Eulogy For Christine Ryshkus by Judy Buzby (June 20, 2006)

Christine is my friend, and I say this because I know that she will always be a part of my life. She has affected me and so many of our mutual friends in a myriad of ways. When I asked them for some input on this talk, they were quick to point out so many of her wonderful qualities. There is a poem Christine submitted to the Dispatch 4-5 years ago and I think it might have been an advertisement for the Garden Center. It epitomized her beliefs and how she lived her life, and it helps me to put into words all that her friends have said. It goes something like this:

A Special Garden
In my Garden I will plant:

Three Rows of Peas: Peas of MIND, HEART, and SOUL - She displayed these peas during her long illness. And helped us all to remember that we need to have the peas that comes from a strong belief in God.

Plant 4 rows of Squash: She would Squash Gossip, indifference, grumbling and selfishness… Has anyone ever heard her Gossip? She was never indifferent to those who needed help and the worst grumbling I ever heard from her was when she was throwing up so much that her stomach grumbled a lot… Selfishness? She gave of her self and her possessions freely and willingly

Plant 4 rows of lettuce: Lettuce be faithful…She was faithful to her friends, her family, her animals, and most important to her God. Her faith was steadfast and unquestionable and she said on many occasions that she would meet us all at the pearly gates but that we needed to come a few at a time and please, not all at once…

Lettuce be kind: so many people remembered her kindness most of all. She listened to you and was an expert at getting you to tell her your troubles and then remembered your sick husband, your child in Iraq, and always asked how they were doing and reminded you that they were in her prayers.

Lettuce be happy: Happiness was part of Christine’s makeup. Even when she was the sickest, she had a joke or funny thing that she remembered. When she was leaving for the Hospice center, Carol, her sister-in-law, remembers her smiling and blowing kisses from the window.

Lettuce love one an other: Her love was all encompassing. Every time we ended a conversation on the phone it was “Love Ya” and you knew that she meant it. How wonderful!

No Garden should be without Turnips: Turnip the music and Dance…. One of her friends reminded me of the song by Lee Ann Womack “I hope you Dance”
The song goes:
“And when you get the chance to sit it out or dance, Dance, I Hope you dance” Christine was always dancing and with every organization she joined, she would become a leader because she felt very strongly that we all needed to contribute … not for power, but to give back and not just be a bystander in life. She encouraged us to join the dance, she never sat out and she made sure that we were all dancing with her.

The last four rows must have Thyme:
Thyme for fun, rest, ourselves, and time for prayer.

What a gift she has left us…Peas, Squash, Lettuce, turnips and most important, Thyme: Not just for fun, rest, ourselves, Prayer, but for our friends, family and those who are close to us! God rest your soul Christine. We love you and look forward to seeing you at those pearly gates.