She was the oldest woman in Calcasieu Parish, if not the State of Louisiana. But less than a month before her birthday, Laura Rubit has died at the age of 112.
Back in 1996 she talked to us about her younger days. Her father had been a slave but it was how he taught her to pray that she remembered. Said Laura, "On 12 o'clock he would pass by all our beds, pull our feet, toes, tell us to get up and thank god for sparin' us that night. And then we'd go back to bed and then at 6 o'clock we had to be in the field."
She was always willing to sing one of the many hymns she had committed to memory."Oh, I'm going to trust Jesus," she sang rocking backand forth in her chair that day almost thirteen years ago.
She was a joy to all who knew her. And though Laura Rubit's health kept her mostly confined to bed in recent years, her daughter, Sister Charlotte Rubit, says her mother's faith and prayerfulness renewed those who spent timet with her. "She was always a joyful person even in her most serious moments of illness. When people came just to touch her or to pray with her, ask my mother to pray for them, guess what. They left spirirually renewed."
Laura Rubit lived through so much history. But Sister Charlotte says the way she dealt with suffering was an example for all. "She suffered patiently, she suffered much. The last months when we knew that she truly was suffering, sometimes she didn't say anything. She simply turned her head and looked toward that picture (of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Blessed Mother Mary). We knew what it meant. It was a look of prayer."
Laura Rubit was filled with joy to see Barack Obama elected president, something she predicted. She's been recognized extensively for her long life. How would she want to be remembered? Sister Charlotte says, "Loving her God. Being good to other people. What she would say to other women? Love your husbands. It was really funny. She would tell this to women. Love your husband and take care of your children. That's exactly what she did. She was a very faithful wife. She was a very devoted mother."
And while her surviving five children say laura rubit will be sorely missed they take comfort in the belief that she will one day welcome them home.