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Jiggs Scheidies : I deal in hope

I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog Bio Time, family and a memorial

Few of us had any clue that 2020 would become such a watershed in our lives. Covid-19 spread and, for better or worse, much of the country shut down. Celebrations such as birthdays and anniversaries, holiday gatherings such as Thanksgiving and Christmas just didn’t happen—at least not with large, noisy, happy family get-togethers. Families stayed isolated, home and alone. Some, like my husband’s family, did some Zoom gatherings which was certainly better than not getting together at all. Yet video gatherings are exhausting and don’t completely fill the need for personal, face-to-face interaction that is so required for human health and well-being.

Weddings were small with receptions put off until this year. (We attended one.) Most difficult of all were remembering those we loved with a funeral. Getting together to help families grieve were restricted to only a few, leaving family and others who cared unsatisfied and unable to move forward. We lost two members of Keith’s family last year. We lost his brother Mark to a freak accident in April of 2020.

In June we also lost my father-in-law, also not to Covid. Thankfully, restrictions had eased for a time, and we were able to hold a regular funeral for members of LaVern (Jiggs) Scheidies’ family and his many friends. Since we had not been able to go to Colorado to grieve with Mark’s family, they came to Minden. We included a memorial to Mark in the funeral. It gave some closure.

However, in early September this year, the Scheidies siblings and families headed to Longmont Colorado. It was a time of greetings, hugs, fellowship, eating out and even swimming together. (Keith and I napped while the rest swam.)

Most importantly, we gathered not so much to say goodbye to Mark, but to hold a Celebration of Life in a beautiful outdoor setting with sunshine and a hint of a breeze. His wife Jenni shared precious memories of her soul mate. She and two nieces sang a song. Keith, the oldest sibling, contributed his memories of his first-ever friend and brother. (He and his next youngest brother Mark discovered cardboard boxes did not float, among other shared learning experiences as they grew up together on the family farm.) Friend Linda shared memories and prayer. There was music and memories, tears and smiles from those who loved Mark, a gentle and kind giant.

It was a time, as family and friends, to make new memories, being thankful, this time, we could remember Mark together. No matter what happens, let’s make sure to stay connected. Since we don’t know what life will bring tomorrow or the next day, brush off the small stuff, work through the big stuff, keep short accounts and don’t be afraid to say, “I love you.”.

© 2021 Carolyn R Scheidies

Published in my Kearney Hub Column 2021 September 27
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