From Ben Massenburg, Ruby’s nephew
My aunt Ruby is one of my oldest and best memories. As my father’s sister, she knew my mother before my father did. She introduced my mother to her brother who became my father. Needless to say my parents were close to aunt Ruby. The family times we spent together as a young child and adult are priceless. Aunt Ruby was visiting when I brought Juliana, my wife, to be meet my parents for the first time. Aunt Ruby, I love you and will never forget how much you have meant to me.
From Jeff Weaver, USPS, retired
My name is Jeff Weaver. I was a mail carrier in north Raleigh for over 35 years. I met Miss Ruby not long after I got the route she lived on. I found her to be a lady in the truest sense of the word. I always enjoyed having conversations with her. She was always very cordial, dignified, kind, and always such a graceful person. I lived almost 50 miles from the post office, and one winter day, the weather forecast was calling for snow and sleet. I happened to see Miss Ruby that day and was telling her that that was the most stressful part of my job trying to get to the post office in treacherous weather. She so kindly offered me an invitation to stay in her extra bedroom. And I would only be about a mile from the post office. That took so much stress off my mind many snowing bad nights. She gave me a haven of rest. I would sit with her and watch her basketball games and be thankful in my heart for such a wonderful person. I am so thankful for the part she played in my life. I am retired now, but I don’t forget those that helped me along the way. She was truly a very beautiful person–
from Lord Jim, by Joseph Conrad
I was going home—to that home distant enough for all its hearthstones to be like one hearthstone, by which the humblest of us has the right to sit.
We wander in our thousands over the face of the earth, the illustrious and the obscure, earning beyond the seas our fame, our money, or only a crust of bread; but it seems to me that for each of us going home must be like going to render an account.
Say what you like, to get its joy, to breathe its peace, to face its truth, one must return with a clear conscience.
I think it is the lonely, without a fireside or an affection they may call their own, those who return not to a dwelling but to the land itself, to meet its disembodied, eternal, and unchangeable spirit—it is those who understand best its severity, its saving power, the grace of its secular right to our fidelity, to our obedience.
A Psalm of Life, BY HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout & brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
Eventide, by Lillian Massenburg
Lengthening shadows on the grass
Remind me ’tis the close of day,
While on a summer breeze is borne
The fresh, sweet scent of new mown hay.
To let down the pasture bars
Comes a lad with rosy cheek,
Barefoot down the lane he goes
Whistling merrily his cows to seek.
Loud and clear from a wooded glen
Is heard the call of Whippoorwill.
Soon the voice of his little mate
Will echo from behind the hill.
Weaving in and out the hedges
Fireflies with their lanterns bright
Soar and dip like tiny airplanes,
Cutting the darkness with their light.
The little humming bird makes haste
To sip the nectar from the flowers,
Ere night comes with her black mantle
To cover them through quiet, dark hours.
Yes, I, too, must make haste;
Even now the daylight dies.
Soon these lovely wayside things
Will be hidden from my eyes.