A true Valentine story of true love and devotion

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A story of pain and sorrow and a special love.

Eva was a little girl with big brown eyes and short curly brown hair. She lived on a farm with her father and two older siblings. She was only five years old when her mother left, never returning for her. She spent her days dreaming of a life away from the farm. She started school when she was six, this was to be the most fun time in her young life, here she met a teacher, Anna Lee, and her lonely life changed forever

Anna knew she was a gifted child the first time she watched her draw a picture, later she told Eva that her talent was amazing. She was able to bring life into the characters effortlessly.

She spent the summers helping on the farm, fishing in an old blue hole pond, hunting with her big brother Fred and learning to cook and keep house by watching her big sister Mary.












She was always thrilled and ready for school to start again and especially happy to see Anna Lee who treated her as if she were her own.

As the years passed she developed into an accomplished artist. She started to paint pictures as well as sketching.Anna Lee bought supplies for her, feeling that someday she would see her pictures displayed. ( I might add that she has many pictures on display in her home town. )

When she was fifteen an older sister ( Bea ) took her to a holiday inn lounge to see a live band ( Her first. ) soon a young man came over and asked her to dance. ( Her first. ) She later said that she fell in love with him that night. His name was Lyle. He was tall and lanky with blond hair and sky blue eyes. He worked for the state of Indiana at the license bureau.

They dated all summer, getting to know each other and falling deeply in love.He asked her to marry him, kneeling on one knee, holding a shiny small diamond in his hand. She was so excited, her first love. She told him " Yes " Without hesitation.

Her father had to sign papers because she was underage. They were married at the courthouse by a Justice of the peace. They moved into a little rental house in the country. She loved to decorate, spending her days fixing up her little house, cooking and doing what she loved, painting.

They were happy and contented together,Lyle had an oppurunity to relocate to a better paying position in Atlanta Georgia, so they packed up, moved and settled in, happy to be living in a beautiful city. Eva spent her days making a home and painting.

One day she decided to drive out in the countryside and find a scenic spot to paint. She had driven about twenty miles when she noticed an old abandoned farm with beautiful blooming cherry trees, she pulled in, set up her supplies and began to paint. When she finished she wanted to see the painting at a distance, she started backing up, not noticing where she was stepping, suddenly she felt herself falling. She had stepped into an old uncovered well, landing on an old rusty pipe at the bottom of the well. ( She later learned that she had fallen twenty feet. ) She sustained a fractured back, arm, leg, a ruptured colon and bladder, plus a serious head concussion. She was in and out of consciousness for hours, so weak she could barely whisper, " Help "

A hunter and his dog were passing by the well when the dog stopped and began to sniff at the well. The hunter listened closely and heard a soft whisper, realizing the sound was coming from the well, he looked down and saw her. He immediately called 911 on his cell phone. The ambulance arrived within minutes. The rescue team went down into the well and carefully placed her on a gurney.

She was rushed to the Emory Hospital in Atlanta and taken to surgery. She died twice on the operating table, both times revived by CPR. She was permanently paralyzed from the waist down, her bladder had to be removed leaving her with an opening on her side for urine drainage into a bag. She had a serious infection in her leg due to bacteria in the stagnent water in the well.

Lyle called her siblings and informed them of her dire condition and the Doctor's statement that she may not survive. They went to Atlanta and stayed at The Ronald McDonald house until she was our of danger. She spent months in the hospital before discharged.

They decided to return to Indiana where she could be close to her family. Lyle returned to his job with the state. They bought a home and renovated it into wheelchair assessibility.

Eva never once let this keep her from doing what she loved, painting. Oh she had days when she wanted out of ' that chair '. but she kept busy, she could dust her furniture, cook and wash dishes, plus her painting was more beautiful than ever.

Lyle bought a van with a wheelchair lift, they traveled some, went to the movies. ( She still claims today that the best movie ever made was Clint Eastwood's ' Bridge of Madison County, ) Lyle loved to plant a garden and flowers, he also became a really great cook.

