Candles

Anna Mae (Schramm) Wical

December 12, 1926 ~ December 27, 2021 (age 95)

Obituary

Anna Mae Schramm Wical, age 95, passed peacefully on December 27, 2021.

Born on December 12, 1926, she was the only daughter of the late Alfred H. and Almeda E. Allen Schramm.

Her only living relatives are her son, Alfred Matthew Fife of Wilmington, and her cousin, John Allen, of Xenia. 

Private burial has taken place, next to her late husband, Exley Wical, at Sabina Cemetery, Sabina. 


Below is a recollection of the life of Anna Mae, as told by her son, Alfred:

The family moved to Wilmington, Ohio, shortly after her birth and resided at 710 N. South Street.  That area of town was still considered a rural area in 1926.  During the Depression years, her father hunted the fields to provide food for the family, which consisted mostly of rabbit, squirrel and a few ring-necked pheasants.  Mom would tie the squirrel tails her father brought home on to her bicycle. 

She attended elementary school just down the street at Smith Place School.  She would ride her bicycle to school daily.  It was not long until she became known as “Squirrel Tail”!  It was during the Depression years that she grew up.  Her father taught her how to hunt and fish and I still have her first shotgun, a single shot .410 gauge.  Mom learned how to skin a rabbit and gut a fish, essential knowledge for a young lady of that day. 

Anna Mae loved animals and go her first puppy, a snow with Terrier, in Mexico City, on a family trip at age 5.  His name was, of course, Mexico!  She had a baby pig and a rabbit that roamed the house.  Her uncle worked on the railroad, and he would bring home hobos that rode the train – her mother and grandmother would feed the hobos on the back porch.  This fiesta of hobos was a frequent event at the Schramm home during the Depression and after their meal, they would return to the train and move on.  After one of these events, on a holiday, as I recall, Mom was looking for her pig and her rabbit, but they were nowhere to be found.  That day, the hobos had received a meal they would not soon forget. 

Mom attended high school at the old high school building on Locust Street in Wilmington, which has since been torn down.  It was during those years that she blossomed into a beautiful young lady.  Her father was a jeweler with a jewelry store right next to the Murphy Theater entrance.  Anna Mae would help her mom and dad with the store by sweeping the floors and arranging jewelry in the display cases. 

Her dad rented his store from the Murphy Theater.  As a result, he had access to a few of their show windows by the ticket booth, as you came out of the theater.  My mom would put jewelry displays in those windows and when people left the theater, many would stop in his store and browse.  What very few people knew never knew is that in the back of the jewelry store, Mom found a secret passage that led right in to the theater on the first-floor level.  She would wait until the movie or vaudeville performance live on stage would state, and then slip into the darkness of the theater and sit down and enjoy the show.  That is as far as her story ever went, as I recall.  Anyone else’s knowledge of this mysterious entrance way and how long she was able to pull this off, she never revealed to me.  However, years later, she did tell me that, eventually, the entrance was sealed. 

Another story that was fascinating to me was on December 7, 1941, and the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  My mother had just turned 15 years old the day before.  It was a Sunday afternoon on the 7th and she was in her room when the radio broadcast reported the attack.  Anna Mae ran downstairs and reported what she had just heard to the family.  No one believed her.  They all teased her and said it was just a radio drama.  Within a few minutes, the radio downstairs was turned on and the report Momma had given was a fact. 

Why was it of interest to me?  In July of 1985, I was in the military on my way to the South Pacific Island of Guam.  My father, Robert Fife, was with me.  We had stopped in Hawaii for a month of leave I had taken and toured the islands.  We went out in Pearl Harbor on a ferry to the Arizona Memorial.  As we stood on a platform over the Battleship Arizona, oil continued to bubble up to the surface from the ship.  Over 900 of its crew still remained entombed in that underwater grace.  My dad had served on a battleship in the Pacific.  It had been torpedoed and sunk; my dad floated in a life preserver for 24 hours before being rescued.  On the wall of the Arizona Memorial that day, there was a plaque of the names of the crew of the Arizona.  On that plaque was my dad’s name: Bob Fife.  Yet, a strange feeling came over me right then.  My mom, at the age of 15, was one of the first to hear the report of the attack on Pearl, the result of which I was now seeing.  My father actually experienced a similar event at sea in 1945.  It was a piece of history that overwhelmed me that day and my parents had first-hand involvement with WWII History, that, until that day, was only history to me. 

In High School, Mom was a drum Majorette in the Wilmington High School Marching Band.  She graduated in 1944 and went to DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.  Within just a few months, she returned home to Wilmington, due to homesickness.  She never returned to college. 

