When I heard the news this morning that Ruben Gist had died, I was struck speechless. Ruben was my friend and partner in the fight to end hunger in the District. Though I know nothing about Ruben’s recent health status, the man I always saw was a physically and emotionally vibrant dynamo of a man. I remember sitting beside him on Friday morning, just six days ago, at a Healthy Affordable Food for All Coalition meeting as he belted out ideas for furthering our cause in the passionate unabashed way that only he could.
And now I find myself searching for the right words to express how sadden I am to learn of his death. I ran across these words-- and I’m not sure who to credit them too-- but I think they best capture my solemn feelings:
What moves through me is a silence, a quiet sadness, a longing for one more day, one more word, one more touch, the realization that I may not understand why you left this earth so soon, or why you left before any of us were ready to say good-bye, but little by little, I and all of those who knew you will begin to remember not just that you died, but that you lived; and that in your life, you gave service to our community and to those in need, in a way too beautiful to forget.
On behalf of everyone at Bread for the City, we extend our heartfelt condolences to the Gist Family and Ruben’s extended family at the Capital Area Food Bank where he was a leader and champion for those at risk of hunger for the past 10 years.
George A. Jones
Bread for the City