Sunday, March 20, 2011

Why Ruby...

Written by Shannon Leigh
Photo taken February 3, 2009.
Written by me on the Hilton's frosted window on Michigan Avenue.
4 Months before we were pregnant.
8 months before we knew we were having a girl.

In honor of sweet Ruby's birth month I thought I'd write the story behind her name.

Ruby Evangeline

I'll start from the beginning.

The week before Matt and I started dating he invited me (and a few other people) to his grandparents church for high attendance Sunday. I was touched that he invited me (I already had a major crush). And I was also excited that he was close to his grandparents. I have always been close with mine.

That Sunday was the first time I met Grandma Ruby.

The only thing I remember about her from that Sunday was her closed-mouth smile and her beautiful complexion.
She was sweet, quiet and reserved.
Matt always spoke very highly of Grandma Ruby so I was excited to get to know her.

Grandma Ruby

After Matt and I started dating we visited his grandparents in Marion every now and again.
We would sit and chat. I learned a lot about Grandma Ruby that way.

I learned that she went to Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky in hopes of becoming a missionary. At that time unmarried Baptist women couldn't be foreign missionaries so she stayed back.
Grandma Ruby & Grandpa Gene met at the Baptist ministry on campus (just like Matt's parents and just like Matt and I).
She taught ESL classes at the BCM where Matt and I attended and sewed flags for every nation that had been represented there.

Unfortunately Ruby got sick not too long after Matt and I started dating.
I only had the pleausure of knowing her a year before she passed away.

I'll tell you this though.
You find out a lot about a person when they die.
You see into their heart. You can see their deepest desires and Ruby's ONLY desire was to meet Jesus.
She couldn't meet him soon enough.

The more my mother in law told me about her the more I admired her.
She was a woman who loved Jesus more than anything in this world and kept her mind on things above. She was creative, one heck-of-a seamstress, a servant, a hard worker, and she was funny. I like women with a good sense of humor.

Matt and I talked about using the name Ruby years before we had children.
It would be the perfect tribute to Grandma Ruby and it's cute (at least we think it's cute).
We hope our Ruby is half the person Grandma Ruby was.

Now the trick was finding a name that went with it.

In college I watched the movie Nanny McPhee with some of my roommates and fell head over heals.
I am a huge Emma Thompson fan and the videography, colors, and overall feel of the film made my heart flutter.
It was also the first time I heard the name Evangeline.
It was just so pretty.
I was in love. My bff Megan also loved the name. I think we struck a deal that whoever had children first could use it. :) I won!
Many years later as Matt and I discussed future children names (even before we started trying) Evangeline came up. Matt liked it and I couldn't believe it.
Then came Evangeline Lilly in the form of Kate from Lost.
Matt was sold.
We also loved the meaning of the name Evangeline. It means to spread the good news.

We hope with all of our heart that that is JUST what she'll do.

So Ruby Evangeline was the name we had picked out long before we were pregnant. We didn't really talk about boy names until much later, after I was pregnant. I wonder if that was God's way of telling us we would be having a girl.

There is a lot wrapped up in a name.
We hope our sweet Ruby carries a little piece of Grandma Ruby with her where ever she goes in life.
We mostly hope that she knows and loves Jesus and spreads the good news until the end of her days.


JenMarie said...

Beautiful name, Beautiful story.
Met my amazing DH at the BCM as well!

MKLoeffler said...

Just now seeing this, and LOVE it!