I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog Bio Jiggs a Special Father-in-law

My father-in-law was a quiet, but strong man. He was the only father in my life since my own father died in 1988. While LaVern (Jiggs) Scheidies was not a loud, boisterous person, his quiet presence drew attention. He was intelligent and a conversation with him was never boring. His family loved him. Since losing my mother-in-law in 2016, we, as much as he’d allow, pampered Him.

Dad was a farmer, an honorable profession. But he was so much more. In WWII he was a tail gunner. He attended Hastings College when he returned home, before joining his family in farming. He grew corn including some of the best popcorn around. He clerked sales and auctions. He bought property and houses that he rented out. If you needed a part or some equipment, he’d know where to find what you needed. He was an entrepreneur.

In their later years, after Jiggs and Bert left the farm and moved to Minden, I remember once when Keith and I visited. His folks were so excited as they shared the news. They’d purchased a post office of all things. I didn’t even know a private person could own a post office, but it proved to be a good investment.

Keith’s folks loved their five kids of which my husband Keith was the eldest—Keith, Mark, Randy, Rhonda and Tim. They welcomed spouses once their children married. And, they loved their grandkids. Our two enjoyed spending a week or two each summer at the farm. Chris even got to assist with irrigating.

Keith’s folks drove into Kearney to attend games, school and church plays, programs and other events in which Chris and Cassie were involved. They were the ones who started the tradition for going out for ice cream afterwards.

Eventually the grandkids married and there were great grandkids to spoil. In 2016, we lost my mother-in-law. Two years ago, Dad entered Bethany Home with a staff that took good care of him. He kept his home. Periodically, Keith and I bought Kentucky Fried Chicken, brought Dad to his home and enjoyed dinner with him. We loved these special times with Dad. We thought we’d have many more of these times together.

Then Covid19 hit and Bethany Home, like other homes for the senior citizens, locked down. No longer could we visit with Dad, except via phone—and he was hard of hearing. It was hardship for us, but even more so for Dad. It got worse when April 30th Dad’s son Mark died of a freak accident and we could not hug and comfort Dad. Bethany staff did facilitate Keith and his siblings visiting Dad through an entry door where he could see them and communicate via a cell. Keith said he smiled the entire time they were there.

Maybe we’d get through this. Then blood clots sent Dad to Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney. We expected he’d recover. He didn’t. Once in Comfort Care more family could visit. It meant our two who’d come to visit us with Cassie’s little ones (who stayed with us), were able to visit and say good-bye to the Grandfather that they loved and who loved them. The next day, he passed away. Two huge losses and so close together—neither from the virus.

Thankfully, we could hold a funeral and have time to remember, visit those who came and be thankful for a man who honored God, his country and his family. I am sad. My heart grieves and yet, I also feel blessed. I am thankful for having two wonderful fathers who loved and influenced me and who left a example of caring and integrity.

© 2020 Carolyn R Scheidies

Published by Kearney Hub 8/3/2020

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