One day he told Eva that he was not feeling well and went to see the Doctor, explaining that his pain was in his stomach. A MRI was ordered, revealing a large malignant tumor in the stomach which had metastasized into the surrounding organs. It was inoperable. He remained at home for awhile but the pain was so severe he had to be moved to hospice care. He only lived two weeks.

The remarkable aspect of this story happened the night he passed away. Eva was lying in her bed, the light above her headboard flickered twice. immediately the phone rang, the Doctor calling to inform her of his passing.

She will tell you today that the light never flickered before and never again. There is not a shadow of doubt in her mind that it was Lyle telling her " Goodby " his spirit en route to meet God.

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Comments 42 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Truly a beautiful story, Ruby! The power of true love; never underestimate it. Thank you for this lovely way to end my evening.

bill


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 3 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello Always, what a truely heart wrenching story - love prevails and you portrayed that so well in your wonderfully told story.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Remarkable story. Thank you for relating it to me.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States

Ruby, This is a beautiful, quite remarkable story. I enjoyed reading it very much.


sligobay profile image

sligobay 3 years ago from east of the equator

Oh Ruby! This is the finest love story I've ever read - and just in time for Valentine's Day. Thank you. Hugs. Gerry


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

This is a beautifully written and very sensitively told story, Ruby. You ARE a mistress of the craft. Trust me. I read every single word with relish. One of your very best, m'dear.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hi Bill, so glad you enjoyed my story. Eva is my sister, and she truly found love. Lyle was a wonderful man...


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Mike, I must apologize for the crooked pictures,as you well know, ( the many times i have asked you for help with my computer technology ) I used a new-fangeled camera and i swear i was sober, Hee..So happy you enjoyed my story about my sis Eva....


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hi Martin, Remarkable is a great comment, thank you so much...


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hi Pam, I am thrilled. Thank you for coming to read my story...Cheers.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Gerry, Your comment brings much joy. Thank you my friend..Hugs


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hi drbj, What can i say? You have made my day once again. Thank you so much. Hugs...


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 3 years ago from United States

Omg...I was in tears, ruby.

Such love exists and Cupid strikes in such strange ways.

You say this is a true story....I hope their souls are in peace.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Ruchira, It is a true story about my sister Eva. She is at peace but she misses Lyle terribly.. So glad you came by, sorry to make you cry. Hugs...


Vickiw 3 years ago

Always exploring, so beautifully told, and I am glad that you are still able to be of comfort and support to your sister. What a sad event - one of those times when you really wish that little slip that changed her life had never happened. Thanks for writing and sharing this beautiful story.


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 3 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

Ruby thank you for sharing your sister's heart wrenching story, written with such tenderness and sensitivity. A true story of ever lasting love.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Vickiw, Eva and i talk on the phone frequently and i go to see her often. She lives 40 miles from me. She has a lady who stays with her and a Doctor who actually comes to see her. Thank you so much....


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hi Rosemary, You are welcome. I have been wanting to write her story, i thought Valentine Day was a perfect time. Thank you for a wonderful comment. Hugs....


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

I love this incredible story of love and devotion and you've told it beautifully, Always. The fact that it's true makes it even more deeply meaningful. What a tragedy for her to overcome, despite which, she continued to pursue her dreams in her paintings which are absolutely beautiful. What a gift she has. Her perserverance is truly inspirational and serves as an example to others. So sad to hear about Lyle. I love the part about the last message. Thank you for sharing this personal story about your sister.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 3 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

This is so lovely. I am going to email a link to a friend of mine. She will love the ending. Oh thank you for sharing this inspiring love story. Indeed she had an amazing talent.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

Ruby,

Eve becomes invalid still Lyle loves her. Such a beautiful story.

I enjoyed reading this story on Valentine's Day.

