This special day is an ideal time to introduce the new TRIBUTE FEATURE that we’ve added to MTRF’s DROP BY DROP Blog. We truly love seeing the excited faces of the well recipients standing appreciatively by their new wells, most of which are dedicated to our donors’ family, friends & loved ones. Typically, after receiving photos of newly constructed wells, our donors respond by sharing some very touching stories. We’ve been SO moved by these emails that we’ve concluded these tributes DESERVE to be shared with the rest of the world, NOT just us! To that end, any donors who wish to share stories of the loved one they’re remembering, celebrating, honoring &/or congratulating via their well dedication may now do so through this exciting new feature! These achievements, legacies & special celebrations are inspiring & heartwarming and we have no doubt that others will benefit on many levels by having the opportunity to learn more about “the story behind the well” as personally written by their loved one.
Speaking of which...back to Mother’s Day….
Our “inaugural tribute” starts with MTRF’s “inaugural well dedication,” which commemorated Mark’s precious mother, Norma Ramsey, on the 15th year anniversary of her passing (August 25, 2001).
Norma Jean Ramsey had a way of lighting up any room with her upbeat, adventuresome spirit. Always calm, cool & collected, she was an astute business partner to her husband, Dean, and later established her own consulting practice, utilizing her accounting & business skills, prior to retiring and later moving from Ohio to Texas.
Always willing to lend a helping hand and forever sharing her many creative talents as a seamstress & artisan, Norma never met a stranger and was always willing to roll her sleeves up to help those in need. She was humble, compassionate & truly authentic in every regard. Her enjoyment of cooking & unending generosity meant family, friends, fellow congregation members and those in need of a home-cooked meal all benefited from her desire to express her love in this manner.
Norma’s intelligence, passion for reading/education, strong ethics, caring/genuine nature & consistent sense of calm served to mold Mark into the person he is today! Sadly, she was taken from us too soon, when she succumbed to cancer after a one year battle at the age of 64. She remains forever in our hearts – and there’s no doubt in our minds that she’d be right by our sides, working fervently as part of MTRF! Your last name is “on the door” of Ramsey Foundation, dear Norma, and we’ll do our best to honor your memory through our various programs -- many of which involve providing proper nutrition to those in need.
Since it’s Mother’s Day, we’re also doing a tribute to Elizabeth Sperduti Wolff, who was the mother of Trina Wolff Ramsey & Lisa Wolff Ross. The well pictured above was dedicated on December 15th, which marked the 25th anniversary of her passing. It’s still hard for us to believe that so much time has transpired, as she lives on in our hearts forever!
Lisa shares: “Our mother died 25 years ago and yet, her influence in my life is so powerful and real that I feel it every day. If I am open to it, her loving presence is with me wherever I go. Because she is with me, I am never alone. I can feel supported, loved, and encouraged by her at all times. I believe in my potential for great things, because she did first. Her example of persevering through adversity with faith in good things yet to come, is among my greatest treasures. Her special gift was loving fiercely...and that fierce love has carried me all of my life. How powerful is a mother's love!
Trina shares: Lee summarized mom’s essence perfectly! Our mother was an incredible & inspirational role model & while I could write about her for hours, I’ll just highlight some of her amazing talents/traits/accomplishments to convey a sense of her spirit:
Creatively Gifted (phenomenal cook/entertainer, seamstress, artist/writer/poet, avid hobbyist - enjoyed knitting/crocheting/crafting/canning/baking)
Committed to Education (English/Typing teacher @ Crestline HS, PTA, lifelong learner)
Spirited, Organized & Goal Oriented (there wasn’t anything she wasn’t up for accomplishing)
Devout & Generous Christian (our door was ALWAYS open!)…and the list goes on…
When we reflect on the fact that she did all of this AND mothered the two of us FROM A WHEELCHAIR for so many years (diagnosed with MS at ~35), it just doesn’t seem possible, yet we witnessed it with our own eyes. As her daughters, it was a privilege to observe her undying determination & strong belief system from such an intimate perspective. For this, we are forever grateful, and hopeful that – in some small way – we are carrying her legacy forward!