My husband’s aunt, Esther Hein is the middle child of her mom, Vina Hein’s children and the oldest of her dad, Walt Hein’s children. Theirs was a blended family, because Grandma Hein was divorced from her first husband. Sadly, Esther also now finds herself the last of those five siblings. The last of her siblings, Butch Hein was killed in a car accident on October 13, 2023, in Forsyth. As the middle child, I’m sure Esther never expected to be the last of the siblings alive, but now, here she is. Life has not been easy for Esther these past few years. In addition to the health problems Esther has had since Covid started, she has also been dealing with a daughter, Cindy who has been in poor health. That has probably been the hardest thing, because she couldn’t see Cindy much. Cindy’s immune system is compromised, so it is too dangerous. Many people, including me, have been praying over both of them.
Esther has always had such a soft heart. Things that happened to people Esther loved, even if they weren’t life threatening, upset her terribly. All she wants is for everyone she loves to be ok. Of course, that is what we all want for our loved ones, but Esther wears her heart on her sleeve. Sometimes, it’s hard to see or hear her be worried about the people she cares about, but then, I guess it’s hard to watch anyone be worried about someone. It is much better to see Esther when she is happy and showing her love for people in the things she makes and does for them. I will never forget how pleased my in-laws, Walt (Esther’s half brother) and Joann Schulenberg were with the things she made them. She made curtains for their bathroom, and several paintings for their living room. They didn’t get to see her very often, because she lives in Oregon, and they lived in Casper, Wyoming, but they did make trips to see her after my father-in-law retired. They visited he for a number of years, but then my mother-in-law was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, and travel wasn’t so easy anymore. I know my father-in-law missed going to see his sister, and she missed him too.
For Esther, not being able to see her brother and sister-in-law, was maybe worse that other people she didn’t get to see much, because as a little girl, when her brother was already married, Esther lived with them during the winter months. School was very important, and the Montana winters didn’t always make it easy to get Esther into town from the family ranch. The three of them became close, even if Ester had to be told to behave by my mother-in-law a number of times. Kids outgrow the antics of childhood eventually, and then Esther and her sister-in-law just became friends. Those were good times though. I know Esther’s help entertaining her young nieces, Marlyce Schulenberg and Debbie Cook, and maybe nephew Bob Schulenberg was nice for my mother-in-law too. Those would definitely qualify to be called the “good old days” for sure. Today is Esther’s 83rd birthday. Happy birthday Esther!! Have a great day!! We love you!!