Happy Valentine's Day.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

What a beautiful but sad story, one little mistake and her life changed forever, and yes I totally believe in the light flickering when he passed, how sad, thanks for sharing this story. And just to add her paintings are wonderful too, amazing. nell


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Peg, Her story is about true grit, she had it. Her life started out as a child who was left with her father to raise, our mother left him and left children. I was not born yet, but the stories told to me brings a desire to write their stories. They were a remarkable lot, twelve in all counting me. Thank you for kindness. I am so glad you enjoyed this. Cheers my friend..


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Hyphen, Yes she did have a remarkable talent. That's why i know that people are born with a talent, she had no formal training. God is good! I am honored that you are sharing. Thank you dear friend...


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Vinaya, That's what is so remarkable about her story. She and Lyle were able to love each other when many others would have abandoned the relationship. She told me once that they had their way of making love, i never questioned her, i was just happy that they found a way to fulfill their natural needs.Thank you for coming to read Eva's story...


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Nell, I am a believer too. The light flickering to me was his way of saying goodby and i will believe it without doubt. I am happy that you enjoyed her pictures. Thank you my friend..


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

So heartfelt Ruby;thank you for sharing and I wish you a great weekend.

Eddy.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Eddy, Thank you so much. Have a wonderful day....


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

You told Eva’s story so perfectly, Ruby…it is a story of true love, of devotion, hope and inspiration. You understand your sister very well, and love her dearly. I have tears in my eyes. I believe that Lyle will always be with her in spirit.

Her art work is so beautiful– #4 literally took my breath away. (By the way, 'The Bridges of Madison County' is one of my favorite films of all time.)

Thank you for sharing this with us. Voted up, more, and sharing.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Genna, I am so happy that you enjoyed this story. She read it and was pleased. I know that Lyle is with her in spirit. She still goes to his room and places her hand on his pillow as she says her morning prayers. I loved the movie too..Cheers my friend..


radhikasree profile image

radhikasree 3 years ago from Mumbai,India

The story is so lovely like a rose flower. Eva is a rose for Lyle who would never hate her. Also her paintings are also superb, very bold and brilliant. Thanks for sharing this.

Up, beautiful and awesome. Sharing with my friends here.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello radhikasree, You are so kind, thank you. Happy you enjoyed Eva's story. Thank's for sharing...


carolinemd21 profile image

carolinemd21 3 years ago from Close to Heaven

Hi Ruby this was a beautiful and sad story. It touched me. They sounded like they were really in love. Very inspirational knowing there is still true love out there. Thank you for sharing. :)


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Caroline, Sorry i am late. Yes they had a true love. Happy you felt that. Thank you my friend...


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 3 years ago from Sunny Florida

What a beautiful love story. How lucky they were to have each other and thwir love. True love does exist. Up and beautiful.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Gals, Happy to see you again. Yes, they had a true love. She misses him so much. Thank you for coming to see me....


mariasial profile image

mariasial 3 years ago from united kingdom

The story was beautiful ... but your writing is even more touchy... i hope Eva is fine now


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello mariasial, Eva is doing ok, thank you for reading and responding with kindness.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

Only someone with a heart as beautiful as yours dear Ruby could tell a story like this - I will share, post and link on my FB wall and send you 3 big Canadian hugs from Colin, Tiffy and Gabriel at lake erie time canada 8:38pm


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Epi, So happy you liked this story. I talked to Eva yesterday on the phone. She is doing fine, still misses Lyle. Thank you for sharing on FB and three BIG hugs. I hope you are feeling better..Hugs my friend..


Tammy 9 months ago

Read it was great


always exploring profile image

always exploring 9 months ago from Southern Illinois Author

Hello Tammy. I wrote this two years ago, since then Eva has passed away. She was ready, often saying that she wanted to go to be with Lyle again. She told me toward the last that she knew he would be standing by the gate to greet her. Tears are flowing here. I still miss her. Thank you for taking the time to read this long story. I appreciate you my friend. Love and hugs,,,,

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