I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog Losing Paul—My Champion, My Brother, My Friend

Losing someone we love, especially a family member is something each of us must face at one point or another. But facing such a loss runs the gamut of emotion. Unexpected loss tears apart as no other loss. As humans, against all reality, we think of time today, tomorrow and into the future. We get busy and forget to make that contact, talk, share and simply spend time together until it is too late.

Paul hadn’t felt well over Christmas and Keith and I had postponed enjoying a “Christmas” time with Paul and Lorene because of it. January 8th, about 1:30 or so we get the call, “I’ve called the unit for Paul. Meet me at Good Samaritan.”

I sucked in a deep breath and threw on clothes. Keith and I met Lorene in emergency. The medical staff worked over Paul for about an hour and a half, but he was gone. We were devastated, but now was the time to be there for his wife and the horror of what she’d just endured. Too unexpectedly gone. Instead of celebrating our Christmas together, we planned a funeral. For my remembrance, I had to trim down a lifetime of memories to only a few. So difficult.

Paul was my younger brother. As a toddler, he’d point to road graders and other equipment and claim they were his. Who knew he’d one day have such equipment for his construction business. Often as kids, Paul and I played outdoor games we’d invent. Since I was older by four years, other times I saw him as the pesky little brother.

Once I got sick at 13, many began thinking he was the oldest sibling, instead of the youngest. Maybe that was because Paul began taking on more of a care-taking role in the life of our oldest sister and myself–whether or not we thought we needed his input into our lives. Nevertheless, Paul watched out for us and tried to make our lives easier. He was wise in so many ways and read character well. (He’d be so right, it was sometimes downright irritating.)

Paul cared. Once I married, he wanted us to have a house. When some FHA-type loans became available, he encouraged us to apply. We did and were accepted. Paul went full out to create a house that was user-friendly and safe for me with my many limitations. We moved in just before the new year 1980. For our Christmas present that year, he installed heated pads under the walk by the house. To this day, when snow falls and ice coats the walk, we simply turn a dial and the snow and ice melts away.

When I was in the hospital for 2 ½ months in 2014, Paul came to visit almost every day, even if that was only for five or ten minutes out of his busy days. He and my sister were my advocates during the time I could not speak for myself.

During the winter months, he cleared our walks and drive. After the last snow and knowing Paul wasn’t feeling well, Keith started scooping with a shovel, Paul came with his cat and finished the job. Who knew we’d lose him so soon afterward. Paul loved his family, his God, and his church as well as his many friends. I will so miss my brother, my friend. I am glad we weren’t afraid to say, “I love you.”

It can not be emphasized enough, spend time with those you love. Don’t let work, volunteer work or anything else take the place of time, of caring and letting your loved one know you love them in words as well as actions.

By Carolyn R Scheidies

Read more about Paul and our family in The Day Secretariat Won the Triple Crown

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