10 Country: Ruthel's Big Honor - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

10 Country: Ruthel's Big Honor

October 19, 2006

Crisp Co.-- The U. S. population officially reached 300 million people this week, a milestone we would have never reached without mothers.

Come to find out, we have a special mother who lives in Crisp County. It was a natural to ask her: "What makes a good mother, especially in this day and time," since we reached the population milestone.

Ask ten people what makes a good mother and you get 10 answers, unless you ask Ruthele Patrick, an award winning mother who thinks mothers should make sure they use an often forgotten talent.

Most mothers spend a lot of their valuable time in checkout lines at grocery stores, a good place to ask mothers. None of those we talked to mentioned material possessions. Everything was free.

"Spending time with your child," says Monosha Phillips as she buys a gallon of milk while her daughter looks on from the child's seat in the grocery cart.

"Patience, love and caring," says Debbie Johnson, a mother of three.

"Being there with love and support," says Amelia Coe.

What do children say?

"Clothes on my back, food and a roof over my head," says 13 year-old Eduardo Wood of his mother as she bought groceries.

"Being there for you and not abusing you," says 14 year-old Kaitlin Whittle as she stood in the checkout line with her mom.

You will hear all kinds of descriptions for a good mother, but what about Georgia's Mother of the Year. What does she think a good mother is?

"Sometimes we mothers think we know everything," says Ruthele Patrick as she signs a stack of checks. She's the secretary-treasurer of the RuBo grocery store chain. The Ru in RuBo comes from the first part of her name. Bo is the name of her husband.

She should know what makes a good mother. The mother of three children and grandmother to 11 works in the family's grocery business, and believes that mothers should keep in check their urge to talk too much.

"We need to listen to the children because they might have some things that we might need to hear to help them," says Ruthele who was selected as Georgia's Mother of the Year in 2006 based, in large part, to her devotion to helping people.

"My motto is: To help those who cannot help themselves," says Ruthele who volunteers a lot of her time to others, but not at the expense of her family.

"You always want them to know that you are there when they need you," says Ruthele.

She gave up a nursing career 24 years ago to devote all of her time to her family, a decision she never regretted, even though a mother's work is never done.

"Her job is never completed, regardless of whether it's at home or wherever it might be," says Ruthele.

But a job that change through the years.

"I think these mothers are facing things now in 2006 that we didn't have to face in 1972," says Ruthele when asked about the differences mothers of today face verses mothers in the early '70s.

Different times, different worries, but a mother all the same whose job never ends and where most wouldn't want it to end anyway.

Ruthele's award required her to prepare a portfolio of her community activities and some of the listing went back to the '70s when she was the den mother for a local scout troop.

The organization titled American Mothers, the same organization that got Mother's Day started, sponsors the search, and anyone can nominate a person for the award by going to: http://www.americanmothers.org/moy.cfm