Patrick Herrick with  Casa volunteer Melody.

Nick St. Oegger

Patrick Herrick with Casa volunteer Melody.

Tears Fall at Ruth Miles’s Memorial

Miles’s Son Told Shelter Residents He Always Felt His Mother Loved Him

How do you say good-bye to a mother you’ve been with less than ten times in your entire life? That was the challenge that friends of Ruth Miles, a chronically homeless 73-year-old woman who recently died, witnessed on Monday. In a small, informal memorial service held for Miles at Casa Esperanza—the shelter that housed her for most of the last five year—her eldest son, Patrick Herrick, gave a eulogy to honor a mother he barely knew.

“The last time I saw her was in 1997,” said Herrick. “She wrote a really nice letter and said she wanted to see us and her grandchildren when she came down to Columbia [Missouri.] We really only spent the afternoon together. … I never really felt like my mother abandoned me,” he added. “I always felt loved.” To read more, see

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