. She went off to New York where she worked in theater and met Grandpa Harry. She moved back to Texas and had four children while her husband went to medical school and did a residency. Speaking from experience, I can say that having 4 children while your husband learns to be a doctor is no easy task, and that was before baby swings, bumbos and boppies.
She then went back to school to get her PhD in physical organic chemistry. She has numerous published papers, not only in organic chemistry, but also endocrinology, breast cancer and epidemiology.
After a successful science career, she went back to school to learn computer programming, working in artificial intelligence.
On top of her career, she enjoyed literature, music and the arts. She was an avid traveler, a volunteer, a jewelry maker, and most impressive... a belly dancer.
She lived all over the US during her life, and, at various points, owned a bright red Mercedes convertible and a haunted castle. Growing up, I was always in awe of her long fiery red hair, independence, and ability to tumble rocks into gems. Whenever I saw her, she tried to make me THINK. I would always get annoyed, but now I totally appreciate that she did that. My brother and I still make fun of how she stumped us.
As with my other grandparents, I never appreciated her accomplishments until she was no longer able to remember her struggles, challenges, or success. It was obvious when she came to my wedding in 2000 that she had had a stroke, and while she was still cognitive of her surroundings, she was no longer able to pass on her wisdom of how a woman from Kingsville, TX, could become a scientist and computer specialist, as well as a mother of 4, all while mastering the "shimmy" and knitting sweaters and scarves. She enjoyed seeing Ronnie and Ben, but could not appreciate that they were her descendants. Lila and Noe never met her.
So, for the past 6+ years, my mom has taken care of her mom with the roles reversed. When I visit Houston, I always pass the house where she raised her children and planted tiny seeds that are now huge trees. She was truly an inspiration, and , to quote Ronnie about her own Grandma, she made the best mom a grandma could make. Between them, I have two amazing women to aspire to!