Every year that my sister-in-law has been in Heaven seems more and more impossible to me. Marlyce Schulenberg left us on August 13, 1989, meaning that she has been in Heaven for 34 years now. Marlyce was 39 years old when she went home. I still miss my sweet sister-in-law every day. She brought so much joy into our lives, because while she was developmentally disabled, she had such a great capacity for giving and for bringing happiness to or lives. Marlyce was fairly high functioning, in that while she was unable to live on her own, due to her mental age, she was well able to do things like knitting and baking, and it gave her such great pleasure to see the faces of those people to whom she bestowed her gifts.
Marlyce, being a part of a large family of six children, was faced with the teasing of her siblings. They weren’t cruel, they just all picked on each other, and some handled it a little better than others. Marlyce kind of liked some of the teasing, especially about supposed boyfriends, which she may or may not have had at the time. She would grin and maybe even blush a little, but other types of teasing just made her mad. And her siblings, Debbie Cook, Bob Schulenberg, Jennifer Parmely, Brenda Schulenberg, and Ron Schulenberg knew just which type of teasing was which…much to the irritation of their parents, Walt and Joann Schulenberg, who would shut it down when they had had enough. You have to understand too, that Marlyce was the oldest, so all this teasing was going on among children, and if you have had siblings, you probably know all about teasing. Nevertheless, the siblings all loved Marlyce very much. I joined the family when Marlyce was 25 years old, and I really never took part in the teasing, so I got to be the loved sister-in-law. It’s not that I was against teasing, but rather that she was always so sweet to me that I didn’t have the heart to tease her…even in fun.
Mom and Dad always worried about what would happen to Marlyce when they were gone. She couldn’t live alone, and I’m sure they wondered if the siblings would take care of her. Of course, we would have. It was just understood, but it would have been a lifestyle change for the sibling she lived with. In the end, of course, it didn’t matter, because she went home before Mom and Dad did. I don’t think any of us were thinking about that the day she left, we just knew that everything had changed, and we would always miss her very much. Marlyce would have been 73 years old today. Happy birthday in Heaven, Marlyce. We love and miss you very much.