I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog Bio My sister, my sibling, my friend

On September 21st, Karin turned 75. Karin’s retirement is as busy as when she worked for Senator Pat Roberts. She is actively involved with her grandchildren, her other family, and many friends. Faith, family, and friends are the most important things in her life.

Karin, born in 1946, is the oldest sibling, I followed in 1950. Our brother Paul was born four years later. As adults we visit, call, and email regularly. However, Karin and I weren’t always friends. More often than not, we had to share a bedroom. (Our father was a minister who got called to a different church every few years.)

Karin wanted a room that was tidy and always looking good. She’d stuff things in the closet or under the bed. I like organization. If things aren’t perfectly aligned or in place, as long as long as I knew where to find everything the rest didn’t matter. She pulled shades at least partway down on the windows, preferring a darker room. I love sunlight. I zapped the shades up. We glared at as we tugged the shade furiously until, invariably, the shade broke, and we were in trouble.

Due to how and when we moved, Karin ended up in grades above her classmates. (She was fifteen when she started her high school senior year in a new school.). I preferred the outdoors. Karin was all girl—except she could smash a baseball out of the park. We fought. We argued. I pushed Karin through a wall Dad was repairing. She kicked me off the bed during nightly devotions with Dad. Oops!

We lived in Kansas when Karin left for college. For all our wrangling, I missed her. Then my life took a turn downward. I contracted Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and within months was in a wheelchair that I did not escape for almost ten years. Those years were difficult years for my family as my parents sought prayer, answers, and medical care. During those years, Karin was my encourager. Paul was was confused with my up-and-down moods due to pain, and frustration.

Karin married after college and remained in McPherson, Kansas where she’d gone to college. We moved to Iowa for a pastorate where I finished high school and started college. In my second year of college, our folks moved to Nebraska so I could attend a four-year college though I was in a wheelchair and often required assistance. I graduated. Dad was called to Canada to serve a church. Mom unexpectedly died my senior year of a stroke that left Dad and Karin, Paul, and I devastated. In time, Dad married a Canadian lady and settled in International Falls, MN.

Paul and I settled in Kearney. By then, Karin, Paul, and I had become friends. We were close enough to visit now and again as we married and raised our families. Always Karin and Paul were there for me through my many surgeries to get me up and keep me up and walking. Each of us had to deal with first Mom’s death, then dad’s death when our children were young. We walked through life’s difficult circumstances lifting each other up.

Paul’s death in January 2019 left a huge hole. He was our younger brother. Yes, we have our family, our kids and our wonderful grandkids, but it isn’t the same. Three became two, but with the loss, Karin and I talk more, make sure to pray for one another and each other’s families. We are different individuals in so many ways and yet we share a heritage of memories, faith, and love. Gone are the days I fought with my sister. Instead, I give thanks each day we still have our faith, our families—and the blessing of one another.

© 2021 Carolyn R. Scheidies

Published 10/11/21 in the Kearney Hub Column

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