Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Letter to Floyd

Dear Floyd -

Elder Reeve and I are serving a mission in the Korea Seoul Mission, but I wanted to send you a message to let you know of a few special memories I have of you. You always had a sweet, kind smile on your face whenever I’d see you at Church or in what our neighborhood in Redmond. The sign said it was the Bellewood North neighborhood. It was a blessing to be your neighbor for a number of years before you moved to Gig Harbor. Some of our children were in the same classes and played together. It was so lovely to move up to this new area of the country in 1980 and have such nice friends close by. We were sad when your family moved, but we were blessed to see you when you and Jeanie came up to wedding receptions or other special events.

There was one place where I saw you often that inspired and set a marvelous example for me. You and Jeanie often came to the Seattle Temple while I was serving as an ordinance worker there on Saturday nights. Your smile radiated the sweet spirit I felt as the two of you walked up to greet me. Even after your memory started being affected, you sometimes would remember my name and greet me as if we were still neighbors. I really enjoyed seeing you as friends, but it was clear that you were there to be with your true friends, Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ. All could see that you LOVE the Temple and gained strength and joy from attending there to be with Them.

Love - Sister Reeve

Memories of Floyd

General ---
Neighbor and friend Floyd Rowe was a man of courage, faith and kindness. On one occasion in the early 1980s in Redmond, Washington, he willingly came to our house and helped me carry heavy construction materials upstairs, although he had to be careful to protect his back. When someone asked for help, there was no hesitation, and no weary sigh. His concern for others was constantly apparent.
Church service ---
Brother Rowe has been bold in standing for Church guidelines and principles. He advocated and counseled for consideration and balance in Church matters, striving always to be in tune with Church leadership. When he was a counselor to bishop Wilhite, we in the ward could count on Brother Rowe for kindly, brave leadership. When he gave talks, he gave manly, powerful testimony, and used clear, helpful scripture references. We knew we were getting the heart of the matter when he spoke.
Church drama memory ---
In 1983, I was an awkward actor portryaying professor “Harold Hill” in a ward production of excerpts from the musical play “Music Man” by Meredith Willson. Floyd was my main antagonist, an anvil salesman hot on the trail of the slippery band instrument seller whose deceptive antics were making life difficult for other traveling salesmen. Floyd and I never had any conflicts in real life, but on stage, he was the fearful pursuer, and I the scrambling fugitive. He was a convincing actor. I’m glad the play did not call for any personal combat. Offstage, we smiled and had good times reflecing on how we were playing the roles of bitter opponents.
Sports memories
Track --- A man moved into our ward in Redmond, Washington and recognized brother Rowe as a greatly respected track star from his high school in Idaho. Floyd was a powerful runner, and one of the best in the history of Idaho in his events in high school in his day.
Volleyball --- Brother Rowe, with his mountainous and agile son Rick, and other family members were lions on the volleyball court, from reports. This writer has no data from memories of watching the games, but based on reports from other members, Kirkland stake volleyball efforts in the 1980s and possibly 1990s were impacted favorably by members of the strong, quick Rowe family members.
Basketball --- There were some choice happy personal memories of playing on Kirkland First Ward’s adult men basketball team in the early 1980s. Brother Rowe did not claim to be a top-tier basketball player, and he was not usually among the tallest. But he was a great competitor for rebounds, brilliant at going after the ball when it got loose, and a fine passer. He was an assertive scorer. He could make quick moves, and he caused opposing teams many anxious moments. On defense, he was typically quite frustrating for opponents to deal with. He, along with Victor Johansen, Barry Scalise and Richard (Dick) Wood combined talents with other ward brethren to put up some fine performances against truly skillful and imposing teams at times. On one occasion, I was facing away from the basket, holding the ball and trying to do something productive with it. There was a desire to somehow get the ball in the basket, but with very close guarding, I did not know what to do. Then glancing back and seeing Floyd quickly cutting toward the basket in front of a defender, yours truly desperately swerved the ball down in a sudden bounce pass to him. He knew exactly what to do with the ball. My mind was then at ease.
It appeared to me that often times our opponents’ only way to stop Floyd from scoring was to foul him. As I recall, he had marks or bruises on his arms to show this.
Though Floyd had a tremendous competitive drive, he was understanding and patient with teammates whose efforts were somewhat less luminous.

--- Elder ‘Frank’ M. Reeve, Korea Seoul mission

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Status Update

Things are looking much brighter today! My Dad got to come home from the hospital today much sooner than expected. It's such a blessing! Looks like Mom and Dad will be entering a new phase of life in learning how to eat with most of Dad's stomach gone. It should be interesting. So far, the pain stops him soon enough if he tries for too much at once. I think it will be a long process; at least now it will take place in the comfort of their own home rather than a hospital.

