Monthly Archives: December 2014

Remembering Howard Ringwood

5494b4f57e199-2886-4524-RingwoodHowardLeeWebOlderMy exquisite friend Howard Ringwood has died. He wore his many gifts lightly and he blessed all around him with them. The two of us found somewhere along the way that we had attended the same university in the same years. He had played football with the man my twin sister married. They were captain and co-captain of the team and I remembered his name.

We became acquainted on Sundays on my street. He would stop if I was outside, he looking regal in a dark blue suit on his way home from church. He would say hello to me and ask in one way or another if I was all right. I would usually be fooling around on a motorcycle or trying to fix a lawnmower and my “I’m fine” at first meant “Don’t pray for me, Provo, Utah.” I soon saw what an elegant and gentle man he was, not espousing a party line, not laboring under the heavy hand of duty. His light was from within. The line that most comes to mind is the mysterious “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

He lightened many burdens for me. He shoveled my sidewalks at 5:00 or 6:00 in the morning. They were just done when I looked out on a snowy morning; I didn’t even know who’d done them for a long time. He told me when I suffered an acute injury doctors said I would not recover from, it will be okay. And it was. I came to understand having faith in faith and to count on his advice, always farsighted, longsuffering, ecumenical. If he began as a shepherd of balls across courts—any ball, any court—and he took home all the trophies—he went on to shepherd men and women in his wise, unassuming way. The last thing he asked me, in great suffering now and under a very heavy mandate himself, was “Are you all right?” The thought of him lights up my heart.

That heart goes out to his courageous and wonderful wife. I had the opportunity to work under her leadership providing services to residents of a nursing home some years back. Like him, she led by love, and I learned to see that love comes in many stripes and sometimes, yes, it is organized.

I extend my deepest condolences to her and to the seven heartbroken children these two had. They altered my, if not reckless, than perhaps heedless life.


photo (16)Someone who continually inspires me is Dr. Judy Gooch. She doesn’t expect you to call her Dr. Gooch; she’s Judy to me. She heals with her friendship as well as with her medical skills. I have been the recipient of both. Her current endeavor is one that I have a particular tenderness for–the disabled. My brother taught me how marvelous it is to be in their company.

Judy left her position in Rehab at the University of Utah Medical Center to begin her own medical endeavor: Utah Neuro Rehabilitation. She and her assistant work with disabled kids. Here they are. Look at their faces. The face of God.


Wonderful breakfast at Wildflowers with Cill’s nephew Troy and his son Rex. They drove all night from California, helped us all morning, all the while chattering about Someday. Remember the poem? Troy says. Someday I’ll take my boy fishing. Turns out Someday is already taken. How about Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Any day but Someday.

They left from Idaho late in the afternoon in time to arrive in Lemhi, Idaho in the evening where they’ll gather up their wounded warriors for an outdoor adventure.

It’s a very fine world that holds within it Troy and Rex. And Cill.