May 23, 1944 - January 13, 2020
It pains me to admit it, but apparently, I have passed away. Everyone told me it would happen one day but that's simply not something I wanted to hear, much less experience. Once again I didn't get things my way! And while on that subject (the story of my life)…on May 23, 1944 my parents celebrated my birth and I was introduced to all as Judith Ann Ratcliff, the daughter of Wright and Clara Ratcliff. I can't believe that happened in the first half of the last century but there are records on file in the Court House which can corroborate this claim. Just two years later when a baby brother (Richard Ratcliff) was born, the world was changed forever.
So many things in my life seemed of little significance at the time they happened but then took on a greater importance as I got older. The memories I'm taking with me now are so precious and have more value than all the gold and silver in my jewelry box.
Memories…where do I begin? I married the man of my dreams Gordon Holmes (tall, dark, and handsome) on May 6, 1967 and from that day on I was proud to be Mrs. Judy Holmes, Grand Diva Of All Things Domestic. We were blessed with our daughter Michelle and then exactly 6 years later to the day our son Jonathan (yes we thoroughly enjoyed our Valentine’s Day’s). Seeing these two grow into who they were supposed to be brought a wonderful sense of meaning to our lives.
Just when I thought I was too old to fall in love again, I became a grandmother, and my five grand-angels stole not only my heart but most of my energy. Samantha Smith, Michael Picha, Claire Picha, Eli Holmes and Peyton Holmes all have enriched my life more than words can say. Their funny anecdotes, cute smiles and wonderful personalities are treasures that are irreplaceable and will go with me wherever my journey takes me. I've always maintained that my greatest treasures call me grandma.
Speaking of titles…I've held a few in my day. I've been a devoted daughter, an energetic teenager, a U of M graduate, a loving wife, a comforting mother, a dedicated teacher, a true and loyal friend, and a spoiling grandmother. And if you don't believe it, just ask me. Oh wait, I'm afraid it's too late for questions. Sorry. So…I was born; I blinked; and it was over. No buildings named after me; no monuments erected in my honor. But I DID have the chance to know and love each and every friend as well as all my family members. How much more blessed can a person be?
So in the end, remember…do your best, follow your arrow, and make something amazing out of your life. Oh, and never stop smiling. I'll leave you with this…please don't cry because I'm gone; instead be happy that I was here. (Or maybe you can cry a little bit. After all, I have passed away).
Today I am happy and I am dancing. Probably naked.
Love you forever.
Saturday, February 1, 2020
The family will greet friends one hour before the service at church
House of Prayer Lutheran Church
7627 Chicago Avenue South
Richfield, Minnesota 55423