I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog Bio Mark Scheidies—friend, family and loss

Kearney Hub title: Mark special brother-in-law

April 30, 2020 we lost my husband’s brother Mark to a freak accident. To say the least, it was a shock

I didn’t know my husband Keith’s family very well when we married over a year after I graduated from what was then KSC, now UNK. We married after I had major surgeries to straighten my legs and year long therapy to help me relearn to walk again after being in a wheelchair almost 10 years.

To say I was nervous when I met his parents doesn’t begin to explain how I felt. After all, Keith was their oldest of five siblings—Keith, Mark, Randy, Rhonda and Tim. And he brought me home. Yet the whole family was gracious and accepting.

While Mark was one of Keith’s groomsman, it took time to really get to know him. I remember being at their parent’s home for a meal after which the family members pulled out board and card games. I was asked to join the group who played Risk. It had to be the shortest game on record. When asked to play it again another time, I was so emphatic about my refusal I caught his sister’s attention. “Did you play Risk with Mark?”

“Yes,” I said.

I got a head shake. “You never play strategy games with Mark.” I quickly learned you needed your wits about you when playing games with him. In fact as his obituary stated He earned an expert ranking in tournament chess and was Colorado Postal Chess Champion. He played in over 1,000 Trivia competitions and made it into the Jeopardy contestant pool six times.

When the siblings married and we started having kids, the uncles did not back away. They were very involved in the lives of their nieces and nephews. One favorite picture is of a protective Mark in the barn loft with our son, his nephew, Chris and his daughter Tiffany and niece Anne.

I really got to know Mark once my writing career took off. I began attending the large Colorado Christian Writer’s Conference. When it was held in Boulder, I stayed with Mark and Jenni. Jenni usually went with me to hold my “stuff” and to see I got to my seminars. But as a working dentist, she wasn’t always available. I remember once when Jenni had to work, Mark willing came to the conference with me and helped me get around.

Not only that, but he agreed to critique one of my early manuscripts. He took his work seriously and his suggestions may have made the difference in being offered a book contract.

Though we often differed politically and theologically, we could talk for hours. I loved hearing his insights and he seemed to appreciate my insights as well.

Mark was not only very intelligent, but also unfailingly gentle, kind and thoughtful. Even as he lay in the hospital after his accident not knowing his future, he was more concerned about his family and about who was going to deliver the Meals on Wheels when he couldn’t.

He was, as are his brothers, what is hard to find these days—a true gentleman. In losing him, especially so unexpectedly and so suddenly, my husband lost a dear brother, I lost a brother-in-law and friend.

During this time of social distancing, what is really hard was not to be with his family to give hugs to his wife Jenni and his children and grandchildren. Hard not to be together to remember and grieve the loss of a good man, a beloved husband, father and grandfather. But I can purposely remember and I give thanks for all the good memories made from family get-togethers of a close family. We reach out with cards, calls, even Zoom. And I can pray for his family. That’s something we all can do for each other.

Mark thanks for making my life better for knowing you. Rest In peace.

© 2020 Carolyn R Scheidies
Published in Kearney Hub 6/8/2020


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