I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog Even after my brother’s death, I have hope

I look forward to the new year. Most of us do. Yet we never know what the New Year will bring. Somehow the turn of the calendar raises expectations and hope. Maybe all the negatives in our lives can be changed by will-power and resolutions. We look at a blank calendar and realize nothing has been written on those pages as yet. Maybe we can make the new year better than this year which we have muddled through as we dealt with good and bad–life. Surely the New Year will offer something new, something better.

Who doesn’t hope. We entered 2019 with high hopes and plans. Keith retired at the end of July 2018. This year, we began settling into our new schedules and finances. We waited until the New Year to do something we looked forward to for years–paying off our house. Talk about hope.

My brother Paul Fredrickson, a contractor, had built our house specifically for my limitations.. At a time when outlets were set close to the floor, Paul set them a couple of feet off the floor so I could reach them. He liked the results so well, he said he planned to set them higher in other buildings he built. We knew Paul and his wife Lorene would be excited when we told them we’d paid off the mortgage. We had plans to take them out to eat and announce what we’d done.

Yes, I looked forward to the New Year. January 7th we paid off the house. We never had a chance to tell Paul. After midnight, we received a frantic call from his wife. She asked us to meet her at the hospital as the emergency unit just left. Paul had a massive heart attack. Despite valiant attempts of the medical staff to bring him back, we lost Paul. Our New Year turned into something I wouldn’t wish on anyone else.

With his death, life changed. As my sister and I assimilated the loss of our younger brother, we knew we needed to grieve, even as we determined to surround Lorene with our support. It was a hard year in so many ways. But we were not alone. Friends also stood with us with time, a listening ear and practical help. We felt the comfort of our faith wavering at times, but holding firm. Family gatherings meant more as we needed our families during this time.

In the midst of grief and pain, I found that while my brother is no longer with us, I know where he is and that is a comfort as well. While 2019 didn’t turn out the way I had planned, I find hope rising for 2020. Will it be a year free of hurt and pain and, maybe even tragedy, probably not. However, I am thankful for the many years I had with my brother nearby. I am thankful for supportive family and friends, many who also grieve. I am thankful I can look forward to a new year with a more realistic point of view. And that’s OK. I survived 2019 and as I march into the New Year, I know whatever comes, I can get through it with faith, family and friends and an attitude of gratitude for my many blessings.

By Carolyn R Scheidies
Hub column published 12/30/2019
Email her at crscheidies “at” hotmail.com Subject Line: Hub

See all posts »

rss | Email list | blog | Poetry | Devotions | Politics | Books | About