Jean Schwieder


We had a heart-breaking incident in our lives the first part of October this year when we lost our granddaughter and her husband, Mistee and Trapper Jacobson, as a result of a tragic ATV accident. What an eye opener this has been on feeling thankful when you wonder if there is really anything to be thankful for. But we are learning and hopefully able to share our journey on this challenging path will help us understand and learn about loss and how to appreciate our loved ones we have around us. So, I would like to express some of the things in our lives we are thankful for.

· For each and every relative in our lives. We don’t realize how much we love them and need them until they are no longer with us. We take for granted those phone calls, hugs, and special times until they are no longer available to us!

· For friends and neighbors who have expressed their love and have brought in food, and given hugs. We all need to do this more often, even before a tragedy happens.

· For the knowledge of looking forward to seeing again those who have departed from us.

· For a cellphone message left by Mistee to remind her to “call Grandma Schwieder and tell her ‘hi’.”

· For memories of good times. Remembering the wind storm at the ranch during our family reunion this past summer when Mistee and Trapper’s test cover blew over onto those of us sitting around visiting, and the laughter that followed.

· For opportunities to get together as family and friends and enjoy times together.

· For not letting small things become too big and ruin relationships.

· For the opportunity to forgive and forget, to hug and say “I’m sorry”, to offer love instead of criticism.

· For the opportunity to be tolerant of other’s weaknesses and respect their right to be different.

Life isn’t easy and I don’t think we should expect it to be, but there are things and people who can make it easier. Our problems and troubles are made more bearable and easier by being able to share with friends and family. Sharing is often hard to do.

And maybe this time of Thanksgiving will be a healing time for some of us. Being able to be with family, to vocalize our gratitude and to appreciate each other will go a long way toward helping us heal. We will never forget these two special people, and they will always be special to us, but hopefully we will gradually be able to laugh at what they would have laughed at, to enjoy life to the fullest like they did, and to appreciate what little time we had with them, realizing now how special that was.

Will we still mourn and miss Mistee and Trapper? Of course we will and we always will feel the absence of their presence. Being able to talk about them, sharing the good times and challenging times will always be special. Sitting around a campfire with uncles and cousins playing guitars and singing will bring memories of Mistee and Trapper. How they loved those moments with Uncle Ken, Uncle Asa, and Cousin Seth. How we will continue treasure those times. We will always hold those moments close to us and enjoy that time together. Hopefully we will create more moments to add to our memories, because of this!

Yes, we can always find something to be thankful for, so let’s all try to do that. And to appreciate our loved ones while we have them!

Jean Schwieder is a writer who has spent her life involved in eastern Idaho agriculture. Her books, including past columns, are available by calling 208-522-8098 or by email at straddlin

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