In Memory of Ruth Ann Messick (Mom-Mom)
Feb. 14, 1931 ~ Sept. 9, 2015
Ruth Ann (Vincent) Messick was born on Valentine’s Day, 1931 to the late Ruth Adams Vincent and Hugh Vincent. She moved around a lot as a child, as her parents ran several country stores and a gas station (such as Andrewville store). They settled in Farmington in 1948. Mom-mom was 17 years old. On April 29, 1951 she married Robert E. Messick. Mom-Mom was 20 years old. The family of all R’s, Robert & Ruth Ann had 3 girls-Rebecca, Rita, & Rochelle in 1953, 1955, & 1960 respectively. But the real fun began when the 1st of 8 grandkids was born, my brother Breck, in 1973. The last, Lauren, was born in 1990.
To me, Mom-Mom was the conductor. We were all just members of her band. I picture her now, sitting in the kitchen on the phone, checking in on everyone. She would make a to-do list everyday for her and Pop-Pop. That to-do list would consist of sending off daily birthday cards, writing letters, cooking a pot roast for one of us for dinner, taking a newspaper to a friend, or helping one of her grandchildren. Of course, one of her favorite things to do was to rush off to a yard sale or auction. She collected DE church plates, DE glass, railroad insulators, strawberry tickets, oil lanterns, Dionne quintuplets memorabilia, DE postcards, and Farmington history. One time she said to me, “Well, you have to collect something, Christy. What’s it gonna be?”. She loved all things related to Greenwood Alumni and 4-H. Her basement is a testimony to Peach Blossom 4-H Club with many old pictures of club members spanning 40 years. She was always working on something-sewing for dress revue, a place setting for favorite foods, window displays, floats, and typing project books.
Her mind and thoughts were always with her grandkids. She was always ready to go, go, go with us. Trips to D.C., New York City, the cottage at the beach, plus ball games, proms, graduations, 4-H events, college days, weddings, and continuing the celebration with 5 great-grandchildren. But as I tried to dig out old pictures of Mom-Mom, I couldn’t find many. I have a ton with Pop-Pop but Mom-Mom was always behind the camera. However, in my box I did have a ton of letters from her. They mean more to me than a picture because in her notes she showed me her love, empathy, and concern. In a world where our noses tend to be stuck in our cell phones and a personal letter is an artifact, I have these snapshots in time from a grandmother with a ton of other interests who took 5 minutes to think about me.
But what I’ll miss most are the phone calls. She was the first one to call me after my wedding to say “We had so much fun. We love Scott. Don’t worry about anything here. Have fun on your honeymoon”. And she was the first to call after my husband’s Mom passed and said, “We loved her, too. How can we help you and Scott?”.
I’m sure each grandchild has a ton of their own memories. For me, she’s the reason I’m a Democrat and why I love Delaware history. She took me to Pea Patch Island, Patty Cannon House, and Woodland Ferry growing up. She’s the reason why I have a lead foot and speed too much. She’s the reason I love antiques and a really good yard sale. She’s also the reason I boss my husband around way too much, just like she did Pop-Pop. And she’s the reason why I can’t keep my hands still.
For Pop-Pop I picked the word devoted. For Mom-Mom, I picked the word hands-on. She was certainly a hands-on grandmother. For Pop-Pop, I said I would teach my boy how to give a really big bear hug. For Mom-Mom, I’ll teach him how to take 5 minutes out of his day to call a neighbor or write a thank you note. I thank God that she’s reunited with Pop-Pop in heaven. Rest in Peace, Mom-Mom Ruth.