The other good news received this week was a re-diagnosis of the type of cancer he has. After the surgery, they did an additional biospy and found that rather than a chondrosarcoma as they originally stated; it was actually a GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor). They will have follow-up visits with the oncologist at UW some time in the next couple of weeks and we hope to get more information at that time.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and kind words. The Lord has blessed us with a quicker recovery and better outlook than we had originally hoped for. Thank you all and thank our Father in Heaven for his blessings and support.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bishop Rowe

Whenever I think of my teen years, the Rowe family stands out. Here, in their lovely home, were a couple of the greatest parents I knew. Bishop Rowe, as I knew him, was ever present in the background of our get toegethers, content to let girls be girls, while Sis. Rowe was right in the mix enjoying time with her daughter and their friends. Bishop and Sister Rowe were great people with an obvious love for their children and strong testimonies of the gospel; The spirit was ever present in their home. A gospel centered home with a righteous priesthood holder at it's core made for a safe, happy environment to visit. I appreciate Bishop Rowe for raising his children to be upright, honest and good examples. I thank him for his wonderful example and his nonjudgemental, mild-mannered demeanor. My thoughts and prayers are with him.

Kerry Tegerdine

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Here's to you, Floyd

My son, Anthony, met and married "Pammy" Rowe, and I was so happy that he found someone as sweet and caring as she was. In the process of their relationship, I also had the pleasure of getting to know Floyd and Jeanie, and I immediately knew where Pam got her wonderful traits from. She had caring parents who instilled their gentleness, kindness, patience, and the love of God into her persona; such was the result of these parents who took the time to really raise their five children.

In Floyd, this gentle man, I could see that he truly loved his family so much, his children, his wife, his Lord; and again, I was so happy that my son was included in their family. (Floyd even plays horsey with my grandsons, which I do not have the patience for. They love him dearly, as do I for caring so much for them.)

Though it has been hard to stand back and watch Floyd go through so much these last few years, in my heart of hearts, I knew that all the goodness he has done here, as well as his suffering, have earned him rewards beyond imagination.

So here's to you, Floyd, a wonderful, caring, God loving parent, and grandparent. You are an example and an inspiration to all who have come to know you. My prayers are with you.

Liz Keliinoi

Surgery Update

My Dad had surgery yesterday. It lasted about 6 hours. In the morning when my Mom met with the doctors it sounded more involved than they had let on the previous Thursday. Then once they were 4 hours into it they called her and told her that the tumor was larger than they had expected and difficult to reach but they had gotten it out. They said it was difficult and they would be another 2 hours.
In the end, they removed over 90% of his stomach, his entire spleen and gal bladder and part of his pancreas. They have sedated him and will keep him that way all Tuesday. He is in ICU at UW Med hospital. They are watching him closley now, hoping to avoid any infections. He is scheduled to remain there for at least 3 weeks. My brother Spencer is there with my Mom now. My sister Melanie and her husband will be there this weekend. My aunts and uncle will be rotating through to help out. At this time we would appreciate your prayers. Thanks for your kind inquiries; I'll try to keep this blog up to date on his progress.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Gift of Time

"It's funny that pirates were always going around searching for treasure, and they never realized that the real treasure was the fond memories they were creating." -Jack Handy
It never ceased to amaze me the way Dad always found time to do things with us. It wasn't until years later that I thought about the fact that he was working at least eight hour days, serving as a brand new bishop in a ward he didn't know and he still found time to coach my basketball team.
One Christmas in particular sticks out to me. Normally Mom and Dad did a great job of throwing me off the trail of my presents, but this year I was sure that Dad had bought a remote control airplane. But the catch was, it wasn't mine. It was for me and Dad. I think he was more excited about it than I was. At the time I thought that he was using me as an excuse to buy himself a really cool toy, but in retrospect I know that he did it because he knew it was a way to spend quality time with a son who was quickly transforming into a teenager. We spent hours together preparing to fly that thing. We put it together, built things for it, went to the hobby shop to talk to the pros, and took turns taxiing the plane up and down the street in front of our house.
The problem was, neither of us actually knew how to fly it. But, the laws of aviation be darned, we decided one day that we were going to do it. So we took it over to the high school track to make our maiden voyage into the wild blue yonder. Dad tried first but couldn't seem to get it off the ground. At my young age I didn't have a strong understanding of lift and how airplanes managed to stay in the air for extended periods of time. So I grabbed the controls, pushed the throttle all the way forward, pulled the flaps all the way back and watched my plane climb up high into the air. Then I watched my plane stall and spiral back down toward the track. At this point in time I panicked and shoved the controls back into Dad's hands. He was not able to save it. After maybe five seconds of flight, I watched our plane nosedive into the grass, scattering the engine among other valuable parts all over the football field.
Reflecting on that day now, I'm amazed that never once did I hear any kind of scolding or negative comments from either of my parents for having smashed what I'm sure was an expensive toy. In fact, we all just kind of laughed about it. Unlike the pirates that Jack Handy talks about, Dad realized that the memories we had made were far more important than the plane itself.