Amber Elizabeth Ridgdill
June 4, 1982 – May 8, 2020
Words alone simply cannot adequately convey the life of my little sister. Truth is all that genuinely exists, and Amber’s truth was extraordinary and even enviable. However, words are all I have. If you knew Amber, you were the fortunate one. If you didn’t, my family wants you to know her through our memory. Everyone deserves to know someone like Amber.
Amber’s heart and mind were pure. She was our saint. Her smile and laughter were genuine and palpable. They wrapped their arms around you, you felt her joy, and it spread through you. Everyone was given the benefit of the doubt. There was essentially no person who did not deserve a second chance or the offering of her love, respect, and help. She had a kind word for everyone she knew and anyone she didn’t know. There was no doubt that you were in the presence of someone special and unparalleled. Her pureness was evidenced in her admiration of life, this Earth, and the universe beyond. It didn’t take much to amaze her. She seemed in awe of the things that were beautiful and often, more so, in those that were imperfect.
As a little girl Amber was known as the plunderer. Always into something. You’d often find her in a dark room looking through drawers and other people’s belongings. She was just curious about everything. Amber had an insatiable quest for knowledge. She knew a lot about a lot, but it would never cross your mind to call her a “know it all”. She was constantly alight with frenzied excitement over some new fact she couldn’t wait to tell. She simply relished in sharing interesting tidbits about nature, science, sociology, or history. No subject was avoided and a conversation with her was never boring, or more importantly, never one-sided.
She was the perfect counselor, confidante, and friend to so many. She would patiently listen to your problems, heartaches, fears and worries and would give three little quick “mmhmm, mmhmm, mmhmm” and then offer wise and calming words without ever telling you what you “should” do. Just a simple suggestion from her perspective and that was all you needed. Your mind quieted and you felt healed of life’s trivialities. I wonder what Amber would say to us all right now.
Her kindness extended far beyond that conveyed to those around her. It ran the gamut of every living creature from a tree to an insect. They all deserved to live. Amber raised a baby cardinal named Winslow from just a few days old until he was an adult, and eventually off into the world on his own. She knew exactly how to prepare him for life. That was her nurturing spirit. To take care of everyone and everything by any means available to her. No one was ever a bother. She wanted to help. She just wanted everyone to be at peace. I don’t believe she had an inkling of how instrumental she was in creating that peace in so many people. She was selfless and insistent that she never put anyone out. Even during her many hospital stays, she never asked for a thing. The answer to the question “Do you need anything?” was always, “Nope, I’m fine” with a big smile and a chuckle. We would all shake our heads and laugh. Quintessential Amber.
Creativity overflowed in Amber. Watercolors, jewelry making, knitting, pour paintings, and pottery. If she could make it with her own hands and the power of her imagination, she was keen to learn and excel at any craft in which she was embroiled. I can’t speak to what she saw in her mind to create such wondrous art, but I can bet that it was akin to a fantasy land full of color and light. We were always so proud of her work and will cherish them for our lifetimes.
Witty. The “dad jokes” and puns never ended, and she thought she was hysterical as we just shook our heads with half grins. Amber’s predictable retort to the most insignificant comment such as “It’s raining outside” was “No YOU’RE raining outside”. Now I smile. She was just so silly you couldn’t avoid a goofy smile.
Amber’s physical form is gone, but the affection that poured from her veins into every living being on this planet is all around us. In every leaf on the trees, when a flower blooms, when a bird sings, when the rain falls on your skin, and in the air we breathe.
Amber’s spirit and energy will forever remain with her mother, Shirley White; her father, James “Elmer” Ridgdill (Cathy Ridgdill); her sister, Heather Ridgdill; her brother, Damon White; her niece, Lynzie White; her nephew, Toby White (Meaghan Mullins) and their daughter Margot; her best friend Jenny Chancellor; her aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends all over the world; and her fur baby, Jasper who was a source of unconditional emotional support during Amber’s illness.
The family is asking that donations be made in Amber’s honor to Old Fella Burke County Animal Rescue (www.oldfella.net), which was dear to Amber and how she was united with Jasper. Thank you in advance for your generosity.