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This is Us: Ruth Rosenthal

photo by Jennifer Moss

“I think I was ten and a half. I wasn’t yet eleven because Pearl Harbor hit when I was eleven. I had had bad tonsils all my life but when my parents told me I needed them taken out I would cry, and that was the end of it.

“One day I visited my neighbor who was warm and friendly. I visited her straight from school, and I got to talking—which I didn’t typically do—and I said I’m going tell my mother that I’m ready to get my tonsils out. I was tired of being a coward. And the promise of ice cream didn’t hurt my decision, either.

“Well it was done in the doctor’s office and back then, we were given ether as an anesthetic. They stopped using that long ago.

“While recuperating I was alone in my room, wide awake, sitting up. I suddenly had the knowing that I was a part of everything in existence. And immediately what followed was the same knowing that it was just as equally so with the tiniest of all in existence. So there I was, a girl raised with no religion, suddenly having a deep spiritual experience.

“I didn’t tell anyone about it for seven years. I learned I wasn’t the only one who had such a blessing! I thought, “Who could I talk to about this?” It turned out I met someone, and listening to the way he talked I knew I could share my experience with him. And then I met someone else, and he was also sharing very unique and true experiences of that kind, and so I knew I could tell him, too.

“And that second guy became my husband.”

Ruth Rosenthal is an author and poet who participates regularly in open mics around town, reading works from her long and fascinating life. Ruth has lived in North Fork and Oakhurst since 2004.

This is Us is a series of local profiles with first-person stories, written in a way we can get to know the people in our community on a little deeper level. Click here more information about this series.

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