"There's not much I can do to describe how much of a beautiful person my mother was. She was kind, caring, brave, strong, and so smart. She was the single-most awesome mom ever. She taught me Hamlet, and what it means to assume a virtue if you have it not. She taught me how to love fiercely. She taught me so so much. Without her, I wouldn't be the person I am today. She meant EVERYTHING to me. I'll miss her beautiful soul, her beautiful smile....her wonderful laugh...the way she called me bunny. I'll miss everything. I'm blessed she was my mother for 22 years."
"I remember one day when Ruth told us she didn't like how people use the phrase 'lose the battle against cancer'. Ruth said that winning or losing is not determined by how you die, but by how you live. I have to say I agree. No one who lives with the amount of humility, selflessness, and love or faces terminal illness with the amount of courage and grace that Mrs. Cheatham did "loses" at anything.
I, and all her students, will never be able to express our gratitude for her kindness, her passion, and her commitment to each of us. Thank you, Mrs. Cheatham, for your wisdom as a teacher and a friend. We are so heartbroken, but so inspired by your example, and for that, I think you won."
"To say Ruth Cheatham was my favorite teacher would be an understatement. She was so much more than that. She was a mentor, a caretaker, a comedian, a friend, an inspiration, and a guiding light for all of us. She touched the lives of so many.
When I experienced loss at a young age, she was there. She'd talk to me about the little mermaid or listen to me brag about my Pokemon cards. She wasn't my teacher then, but one of my biggest allies. She didn't have to take care of me or watch over me, but she did. For a scared and confused 1st grader, that meant everything in the world.
I was also lucky enough to have her as a teacher in middle school. Her humor was refreshing and her passion for teaching was like no other. She was such a joy to be around and we all could feel how much she truly cared about us. Her teaching made me fall in love with language, a love that has lead me to going to grad school for Speech-Language Pathology. I aspire to make half as big of an impact as she did.
Thank you, Mrs. Cheatham, for everything. You changed my life and so many others for the better."
"We all loved Ruth. If you ever met Ruth, you'd feel like she was your mother figure or friend within minutes. She was an inspiration. She glowed brighter than just about any other person I've ever met. She always expected great things out of me even when I didn't think I could do it and that pushed me to become a harder worker. Ruth taught us about friendship and although her class was about writing, she was shaping my character all along. I want to be like Ruth every day of my life. Her smile and calm presence were enough to make your day. And then she'd speak and your day would get even better. She was on of the wisest human beings I've ever had the pleasure to know. I think Ruth understood the meaning of life more than any of us.
On my last day of class with Ruth Cheatham, she took all of our hands and gathered us around and put a bracelet on each of us and said "you have a friend in me and a friend in God and that bond will never break" This woman was an angel and I'm so happy I was lucky enough to form a bond with her. And I am happy that bond won't ever break."
"For anyone fighting through cancer, Ruth was the ideal example of how to handle it. Be strong, do as much as you can for other people every time you can, and just keep going. Thank you, Ms. Cheatham, for your model of acceptance and integrity, and for paving a path for so many people."
"Every so often in your life you meet a person who is the epitome of grace; a person who has just the right words to say; a person who diligently cares for others; a person whose internal light shines so brightly it can never go out. Ruth- you will be missed in this temporary world. I will miss your continual words of encouragement for me even when you were struggling physically. May we all feel your eternal light shine down upon us; I know you will continue to make those who love you feel your spirit, and therefore, your love. This world is but temporary; we will see you again in the eternal. Much love!"
"Ruth was such a bright soul. Life will be a little dimmer without her. Ruth and I use to kid each other about being sorority sisters in the sorority no woman ever wants to join--TBCS (Teacher Breast Cancer Survivors). Initiation was tough! I remember celebrating Ruth's five year mark...thinking she was safe having reached this milestone. Her story isn't about living with cancer. Instead it's about living with joy, kindness, laughter, dignity and grace. The last time I saw her, we talked about living even though she told me she was dying, and I needed to know and fully understand there would be no miracles. I disagree, Ruth. You were the miracle for so many of us. I'll miss my sorority sister."
"Among the many blessings of being terminally ill comes the conviction not to waste time. Evil has always been with us and always will. How we choose to respond to it defines us, collectively and individually. When we live in the awareness of our expiration date, we discover the true power of love--to heal, to reconcile, to face the unknown with peace and confidence. May that love transform and guide us all. May that love allow us to transcend casting blame into the recognition that we can only move forward together. May God bless us all."