Tommy’s Legacy

I am thankful always for a husband who loved God, family and all people…and expressed it through action everyday wherever he was. What made Tommy was his wonderful nurturing parents setting this example and his sisters, neices, aunts and uncles! Oh, and those cousins …Arledges, Nash and Rucker families are a heritage providing family roots deep!
I write this now as I try to keep up with some of the friends and missions across the ocean he cared so about…fb thanks..He also shared the same attitudes about land and the Hawaiians voice in trying to voice the takeover of the islands which was just beginning to be a voice back when.

Today, I have been thinking in this season of what in my life I treasure. Memories of our working together alongside of our physically challenged son to be given opportunities to minister the love of Jesus and to be ministered unto. We were blessed to be a 3 team boat rowing together through calm and stormy waters which deepened our relationship with God and family..never giving a thought as to how our families viewed this. His family naturally knowing the sensitive caring person in his heart yet shy to reveal to others was always happy for us in any activity we did. Mine did not understand but through the years attitudes changed thankfully.
I have recently realized the depression that changed his outlook when he retired was the truth that we as a family were not actively daily involved in efforts together as before. In the islands, not because of geography, but because we were as hand in glove fitting closely snug in every single thing we shared or accomplished.
Now for the light humor…He started as the radio professional…I was the sp.needs teacher and counselor..Turn around…I became so interested in interviewing people in radio, I got my FCC license and became assistant inder him. What a kind boss…he just said we were both directors as teamwork and he divided out responsibilities according to where our gifts were, ie he as his lawyer dad did was explicit in all those practical matters, rules, reg.s etc. I loved the live interview/pastors hour and he did heavy duty ones like questioning authors of books on most any current topic as well as being news director. We later managed a bookstore together and began liking working with teens that would work there time to time. We loved attending praise and worship with a group meeting at UH…and they loved Eddie. It was as a family of extended Arledges!
Oh, yes we did go back into radio ministry assisting with YWAM missionaries who were studying communications. And then, there was the calling to be pastor of a small church, mainly tourist visitors , and a feed the homeless ministry called Lightbringers….And did our son ever smile from all their attention as we ate with them while hubby served. During that period the church was part time and he had a M- F job with a building supply co. I was working with the schools and we thought this was meant to be longterm. Do not ever think that….we then went into school work together fulltime, beginning with the issue nobody at the high school knew quite how to deal with our Eddie who then was entering high school. We organized a shop program with Tom teaching and I was a dept. head sp. ed.to coordinate other students with any sp need whether physical, mental, emotional, deaf as all had that basic need of life skills as well as socialization with other classes and the job skills program.
Enough of school, we thought after Eddie graduated…well we made a move back to the big isle where Tom helped at both the adult care program and school where I transferred .  Again, everylone loved Tom and all called him Uncle Tommy. He said out of all his experiences he felt this to be his place.I was not surprised as I felt my most memorable times to be in radio. The hand n glove fit whoever had which role. And always a place for Eddie in close snuggly fit.

Later times when mama Tootsie died, Tommy wanted to go back home. The only way to do that is to continue being true to the man you have become. Roadblock. He got stuck. Close family know the depression that enveloped to where he did not have strength to be involved in anything. Thus, I found what jobs I could within his hometown. As our daily life was not involved with serving/working together, his health declined also.
We had a wonderful life !! He left too early yet he fulfilled lives of others and us. I only would have wished his relatives had a glimpse of the glowing joyful Uncle Tommy he had become.

3 thoughts on “Tommy’s Legacy

  1. Annie, this is so wonderful. I too wish we could have known and seen Tommy when he was “in gear” in Hawaii in that life you both loved so much. Your story provides me with so much new information and glimpses into your life together. Thank you so much for sharing. I miss Uncle Tommy so much, and I see him in my own son (there is a lot of resemblance, in many ways). I miss our old family togetherness and those wonderful gatherings when Mama Tootsie was alive. I’m feeling so blessed to continue to have you in my life, even through Facebook. Sending love to you, dear Aunt Annie.

    • Pam, thank you for taking time to read it. I wanted family to know and appreciate all he did to share with others. As there were not even cell phones in the early days nor e-mail, etc.I began thinking maybe my family not understanding was partly ignorance of what it meant to us to be a team in everything.

  2. Pingback: Tommy’s Legacy | anniearledge's Blog

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