Ruby Jane Taylor - a guest post

Ruby Jane Taylor was diagnosed with liver failure in March of 2011 at the age of three months. While awaiting a donor liver and working with some of the best doctors in the country at the UCLA Medical Center, Ruby passed away during the evening of August 11 - she was seven months old.

The following guest post was written and posted by my dear cousin, a close friend of Ruby's mother. The love, lessons and faith expressed in this post are universally applicable, so with permission, I present them here.

Church buildings, in the LDS culture, can be used for many different purposes. They can be used for men's basketball, mutual activities, scout activities, Relief Society events, and on every Sunday church services. They are used to issue temple recommends, boy scout advancements, Young Women medallions, Eagle Court of Honors, Primary talks and the Sacrament. But today, today my church building located on 30522 Via Con Dios in Rancho Santa Margarita became something I never thought a church building became a part of Heaven.

There was not a soul that walked through those glass double doors today that could have expected the rush of emotion and Spirit that were ever present those few hours we spent together celebrating Ruby's life.

We were greeted with a large poster of Ruby's beautiful little smile. The one that dots Facebook and Blog pages across the world and across our hearts (the one pictured above). On the table were beautiful pictures of the Taylor family in "better times" along with some of Ruby's personal affects: the little Teddy Bear from her Hospital room, her toys preciously encased in a glass vase, some of her adorable knit hats, blankets, a wreath from her room made by her mother and comforting scriptures beautifully presented in different frames. A little glimpse into little Ruby's family.

There was another table with a guest sign-in book, the programs and photographs of Ruby for us all to take home. Along side this table was a beautiful bare heather gray tree in a frame, without its leaves, that said "Ruby Jane Taylor: Thank you for touching our lives". It was here that we could press our finger into an array of green inkpads and "touch" our fingerprints onto the tree to form the leaves. Very moving to see the barren tree become full of "life" with each guest that arrived. An amazing piece of art work the Taylors will, no doubt, cherish.

Most church building walls are brown burlap or painted white. Our building however, is a soft rose pink color...very fitting for this sweet girls celebration of life. Everyone was asked to wear either yellow or pink in honor of her. As her tiny casket was brought in by her uncles and laid on a tiny table in front of the podium amongst beautiful arrays of white, pink and green flower, you could feel the spirit so strongly. Ani and Matt, along with their families walked into the chapel and the meeting commenced. The spirit was instantly felt as prayers, musical numbers and words spoken were shared. Her cousins and a few of our wards Primary Children sang "I am like a Star shining Brightly", Ani's sister played a beautiful violin piece accompanied by piano of "I know that my Redeemer lives" and the lyrics to "I am a Child of God" were sung by all there.

Ani, Ruby's mother and my sweet friend, surprised us all by standing at the pulpit. She asked that anyone touched by Ruby "please stand". As the entire congregation stood in unison Ani held her chest and wept. She then thanked everyone for the love and support and bore her testimony of eternal families and the love she felt for her daughter. She asked us all "not to forget her sweet Ruby" and promised to be the "best person she could be, while on earth, so she could be with Ruby again someday".

Ani's brother, Mike, gave a beautiful Eulogy of Ruby's short mission here on earth, about gaining a physical body, her struggles and her fight. He spoke of her mother and her father and of her sister's eternal love for her and how they will return to her one day but for now "she will be in the arms of our Heavenly Father, free from pain." He talked about how God waited to send her to earth at this time, to these parents, for this purpose. He shared tender experiences of her smiling to her sister, mother and how she would often stroke her father's beard or cheek. He noted that she was holding his finger when she passed from this life and how eternally grateful he was for her, for his sister and the eternal bond he could feel being there with them that special night. He shared with us some excerpts from letters and notes they'd received from across the globe: Hong Kong, Australia, many parts of Europe, and almost every state in the country. They expressed sentiments and how Ruby's 7 months of life were missionary moments or drawing people back to prayer, to Christ and to resolving to be better mothers and fathers. How she touched the lives of SO many.

A family friend gave a perfect talk about the Plan of Salvation. On why this day is a celebration of life and not the end of a sweet little baby. How Ruby was truly an angel on Earth and is now an angel watching over her family until they can return and be with her. He spoke about the incredible family she was blessed to be apart of and echo'd their testimonies that Christ lives, He loves us and how there is a divine plan for us all. Ruby's small mission in life was finished but that worldwide she touched the hearts of many...and for good!

We concluded by singing "I am a Child of God" with the 3rd verse altered a tad. I had to share that sweet verse:
I am a Child of God,
My days on earth were few
But Heavenly Father placed me there
To spend some time with you
He'll lead you, guide you, walk beside you
Help you so you'll see
I'm in God's arms (and) loving you
Till you are HOME with me
Ruby is a true miracle. There were MANY in attendance today that never had the opportunity to meet her or see her beautiful smile in person but in spirit, she touched them. She's changed them, made them better and she has done more in her 7 months of life than I could my entire life. I love her for bringing me closer to my Heavenly Father, for strengthening my testimony of the Plan of Salvation and for the joy she brought to those around her even during her struggle here on Earth.

Thank you, sweet Ruby Jane, we will NEVER forget you!

If you are interested in learning more about our Savior, the Plan of Salvation and Eternal Families please visit: Our Eternal Life

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