Ruth's mother died in her arms when she was only twenty-two. She'd been up in the night taking care of her. No one knew how sick she really was—they just lived in a little Colorado town.
Ruth's mother had ten children. But only 6 lived past infancy. She named one of her babies, Wesley; one, Vion; one Vernis; one, Othello—she and her husband were very poor, but they loved Shakespeare.
Ruth had an older sister named Paloma. Paloma died of cancer. She was married twice. Her first husband was abusive. But, her second husband adored her. When she was dying of cancer, he drove her from Utah to San Juan Capistrano—so the girl who grew up in a tiny Colorado town, the girl who went to Stanford back in the day when women didn't really go to college, the girl whose mother died when she was in her 20's, could sit by the ocean.
When I met Eva, I wanted to say: your name is a poem.
But you can't really go around saying things like that to seven year-old girls. And really—she is the poem. Which is an even weirder thing to say.