IN MEMORY OF EVELY N NEUMEISTER SCHMIDT
She was a talented artist with
blonde hair and eyes of blue,
She owned a essence of gentlewoman
and it often occurred to me that,
despite theillusion of feminine helplessness,
she actually had nerves of steel;
She cared for her husband, my father’s
brother, for over five years–maybe closer
to ten–through stroke after stroke until
he became completely helpless and
debilitated and had to go into a nursing
home. Soon after, he passed away and
she seemed to have lost her reason for
living and then illnesses haunted her
The last time I saw her was in the summer
of 2012; her daughter needed a vacation
and arranged for plane tickets for me
through a man my cousin was dating.
My aunt could speak and manage to
eat; she could let you know whether
or not she liked a dish, with facial expressions.
I told her I was not a gourmet cook but would
try to please her.
I knew, when I flew back to California two
weeks later, that I would not see her alive,
again. I could not make it back to Florida
for a memorial service.
I believed then, as I do now, that her daughter
was relieved to have her mother finally pass away.
My cousin wanted to get on with her life and
neither of her brothers were willing to care for
She was my favorite aunt (as well as a beloved
favorite of my brothers and my sister, Becky)
and I greatly admired her talent, but I couldn’t do any more for her.
I couldn’t continue to stay with her even though
I knew she had a daughter who wanted her
mother to die. Before I left, my cousin told me
I spoiled her and she wouldn’t be spoiled that
way after I was gone. My aunt suffered a rapid
breakdown after I left. My cousin and I were
direct opposites but there was nothing else I
could say or do.
The message is, I think, be careful of the ones
you are caring for–remember that the time
may come when you are the patient and some
one else will be caring for you.
Sandra Lee Smith
originally posted March, 2015
Updated July 26, 2018