"Come what may"... it was her father's favorite expression. Ruby thought of that now as she trudged through the snow at the cemetery. She came here often to talk to him, especially when life was hard. She wished that she was stronger, like he had always been.
They'd gone through more than their share of troubles when she was growing up. Ruby's mother had been killed in a car accident when she was very small - too small to remember her, but her dad was determined to raise Ruby on his own. He worked hard on their small farm - some years the crops did well, and other years they failed, sometimes everything looked promising until harvest time, then a hail storm would come through and level the field, or grasshoppers would come and devour it almost overnight. At those times Ruby saw the weariness in her father's eyes, but he always pulled her close and told her "Come what may, Ruby girl, we will get through this and anything else that comes our way. Bad times just make you celebrate the good times all the more." And they did get through it, and no matter how tight the money was, he always made sure that Ruby had what she needed, and a few little special things too.
As Ruby grew older she learned to help her Dad around the farm, first with tending the garden and gathering eggs, then feeding the pigs and milking their few cows. As soon as her legs were long enough to reach the pedals she was taking turns at driving the tractor and learning what it took to make a crop grow. Her dad was proud of how well she did in school, and wanted her to go to college and get a fancy well-paying job somewhere; but Ruby wouldn't hear of it, her heart was as connected to their land as his was. She loved their farm and couldn't imagine ever leaving; her father understood.
A couple years out of high school the boy from down the road that had always fancied Ruby, got the courage to ask her father for her hand. Ruby remember how her father's eyes shined with pride the day he walked her down the wedding aisle, and how pleased he was when Lee agreed to come and work the farm with Ruby now that he was getting older and stepping back a bit.
It was that next winter that Ruby's Dad took sick. She watched as he kept losing weight and fussed about him going to the doctor. She knew just how bad he was feeling when he finally agreed to go. The news wasn't good; his days on earth were numbered. "How can I survive without you," she sobbed in her father's arms.
"Come what may, Darlin', you'll get through it, just like we always have. You've got Lee now, and I know you'll be ok." Ruby held those words close to her heart and somehow found strength in his belief in her. It wasn't long after his death that a new baby girl came home to the farm.
Then came the horrible day when a neighbor came pounding loudly on their door. Startled, Ruby answered it to see Jake from across the road standing there ashen faced, and hat in hand. "There's been a bad accident Ruby," he stammered. "We found Lee's tractor tipped over in the field." She soon learned that Lee had been crushed beneath it when it fell.
As she stood there at the funeral, her young daughter holding tightly to her hand, she heard her father's words as clearly as if he was standing right next to her, "Come what may, Darlin', you'll get through it," and she wondered if just maybe he was there with her. Reaching down to gather her daughter into her arms, she knew that he was right... no matter how bad things felt right now, she would get through it, and teach her daughter how to face life squarely, come what may.
I'm linking up with Keith Hillman's Carry On Tuesday
where the prompt this week is "come what may"