Guest Blog Post 1: Leaving a Legacy of Memories of Love (by Florenda Eudey)

17 Apr

I’m so very pleased to share with you all my very first guest blog post. My dear friend Flore shared the beautiful love story and legacy her parent’s, Ruth and Henry, gave to her from the love that lived through them and still lives on to this day.

What serendipitous timing to post a story about love during this time of the year as we all prepare our hearts for the Easter celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus and the ultimate story of love and sacrifice which leaves a spiritual legacy of faith for all.

“Ruth and Henry, Memories of Love”
(post by Florenda Eudey… shortened and edited by the Chat With Dee Dee blog)

Ruth and Henry, Memories of Love

Observing our parents and sharing their lives and some of the experiences helps the legacy live on.  Since I believe we each have memories that we don’t want to die with us we need to write them down, laugh about them and share them with your family. Ruth and Henry were only married 24 years, and yet in my heart I feel they had one of the most beautiful love stories. Maybe it helps that I’m a hopeless romantic.My dad, Henry, joined the army during WWII. Originally he served in mail transport to the Pacific Islands, he even flew planes. He once told me he loved flying more than farming. I didn’t know there could be a comparison. Farming was very hard work, but he was a farmer at heart. The last year of his service he was stationed in Japan. He spoke of the beauty of the country and how he almost married a girl there.My mom, Ruth, who my grandma referred to Ruth as an old maid, “how strange, being over twenty without any suitors”.  Mom’s older brother Gordon also joined WWII.  Gordon encouraged her to join up.  Mom was a nurse and spoke about the horrors of the men returning in pieces from overseas and the front. But boy did she love nursing and the freedom of being away from home. She was pretty and enjoyed a social life that she had never experienced in high school. She was an adult and in the military.

After the war and the difficult times Henry at the age of 29 returned to farming to help his parents restore the farm. He enjoyed going to Mobridge, South Dakota in his free time.

Ruth returned to civilian life at the age of 24. She wanted to remain independent and took a job at the drug store in Mobridge, South Dakota. She rented a room from an elderly lady and helped with cooking and cleaning for most of the rent payment.

The cute meet

Ruth and Henry first met at the local bowling alley. Ruth and her friends were approached by two very cute and funny young men. They were enjoying their bowling and time together so much Henry and his Uncle Jake, only a couple years difference in age, asked the ladies to dinner and they accepted. Jake drank a little too much at dinner towards Ruth’s friend that they ended up ditching the guys by sneaking out the back door without even thanking them men or saying good-bye. Ruth felt talked into it by her friend since she really liked Henry and they didn’t even have a chance to exchange last names. She thought she may never find out who the young man was.

Only two weeks later the elderly woman Ruth lived with asked for help cleaning the house. Her great nephew was coming for a visit and bringing some freshly pickled cucumbers. Mom said when she answered the door you could have knocked her down with a feather. There stood the man she’d met at the bowling alley. It was almost immediately that they fell in love. They had so much in common and Henry apologized for the way uncle Jake talked to her friend and Ruth was apologetic about running out that night without thanking them. They were married in 10 months.

Their family began to grow after eleven months of marriage. First baby, Judy Ann, named after the best family cow. Only 9 months later before she had fully recovered from her first pregnancy Ruth was expecting again. While she was bathing her 9 month old and lifter her out of the bath she experienced sharp and intense pain. She was 8 months along and the child was almost 5 lbs but he was in distress. Grandma delivered James Henry in the back of a car while rushing to the hospital. She un-wrapped the umbilical cord from the neck and started CPR. The baby only lived a few days. Mom wept when she spoke of the lost child and how she was still in the hospital during the funeral. 

Now with a year and a half between births Ruth was strong and she gave birth to a healthy and strong little boy given the German name, Allan Dean. Then mom was expecting yet again. She was pregnant while packing and moving west. Florenda Jane, that’s me, was born breech and over 9lbs only eight weeks after the move. The spinal drugs caused her hair to fall out. They had to keep Ruth a few extra nights in the hospital and had warned her about having more children. But when my little sister Ruby Lee arrived she was pretty and big and one of mom’s easiest births.

