for about six months, kyle, his family and i planned a surprise retirement party for his mother, ruby dyer. i'm sure a lot of you already know that, because you were there, but out of fear of her finding out before party time, i didn't write about it early, and things have been crazy so i'm just now getting to post it. kyle and i didn't see our dining room table for weeks because it was covered in party planning essentials. we scanned hundreds of photos, invited the whole town of wayne and then some, made invitations and sent them out, and planned decorations and favors down to the last detail. and with a lot of help (thank you everyone. seriously couldn't have done it without you), we gave ruby and about 150 other people a really fun party. here are some photos.
i couldn't have been happier with how things turned out. at one point i was cursing those pennant banners and paper flowers, but when we got back from changing clothes and people started arriving and the music was playing, i got so excited i could have cried. which i did later when ruby got up to speak. with tears running down her face, she said "no one would have loved this more than mother." and that's when i went into ugly cry territory. i so wish mamaw adkins could have been there. she really would have loved every second of it.
several people spoke about having ruby for a teacher, or in dean's case, a sister, over the years. her brother said "all of you are up here talking about what ruby can do, well i'm going to tell you some things she can't do." his hilarious stories of growing up with ruby made us all double over in our seats and it was much needed comic relief in such a bittersweet situation.
wayne high school will never be the same. and as sad as it sounds, journalism schools will suffer because of it. having ruby in class pushed them ahead of everyone else. i went into journalism school at 17 years old knowing just as much as the college seniors, and sometimes, the professors. one of the speakers, bryce wallace, said when he got to college, all of his journalism classes were just refresher courses, because ruby had already taught him everything he needed to know to be a journalist. so true.
ruby didn't just teach about journalism or english, though. she has touched so many people by teaching them about life, too. she made people better. she pushed you as a kid because she knew you had it in you to be great. she believed in you when you felt like no one else did. she inspired thousands while she taught. i know she will continue to teach and push and believe in and inspire others, she just wont be standing behind a desk.
501 won't be her's anymore, but it will always hold my best memories from high school and will forever be attributed to where i found who i wanted to be. it is because of what happened behind those doors with ruby as my leader that i went to journalism school, found my passion for writing and design and feel confident enough to post blog posts at all.
i loved throwing this party with kyle and his family. we worked really hard because she deserves it and she taught us how.
i love you, mrs. dyer. happy retirement. :)