Monday, January 4, 2010

Cyola Jean (Shoemyer) Ratliff.....what a beautiful woman!!!

So about three weeks ago Caleb and I made a mad dash trip to Columbia to see my aunt Cy (pronounced Ky). Her full name is Cyola (ky-o-la) Jean Shoemyer Ratliff.....I know some of you out there might think that Cyola was a made up name....well you are right. My Grandpa...Cy's dad...made it up.... and the story that I have always heard is that on the night Cy was born he heard some coyotes howling and from that came the name Cyola. Well, in 2001 or 02.....can't remember which year.....she was diagnosed with cancer. It took the doctors a while to figure out what kind she had....but honestly does it matter when it's cancer. They figured out that it was a rare form of sarcoma. I can't remember the specifics but it was attacking the internal organs, epically her lungs....when it would get worse she would cough a lot. The summer of 2004 she was given 6 months to live...but as my mom would say she was stubborn and wasn't gonna go down with out a five years later it looks like the cancer is gonna win, and on January 4th at 3:50 in the morning I got the call telling me that the cancer did win....but just the small battle on earth, ultimately God won and has taken her home to a place were there will be no more pain, no more tears and even no more great is that. I am sad that I will never get to talk to her again on this earth....I will never get to hear her say "well there's Miss Janet".....but ultimately I rejoice cause she is in a much better place than here!

Febuary 18, 1956 - January 4, 2010

    For those who don't know Cy she was one of the kindest people you would ever meet. The story my mom would always tell about Cy is that when the would younger and one of the siblings would be getting in trouble Cy would start crying cause she didn't want them to get the spanking and she would have to get a spanking so she would stop crying....but that's Cy, she would give you the shirt off her back ar anything you needed because she wanted to help. So when this happened to Cy it was hard to for all of us to sit back and watch. Not because we're afraid what will happen to her, because there is no doubt in any of our minds that she will be in Heaven with our Father. She will be in a place of no more pain and no more cancer....and she will be better off than we are here. The hard part for me is to see her in all the pain. But you know through it all I never once heard her complain...and I don't know that anybody else did either. Every time I would see her she would always have a smile on her face. You'd ask her how she was and she would say she was fine. She might have been quitter and softer spoken than her siblings, but she was anything but quite. When she didn't agree with some or someone she would voice her opinion. When she did I learned it was always best to listen cause she usually said something that was worth remembering. She was a tough woman as well...but then again she would have to be married to a Ratliff for 33 years and to raise four Ratliff children....being a Ratliff child myself, I know we aren't easy. She was a very special woman....I know why God wanted to take her so early.
      Cancer is a strange thing....less than a year ago Cy was feeling good enough to paint her house, and now she is gone. Life is a very precious never know how long you have with someone until they are gone. That’s the reasons why three weeks ago Caleb and I went up to Columbia. Ya see, Cy was like another mother to me...I would spend half of my summer over at her house playing with my cousin Jeanna. I think it was when my mom was finishing up college that my brother and sister and i would spend a lot of time over there playing with Cy's four kids. She would watch all 7 of us....with the oldest and the youngest being only 5 1/2 years apart.....I don't know how she did it but some how she kept us all inline and nobody had any broken bones or lost any fingers or toes.
      It was a good trip up there...we got to hang out and see all the family and I got to visit with her when she still had some energy. All of Cy's kids had made it back to see her and we all just had a really good visit.
      Ya know when it's all said and done we only have one life to live and so do all those around us so make the best each of the days that you are given and tell those that you love that you love them. As I said I know Cy will be in heaven, and i know I will see her again when the Lord calls me home, I hope that each and everyone who reads this can say the same thing. If you can't or you’re not sure find some one you can talk to about it because you never know when it's will be too late.

Here are some of the pictures I took from that quick trip up to Columbia

Cy with Papa in the background eatin' some spaghetti

Cy visiting with Jeffery and his wife Heather

Grandma and Papa

Troy and Scott playin' with Ethan

Papa, Brent, Grandma, and Caleb playin' some pitch

Caleb attempting to shuffle the cards...he's starting to get the hang of it!

Grnadma giving Caleb 'the look' ....I don't know what he said but 'the look' says it all!!

Here's some of the pictures of Cy from Thanksgiving

Cy with two sisters and a sister-in-law

My Mom and Cy

Cy visiting with Aunt Susan

My dad and aunt Cy visiting while dad was waiting for me to stop talking and get ready to go

Here's some pictures from mine and Caleb's wedding last year.

Cy helped with some of the decorating

Cy visiting with her son's and daughter-in-law

Brother and sisters!!!

now add the parents

Cy with her grandson Ethan

Cy was a beautiful woman and I, along with many others, will sorely miss her.


  1. So sorry to hear this, Janet. I only met Cy once, but what a memorable experience. We were blessed to hear Cy speak at OG Church one glorious Easter Sunday. I will never forget it, or her. And I just ((heart)) your Gma & Gpa Shoemyer. Love and prayers to all! -Tammy p.s. Great pictures... what memories!

  2. Sorry to hear of your loss. She sounds like a wonderful woman! Prayers are with you!

  3. Thankyou both soo much it means a lot to me!

  4. Sorry to hear about your loss. She does sound like a wonderful woman and one who was truly loved. Our thoughts are with you and your family.

  5. janet, everything you said is right on the money and i think what you said is a testment to cy as you know arthur and and i have been good friends since i moved arthur & cy mary and i were in a sunday school class toghther. thanks for writing about her.. sam hawkins

  6. So sorry for you and your family's loss. Cy was someone you could not describe in just one word, she was many words. She lived her life through Christ, knowing that he was the one that had the plan. She shared her testimonies with such passion. She will truly be missed by all who knew and loved her. Your tribute to her was right on and beautiful!! It was a honor to know her!!! Thinking of all of you and continued prayers. Deb Klusmeyer -Shelbina, MO

  7. Ashley Ratliff BaxterJanuary 4, 2010 at 6:12 PM

    We will all miss Aunt Cy terribly! How fortunate we were to have the opportunity to have known such a Wonderful Godly Woman! This world just won't be the same without her. But you're right, we will see her again on the other side. I can't imagine that there would be too many people out there who could fight the battle that Cy did and still leave this place with a smile on her face! What an Amazing Testimony!

  8. Sorry for your loss. She sounds like a great woman!

  9. So sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved aunt. Your write-up is such a lovely honor to her and her faith. Our prayers are with you and your family as you celebrate her life and mourn her passing. Dawn and family

  10. I truely enjoyed reading your tribute. I don't remember what year it was but Cy spoke at one of our Relay for Life Survivor Teas. She was an amazing fighter and had so much faith and with that she turned 6 months to live into years! I too, will remember her smile and kindness. Connie Snider

  11. A wonderful family our thoughts are with you.

  12. To Cy's family. Cy was a beautiful person and I know you miss her greatly. The words spoken in her memory reinforce the kind and wonderful person she was. May you find peace and comfort knowing she is not suffering now and will be waiting to greet her family and Shelby County friends one day in heaven. She was an angel on earth and is now watching over from above. My prayers are with you. Wendy Brumbaugh