The lives we lost in 2023
"Our Mum was one original lady!"
Eulogy of Ruth Margaret (Ma Blanc) Tuitt- Blanc (March 27 1934 to June 2023)
Ruth is predominantly a girl name of Hebrew origin, meaning "friend," friendship, "or "compassionate friend." It is derived from the Hebrew word re'ut, meaning "friend".
Ruth the Moabitess was the great-grandmother of King David.
What is the moral of Ruth?
Following your heart with integrity can increase your influence on others. Because Ruth followed her heart and went with Naomi to Bethlehem, her influence on others increased. Instead of looking down on her as a foreigner, the Hebrews noticed her and admired her.
Ruth Margaret Tuitt was born on March 27, 1934, to Ineze John and Charles Tuitt and raised by Aldith Adams, better known as DaDa, on the lower River Bank in Roseau. Our first brother Darran was born in 1953. Our mother married our father, Jonn Blanc and moved to England like so many at that time, where the five of us (Carol, Gibson, Glennis, Roger and myself) were born.
Our mother never finished high school. Instead, she had to work at an early age to help her family make ends meet. At that point, her dedication and commitment to family took shape. There is a passage in the Bible that aptly describes our mother's dedication; it reads: "But Ruth replied, 'Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried".
As we grew up in London, Dad worked most of the time while Mum dedicated her life to taking care of us; with many personal sacrifices, she ensured we had everything we needed. She made sure to celebrate every birthday, every school parent meeting she was there, and every day we came home to a hot meal. She was also a devout Catholic, ensuring we attended church every Sunday, completing catechism and confirmation with flair and devotion.
Our mother was also a firm believer in a good education. Not having completed high school herself, she made sure we did not miss school, always completing our homework, including enrolling us in Sunday school. She was so adamant that we learn to speak "proper English" like many parents of her generation, she was not in favour of us learning "patois" from her or Dad, so forgive us if we don't have a clue what many of you we fondly referred to as "auntie this" and "uncle that" are saying.
Our parents always intended to return to Dominica, which we did in 1972. Like Ruth the Moabite, our mother had to make a tough decision.
Darran was at an important point in his education, and she didn't want to complicate his future by pulling him out of school. As she will do many times in the years ahead, she placed her children's interests first. She decided it was best to let him complete his education in London and moved to Dominica with the rest of us in tow.
Our mother would go on to face many challenges that were both intensely personal and public. Hurricane David tested her again when she sent her two youngest children back to the UK. At the same time, the older children, Glenford, Glennis, and Gibson, remained to help rebuild our home. With the uncertainty of a financial future, and her strong desire to take care of the family, she established her own mobile catering business and before long, Ma Blanc became a household name, delivering hot spicy meals with a smile throughout Roseau. Our Mum was one original lady!
Before closing, we cannot forget how much she loved "her country" and was revered, befriended, and loved by many Dominicans. Who among us has yet to hear of her carnival prowess, ingenuity, and numerous costumes made for her? And when she couldn't make it, guess what? She improvised. Dominica News once called her: "True Spirit of Carnival". I can see her now, decked out in her angelic cultural costume, dancing to the music as she enters the gates of heaven. My family thanks you all for celebrating and loving her in life and now.
Until we meet again, Mum, we love you very much!