I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog bio Surprise on Mother’s Day

My family moved to Kearney in 1969 for one reason—so I could continue my college education. Though my father was a pastor and there was no church of our denomination in Kearney, my parents chose to move here. That must have been rather scary. What would a pastor with two kids do in Kearney? (My older sister was married and lived in another state.)

We settled on KSC, now the University of Nebraska at Kearney, because they had a journalism program and because, before the ADA regulations they were willing to see I made it to my classes. (I was in a wheelchair I could not wheel by myself.) Dad found a job and we settled into living in Kearney. In fact, my folks fell in love with the area and were even talking about retiring here.

Then something happened. My dad received a call from a church in, of all places Ontario, Canada. He was known in the area because his first churches were in Ontario, Minnesota and Wisconsin. My folks discussed the situation. I was doing well in college, brother Paul in high school. They decided Dad would go north on his own, though Mom and I went up the next summer to stay with him. (Paul stayed home to work.) Dad came for visits when he could.

Even though Mom missed dad, she seldom complained about the situation. With Mother’s Day coming up, I knew her heart’s desire was to spend time with dad. How could Paul and I make it special for Mom? Turns out, we didn’t have to. At the time, we’d rented a large house south of the fair grounds. Since I couldn’t do stairs, Mom fixed up the old laundry room for me, which had a bathroom off the room.

My parent’s bedroom was upstairs, but often Mom slept on the downstairs couch feeling uncomfortable leaving me downstairs alone. When someone knocked on the door in the middle of the night, she was sure of her decision. She hurried into my room. “Carolyn, someone is at the door.” She wrung her hands. “What do I do?” (There had been some weird stuff going on in our neighborhood.)

I told her to peek through the curtains. She sucked in a breath and headed for the living room. Silence. Had I given the wrong advice. Then I heard a loud scream. Usually a scary sound, but I could tell this wasn’t a scream of terror. It was a scream of surprise and joy.

I threw off the covers and struggled into my wheelchair. A moment later, I understood as dad’s arms surrounded me. He’d come home for one reason—to surprise mom for Mother’s Day. He certainly did that.

This year visits will be few, far between and careful because of the virus. The difference between then and now is that even safe at home we’ll be able to see and interact with family—grandkids—using FaceTime. Dad provided Mom a special memory. This year, I don’t expect a visit, surprise or otherwise. Instead, I’ll make memories online.

If not in person, let your mom know you care with a card, a phone call or an online chat. Maybe you won’t match dad’s surprise, but you can reach out to let your mom know the important thing—you are thinking about her and love her.

Happy Mother’s day!

© 2020 Carolyn R Scheidies

Published in Kearney Hub 5/4/2020

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For more on the author’s life read The Day Secretariat Won the Triple Crown



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