Saturday, October 6, 2007

Eleanor Ruder, RIP
A Post by Guest Blogger Fallen Sparrow

I have just learned that Eleanor Ruder, the founder of The Bridge to Life passed away on October 4 after a prolonged bout with cancer. I was blessed to have had the opportunity to meet her and interview her in the winter of 2006 for the New York Daily News' now-defunct "Big Town, Big Heart" series under the guidance of the fearless Dawn Eden.

Eleanor started Bridge to Life in the early 1990's after retiring from working full-time at a bank and looking at ways to help others around her; she was a devout Catholic and was always pro-life. In that time, Bridge to Life has helped countless needy pregnant women who are considering abortion to choose to keep their babies, assisting them with referrals to counseling, health care, housing, as well as by providing baby clothes, toys, carriages, and other material needs.

When asked why she did this, she replied, "basically, because I am pro-life. The primary reason was, if you ask a woman to choose life, you better be there to help her."

In that sentence, she eroded the last bit of resistance I personally had toward the pro-life cause; I was, prior to that, what one might call "soft" on the pro-life cause. I was, like many politicians you hear today, "personally opposed" but not certain it was my place to publicly state that position. Additionally, I was under the mistaken impression that the pro-life cause was primarily people ranting about the evil of abortion without doing anything to assist the material needs of pregnant women; suddenly, I found myself interviewing a woman who was energetic, passionate, enthusiastic, and truly radiant in her kindness who was dedicating her "golden years" to assisting others in need.

She proudly displayed for me a collage of some of the mothers and children she had helped over the years; she kept in touch with them and told me how the mothers would still call her and tell her about the children who were alive today in part because Eleanor was there to provide assistance in their time of need.

Please pray for the soul of a warm, caring, and generous woman, as well as her family and friends, and the ongoing mission of the organization she started.

Lux aeterna luceat eis, Domine, cum sanctis tuis in aeternum, quia pius es.

UPDATE: In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to The Bridge to Life, Inc., 129-20A 18th Avenue, College Point, New York 11356.