Ruthie is an author, speaker and life coach. She resides in Edmond, OK and is the mother of two amazing grown sons, and a daughter who was a life-long dancer and brought light into the lives of everyone who knew her, and now dances with Jesus.
Think avalanche! — Unstoppable devastation; loss; reshaping of the entire landscape - a GPS repositioning. That’s what happened to Ruthie’s “perfect” life. Just when life was getting good, devastation and tragedy quaked, burying her.
Only a mother’s love encapsulated her with the strength to dig out, gasp for breath, and seek the fire to comfort and warm.
Peace and abundance was the fruit that bloomed, as she never took her eyes off the sometimes, tiniest spark of light, enabling her to take the next breath. Would she, or even could she follow that spark - or lay down and die?
Choices — there’s always a choice. Now, that spark of inner light is a flame, brighter than any firefly’s glow, emanating through Ruthie’s writing, speaking and Life Coaching, empowering others to connect with their inner light, that will survive an avalanche. You see, though the landscape is drastically altered, the majestic mountain stands.
Where does your passion for writing come from?
It’s hard to put any passion into words. It’s a part of who you are. I knew very young that I loved words and loved stories, and began writing them very young. In my mind, it was just something fun. Unfortunately, like most women, it wasn’t until middle age that I realized it was a passion and a part of who I was. In fact, most women never realize their passion. That’s why one of my favorite questions is: “If asked what your passions were as a child, would you even know now what they were?” The world’s expectations rob us of who we are and of the fulfillment our passions are meant to bring to our lives. Even after I began to realize writing was a passion, I didn’t acknowledge it as my calling until faced with devastating life circumstances. I made the choice to pursue the truth facing me and the result, years later, was “Fireflies”, and the impact it is meant to have on others.
If your passion for writing was a color, what color would it be and why?
Purple; no doubt! It’s my favorite color, but there’s something about purple that seems to encapsulate every color of the universe.
How do you keep the passion burning in your relationship with storytelling?
Your passion is always a part of who you are. Keeping it burning is actually why I wrote Fireflies and what I speak about. It’s all about keeping in touch with your inner light. We are all beckoned from a very young age to conform to what the world expects from us and consequently, most choose to follow that mandate instead of the light we were born with, and allowing it to light our way to the fulfillment of our passions.
Like a firefly whose very being lights up a summer night like a Fourth of July sparkler,
my soul’s light was at its brightest.
Tammy and Charla have been friends since childhood, but lost touch when life took them separate directions. In their time apart, both women have found themselves in situations far beyond their control.
Tammy Trovich had been full of dreams, but had sacrificed and forgotten them all. Truth collides with her head-on when she realizes she’s been caught like a firefly in a proverbial jar, living a life of have-to and supposed-to, when all the while, freedom was only inches away.
Despite many obstacles, Charla Calibrisi thinks she’s living her dream as a news anchor, but when her husband’s aggressive behavior mirrors her dark past, will she allow the truth she has buried to be excavated, or will she be buried with it?
Trapped in a jar with their lights dimming, both women wrestle with their devotion to the sanctity of marriage. To what limit will Tammy and Charla let their lives grow fainter before their light is extinguished—unable to emanate even the faintest glow?
Excerpt from Fireflies
I’m so different now, so different from the naïve, high school senior full of heart and dreams. Like a firefly whose very being lights up a summer night like a Fourth of July sparkler, my soul’s inner light was at its brightest.
My love affair with books had caused me to fall in love with the words happily ever after.
He was my first love. I remember the butterflies tickling my innards uncontrollably, every sight and sound swirling around me. I loved his thick, Beatles-style, blonde hair. His medium height was tall for me. His thin body carried broad shoulders. Something about broad shoulders makes a guy appear so strong, and I suppose ignited a feeling of being protected.
The first date came complete with the first red flag. It was so confusing, the way he was barely acknowledging my presence. It was a school event, and as we approached the entrance, Eric swung open the door and walked in, allowing it to swing shut right in front of me. Not only had he not opened the door for me, he entered with an arrogant demeanor, not even holding it open long enough for me to grab it. It wasn’t just a slip up. But typical of my nature, combined with sweet-Christian-girl teachings, I gave him the benefit of the doubt, followed right behind him, and pretended it didn’t happen.
Time passed and red flags continued to herald my attention, but hidden in the shadows of his enticing words: “Tammy, we’re meant to be together,” and “No one will ever love you like I love you.”
I desperately wanted to believe it was his heart and chose to paint each red flag the attractive color of love.
Or were they painted with my quest for approval by becoming what I was taught I should be?
“Now I pronounce you man and wife.”
And with a kiss, Mr. and Mrs. Eric Trovich paced back up the isle with smiles, accompanied by The Carpenters; “We’ve only just begun, white lace and promises.” My ticket to happily ever after.
I just didn’t know that one of the most devastating decisions in the world is to walk into a marriage you’ve gambled your very being on.
One of my favorite things as a little girl was running barefoot, chasing elusive fireflies, toes feeling the cool, freshly mown grass in my grandparents’ backyard. The flashing lights, magical, twinkling from their being, sparked dreams emanating from my own light.
In the moment again, seeing the lights, smelling the grass, feeling it between my toes, hearing the crickets; I see it—the perfect picture of the soul light in each of us, ignited by the mere finger of God, the essence of who we are, our purpose meant to light the world.
One of the first things I discovered about fireflies was how easily their light could be removed. Hardly a day goes by now that I don’t think about how I marveled as my mother showed me how to delicately remove the tiny but bright light and pretend it was a diamond. I placed it just right on my finger, sparkling like a diamond wedding ring.
I chased the fireflies, gathering them one by one into a mayonnaise jar my grandmother had saved. I punched holes in the top and watched the lightning show as they circled, flickering lights hitting the glass wall over and over, slowly dimming, desperate for oxygen, life.
One evening, I couldn’t watch the desperate captivity any longer. I unscrewed the lid to see how fast they would escape the jar. I was mesmerized by how they continued circling and slamming into the glass, oblivious the lid was off.
I so wanted to tell them, the lid is off; fly, fly, you’re free! Then I noticed one’s light becoming brighter again. It seemed as though she made a couple of rounds whispering to the others; the lid is off, the lid is off, then following her rekindled light to freedom, out she flew.
The rest scampered at the bottom, succumbing to the lie they could not free themselves, and eventually their sad death—freedom only inches away.
It took the near death of my own light to recognize the invisible jar that held it captive—made of distorted limitations. Just as I had watched each firefly’s light slowly dim as it accepted its plight, I also succumbed to false limitations by a slow ingestion of half-truths, dictating my role as a woman instead of illuminating the inner light of who I am, forming the lid on my captive jar.
There was no greater purpose than to become a submissive wife and perfect mother. There was no way I wouldn’t live my happily ever after—Love never fails, right?
It was up to me, because I was his wife and that was my job. So I relentlessly continued to try.
My journey walked me through the doors of mid-life when the whole truth caught up with me, banishing half-truths as I soaked in a tub of lavender bubbles. I couldn’t squelch the tormenting voices that whined, Whatcha gonna do now? Whatcha gonna do now?
Doubts, grief and fear tangled tight around me. Tears cratered into the bubbles as truth seeped through the scars of my heart like water finding a pinhole—like the holes on the lid of my jar.
I called Charla. “We have to talk. I know what I have to do.”