Whenever our aunt, Pearl Hein talked about her husband, our uncle, Eddie Hein, she always called him Big Ed. It was her “pet name” for him…kind of like saying he was her superhero. That is truly how Pearl felt about Eddie. Theirs was a long-standing marriage of 52 years at the time of Eddie’s graduation to Heaven. He was her superhero, and she was his too. It was always fun to watch them, because their personalities were very similar, and yet each was unique.
I first met them on my first trip to Forsyth, Montana to visit my husband, Bob Schulenberg’s family, and the trip was so much fun that for many years we went for a visit every summer. I loved all of the Forsyth family and looked forward to it every year. Eddie and Pearl lived at the edge of town beside the dike that held the Yellowstone River back from the town. Eddie and Pearl always had a vegetable garden, and they canned lots of their food. Eddie transformed their house from the original mobile home to a house and decorated it in various places with river rock. The fireplace was a beautiful focal point.
Eddie, and Pearl too, had what I call a smiling face. Their whole face smiled with they smiled, and that is a very cool kind of face to have. I think it is a sign of a really happy person too. They loved to entertain, and they loved to laugh and joke. Some of my fondest memories are when they were picking on my husband, Bob. He had long hair back then, but everyone in the hippy generation did, so he wasn’t alone. Eddie was always threatening to give him a buzz cut, and one time went after him with the shears, but of course, they weren’t plugged in. Nevertheless, it was funny, and unless you looked closely, you might think they were plugged in. The picture is funny anyway. It’s funny stuff like that that I think I miss the most about Eddie. There was really never a dull moment when we were over at their house.
Eddie went home to be with the Lord on October 16, 2019, and I still can’t believe he is gone. He had a stroke a few years earlier, and fought his way back, with much help from Pearl, who was his “rock” during those days. I think one of his happiest moments after the stroke, was when he was able to walk his daughter Kim down the aisle when she married Michael Arani on October 7, 2017. I don’t think he thought he would be able to do it, but Eddie was a strong man, and he was determined. I’m so happy that he got to see that day. Today would have been Eddie’s 79th birthday. Happy birthday in Heaven, Eddie. We love and miss you very much.
After 27 years, one might think that I would be used to the fact that my sister-in-law, Marlyce Schulenberg is no longer with us, but somehow, I’m not. Oh, I suppose that most of the time my mind has accepted that fact, but…well, Marlyce was such a unique person. She was special in every way. She had a heart of gold, and she loved everyone. That didn’t mean that she didn’t have a temper at all, but then, I think that when she got mad…at least at her siblings, it was because they teased her…or picked a fight with her. I suppose it was a kid thing or a sibling thing, but whatever it was, it drove Marlyce crazy sometimes. And every time Marlyce got mad at her siblings, they were moved to try it again. I suppose that’s just how kids are.
Marlyce’s life was cut short at the tender age of just 39 years, when cancer took her life away from her. Gone were that precious moments we all had with my sweet sister-in-law. It was so hard to believe. She was only 39 years old, younger than my own children are now, and yet she was gone. No more of her smiling face telling me that she had made my favorite chocolate chip cookies, or showing me the latest things she had knitted. Her giggle was now silent. That was 27 years ago, and yet, I can still hear her voice…filled with excitement about those cookies, and I can still hear her annoyed voice telling her littlest brother, Ron to stop picking on her.
It’s strange that the voices of the past still exist in our minds to the degree that it almost seems like we are still hearing them out loud. Harder for me to believe than the fact that Marlyce has been gone for 27 years, is the fact that she would have been 66 years old today. She was the oldest child, and with her passing there was a hole left in our lives. Because Marlyce was a special needs child, my in-laws were always concerned about what would happen to her if they passed away. Of course, we would have take care of her, but they needn’t have worried, because she preceded both of them. Today would have been Marlyce’s 66th birthday. Happy birthday in Heaven Marlyce. We love and miss you very much.
Everyone thinks that the latest craze…photo bombing, was started in recent years by some especially innovative photographer who had a great idea of a way to grab the attention of the people looking at the picture. That may have been when photo bombing was named, but not invented. I think that since cameras came into being, people were jumping into the picture at the last minute to see if they could add a little bit of humor to the shot. Sometimes, the photo bomb was simply an accident…a child who wanted to see what was going on. It’s a common thing for kids to do, and if it puts them in the middle of a picture they might not have been in otherwise, so much the better. You can hardly blame them. Like all kids, they simply wanted to be in on things.
When you think about it, they are not alone in that desire. Everyone likes to be involved in things…especially if it means they get to play the part of the comedian sometimes. My Uncle Bill was one of those people. He did one of the early photo bomb pictures, but he also decided to do the sticking the tongue out picture too…although he said he wished he hadn’t done that one. He wanted to see how the picture would look if he stuck out his tongue, and in the end, he said he didn’t like the look. These days, sticking the tongue out is all the rage in pictures, but I have to agree with my Uncle Bill. I don’t think having your tongue hanging out is the most flattering look there is. Still, I suppose it is the thing everyone does. I doubt it will go away soon.
I think the smiling face or the goofy look that pops up behind the subjects of a photograph at exactly the right time are great. Most pictures are too posed most of the time, and that little moment in time, when some goofy person decided to photo bomb the picture, always serves to make everyone smile a little bigger and even laugh out loud, because the whole mood just changed. These days, the photo bomb is something that happens often. And with the other latest thing in pictures…the selfie, it’s easy to find just the right opportunity to do a photo bomb. The person doing the selfie is already busy trying to make sure they are posed just right, and when the photo bomber jumps in, it is a total surprise. The picture might take on a look of shock, surprise, or they might just be someone who takes it all in stride, and then the photo bomb almost looks planned. Maybe it was, and they just didn’t tell you that part.