Category: Writings

I have written all of my life and this collection will be diverse in content and genre.

Sweet Lorane Community News, August 5, 2021

Fern Ridge-Tribune News
Creswell Chronicle
Sweet Lorane Community News
August 5, 2021
By Pat Edwards

Jim and I lost a huge part of our lives this past week when we were notified that Leona “Lee” Lyman had quietly passed at the age of 95. Lee entered our lives in the spring of 1993 and the story of our meeting and the strong ties that have bound us together ever since is longer than I can include here, but I want to honor this beautiful and compassionate woman regardless. Our story was recorded on the pages of the weekly Veneta paper, the West Lane News, on September 2, 1993.

Jim and I were home that evening in the spring of 1993 when the telephone rang. I answered it. I didn’t recognize the feminine voice on the other end of the line, but she sounded cultured and kind. She said she was trying to reach Patricia Edwards. When I told her that was my name, she then asked me if I would confirm my middle and maiden names. Again, I told her she was correct, but I was puzzled. She then went on to explain…

She introduced herself as Lee Lyman. She lived in Eugene and told me that she and her first husband, Paul Sowers had adopted a baby girl 30 years ago in Portland… in August of 1963. She also mentioned the name of the hospital. She asked if that held any meaning for me. I felt as though I had been hit by a train. I somehow knew that someday I might get this phone call, but only a few people besides Jim and me knew the story, and after 30 years, it was a huge shock. Our four children did not even know they had a half-sibling.

Lee and Paul named their baby girl, Stacey, and later adopted a son, Walt. When they were old enough, they told the kids about being adopted and assured them that they were chosen to be their own. When Stacey was 5, she told her mom that “I would like to see this lady that ‘borned’ me.” Her search, however, did not begin in earnest until after she was married, living in California, and had children of her own. By then, her adopted father, a former basketball player for the UO, had died and Lee eventually remarried.

To quote from the news article, “Lee admitted that, early on, she had some misgivings about Stacey’s search for her birth mother. Eventually, she accepted that if the birth mother was found, she wouldn’t be losing a daughter, but sharing her.”

That day, true to her word to help Stacey in her search, Lee was the one who was able to find us and bring us into her life as well as her daughter’s. We respected her well-earned position as Stacey’s mother and our families came together in one loving unit from that day forward. Oh, how we are going to miss Lee and her presence in our lives. She was a remarkable woman and Jim and I feel blessed that she was the one who loved and raised the baby I gave birth to so many years ago. We maintain a close and loving relationship with Stacey and her family and all of our children are very close.

Thank you, Lee, for all that you gave by sharing Stacey with us. We love you so, and pray that you rest in peace.

To read our full story, go my website at https://allthingslorane.com and look under the “writings/newspaper articles” links)

It’s a Small World, Indeed!

By Pat Edwards

In the spring of 1963, I found myself living in Tigard, Oregon in the home of my best friend in college, Connie, and her new husband, Dick Ruhlman. I was pregnant – on the way to being what, in those days, was called an ‘unwed mother.’ The shame and embarrassment associated with that label had prompted me to accept Connie and Dick’s kind invitation to move from my parents’ home in Eugene to their Tigard home until the baby was born. My due date was set for early August and the delivery was scheduled to take place at Emanuel Hospital in Portland.

I remember traveling to and from doctor’s appointments and shopping trips with Connie in their little black VW Beetle. Barbur Blvd. (Highway 99), was our preferred route. My most vivid memory of that route was passing the older Fred Meyer store and thinking what a wonderful place it was. In a portion of the store, surrounded by big windows, was a full-size merry-go-round. It invited families and children to come and ride on the beautifully painted and restored horses as the wonderful music, replicating an old-time nickelodeon, played.

My memories are not too sharp from that time. It was a traumatic period in my life and although I loved spending the time with Connie and Dick in their pretty little red-barn bungalow, I was preparing myself for the goodbyes to come. I had decided that the only option I had at that point in my life was to give my baby up for adoption right after the birth. I had already made arrangements and all that was left for me to do was to come to terms with it.

When Jo-Brew said that she was short on stories for the Tigard area, I began considering telling my own story. It’s not one I have ever written down before, but ever since a beautiful, vibrant 30-year old woman named Stacey – the baby I gave up for adoption on August 7, 1963 – came back into our lives in 1993, we have gladly shared our story with family and friends.

A side-note to this story is that Connie and Dick’s house in Tigard was next door to a nice older lady who befriended all of us in 1963. She was also their landlady. Later, after Stacey came back into our lives, I was telling our story to my good friend, Marna Hing (who co-wrote Sawdust and Cider; A History of Lorane, Oregon and the Siuslaw Valley with Nancy O’Hearn and me). The three of us had lived in Lorane with our husbands and families for many years. I mentioned to Marna that I had lived in Tigard during that time. Even though I knew that Marna had grown up in Tigard and had even graduated from high school there, I didn’t think anything about it until she asked me where in Tigard I had lived. We were both astonished to find out that the nice woman neighbor whom Connie and Dick rented their bungalow from was Marna’s mother. We realized that Marna had most-likely visited there many times during the months I lived there. Neither of us remembered meeting, but it was so much of a coincidence that we were truly amazed. It is indeed a small world!

~~~~~~~~~~~

From OREGON’S MAIN STREET: U.S. Highway 99 “The Stories” (2013) by Jo-Brew