Mom developed allergies over the next few years and then uterine cancer. Mom came through the hysterectomy and treatment fine but her allergies became asthma. Mom was at the VA hospital so often she was gone more during a month than home. The first time I witnessed dad crying was when one of mom’s asthma attacks almost took her life. Dad was a six foot man with dark hair, green eyes and a quick smile. He was very strong and tough when he needed to be. My heart hurt watching him week over mom. At that time dad started developing blood clots. He would go into convulsions and would be rushed to the hospital by ambulance though it finally was under control.

It seems odd but through all the hard times and illnesses, we were very happy. Money just disappeared due to all the health issues. But I didn’t know we were poor. My parents were members of the Dakota
Club, members were migrated from Dakota territories to California. There were monthly dances and inners for the adult members. My parents attended as frequently as health permitted. It was their date night. A favorite memory was watching mom and dad waltz around the dance floor. They looked wonderful. After dancing a lively polka mom would return to their seats out of breath and laughing. They loved to dance and were good at it too. 

I will never forget the love

I have such fond memories of our family get together and all of the laughter. Dad was a bit of a clown at time, life could be so serious and short he was a joke or laugh should be shared. Mom was a romantic. She loved romance novels, old movies and musicals. But she loved to laugh. She would say, Henry made her laugh, and then dad, knowing he had an audience, would so something to crack her up.

Dad started noticing bruises everywhere and became fatigued. He was soon diagnosed with leukemia. Dad’s cancer went into remission and he became strong and cared for mom. When mom had asthma problems dad would cook.

I received a call from dad early in the morning he was working a swing shift at the mine. Mom’s cold had developed into flu and she became very weak. With Ruby gone to school dad asked me to check on mom.  The story we were told went something like this: Mom was given a breathing treatment before bed. Treatments were followed by clearing the lungs. Mom started to choke, and couldn’t get enough oxygen in her lungs. The nurses immediately called the substitute doctor. He was local at the casino having a bite to eat. He didn’t check-in the hospital upon arrival to town. He wouldn’t authorize the tracheotomy over the phone. Mom died of a cardiac arrest brought on by lack of oxygen. Years later I found out the nurses warned him of Ruth’s weakened heart. The thoughtless doctor called and broke the news of our mother’s death to young Ruby. We all wept so hard we couldn’t talk. I was in physical pain.  Though the hardest part would be telling dad the news. When he walked in the door before we even finished say the words ‘mom is gone’ he fell on his knees and began weeping. At that moment it wasn’t about my loss it was about dad. It shook me to my soul to see my big strong dad fall apart. He appeared lifeless and lost.

Through the funeral arrangements and thru the next week I realized dad was the muscles but mom was the strength. He stated more than once he didn’t know how he could go on living without her. She was the love of his life.  Not long after mom’s passing his leukemia symptoms returned. It was explained to us that when his cancer returned it was a very acute and aggressive from this time around. Mourning the loss of mom was so hard on his weakened immune system he just didn’t have a chance.

Less than eight months apart both parents were gone. I’m reminded of the words at the end of a sad black and white romance, “he died of a broken heart”.

As we walk through life and grief of loved ones lost we are reminded that you carry us when we can’t do it on our own. The beautiful memories and legacy our loved ones leave with us help us go forward. And Lord your walk to Calvary is the ultimate story and testament of love and sacrifice. And Praise to you our Risen Lord for dying on the cross to heal us from our sins and set us free from life’s burdens and grief.  

Living a Legacy is a heritage of passing on tradition, faith and love. We all have been called to leave a Godly legacy behind for our families to pass on to the next generation. 

Thank you all for taking the time to read my blog. With the summer approaching I would really like the opportunity to feature some of my readers to share their stories. Since I believe everyone has a story to tell and we can all learn from each other, I would like to invite you to write a guest blog post sharing your story and/or tips with my blogging audience. I encourage you to read through my blog posts and if your message aligns with that of Chat With Dee Dee I would be honored to hear from you. It is my desire through my blog and outreach ministry to share my survival story to help others. AND a great part of my ministry and possibly the most rewarding is meeting others and hearing their story and learning tips and advice from others. I know we can collectively learn and benefit from each other.

I want to encourage you to write to me if you need someone to share your story with and pray with (e-mail Dee Dee Click Here).

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Posted by on April 17, 2011 in Uncategorized


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