Finally, on September 10, 1951, Anna Mae (25) married my father, Rober Fife (27).  They soon went to Colorado, where my dad attended fire fighter school.  Upon their return to Ohio, the built a house next to the main gate of the Clinton County Air Force Base, on a piece of land given them to by my dad’s father, Matthew Fife.  My dad eventually became one of three assistant Fire Chiefs of Clinton County Air Force Base. 

On April 16, 1953, at 11:17am, a son was born to Anna Mae and Bob Wical.  He would be their only child, Alfred Matthew Fife…life was about to change. 

I cannot remember much of those first tow years, except that I spent a lot of time on lockdown in my crib – for good reason!  My mother loved animals.  Her mom and dad had a beautiful young male English Cocker Spaniel named Boo.  He was a bird dog.  On time when we were visiting my grandparents Schramm, Boob and I were in the kitchen.  Someone had left an open tin of cocoa powder on the counter.  I was oly about 2 years old and tried to grab the can of cocoa – dropping it on me and Boo.  We were both covered in black cocoa powder.  I got scared and started to cry and Boo started to bark…that brought everyone into the kitchen, real fast. 

Somebody got the flash camera and took a picture.  That scared Boo and he made an exit.  Anna Mae came over, picked me up, put me in the kitchen sink, and took the sprayer to me.  Boo got away scot-free and avoided the sprayer.  Sorry, but no, I do not have that picture! 

Cartoons were big in the 1950s.  I was about 4 when I saw and animated story called “Snowman in July”.  It was about a bunch of kids who made a snowman and then stored him in a freezer until the next summer.  In July, they set him outside until he melted.  So, I asked Mom and Dad if we could do that.  That winter, she helped me build a snowman about three and a half feet high, with a carrot nose, a cool cap and a scarf.  My dad and I put Mr. Snowman in our deep freezer in the garage.  When July came, out came Mr. Snowman into 90-degree heat.  It was a world he had never known, I thought to myself.  It was a world where he inhabited for only a few hours, then it was all over; a puddle of water with a carrot in it that was already attracting a few rabbits.  It wasn’t really a big deal, but that was my parents: always excited about anything I wanted to do and wanted to be involved and be with their little boy. 

Then, there was the time I joined up to be a Cub Scout.  My bother became our “Den Mother”.  Se took all of us to Fort Ancient and we look for Indian arrow heads for one of our projects.  We had meetings at the East End Elementary School, as I recall.  All I really remember is it was a lot of fun and she was just like a kid herself, helping us make stuff, camp out, earn merit badges, etc.  One of the little boys in the troop was a black boy.  Racial barriers were still being dealt with in the 1950, especially in the South.  Mom embraced that little boy and treated him just like he was my long-lost brother.  Because of things like this, I really never saw people as being different.  She said we were all created by God and deserved to be treated as such.  From that day, I can honestly say I never had a racist feeling about anyone, of any race.  I travelled overseas in the military and lived in cultures different than mine and had many friends.  Racism was never an issue for me because mt mother said God created everyone and my mom never led me astray. 

My dad worked shifts as a fireman, sometimes 24–48-hour shifts.  Anna Mae was involved in a lot of activities in those early days of my childhood.  I cannot recall them all but there was Ladies’ Bridge Club, Women’s Club, and things my grandmother belonged to that Anna Mae would join and take her mother with her.  I was only 6 years old, so Mom hired a babysitter.  He was a cousin of min, named Tom, and was about 14.  Mom would get home on those nights, always around 10pm; she would get ready for bed, which included taking off her shoes and putting on bed slippers.  Tom had an idea that we should put a mouse trap in one of those slippers.  So, he set a trap and put it in the slipper, just under the side of her bed.  Right at 10pm, she pulled into the driveway.  We ran and jumped into our beds.  It took a while, but finally we heard the “SNAP” of the trap; no scream or crying out, just a “SNAP” followed by silence.  She checked to see if we were in bed and that was it.  She never said anything about it the next day and I never asked.  Mom seemed to have a 6th sense about bad stuff I was involved in, and I never figured it out.  She seemed to be one step ahead of me all the time.  I think that 6th sense is something God created and gave it to Mothers. 

My dad brought home a motorcycle one day.  He would sit me on the gas tank, and I would put my hands on hips and away we would go through the countryside.  On one occasion, he tried to turn around in my great-uncle Roy’s gravel barnyard.  Dad lost control and went down with the bike and I went flying over the handlebars, skidding across the gravel on my belly.  We were not hurt much, but I had gravel buried in my elbows and knees.  When we got home, mom set me on the bed and used a wire brush and wash basin to brush out the gravel in my skin.  That hurt more than sliding in the barn lot!  She was mad at my dad and giving him a lecture about how dangerous that machine was and that only an idiot would put a little boy on such a thing.  There were only two things wrong with that “angry and sin not” moment.  My dad was in the bathroom cleaning up and did not hear here; the madder she got, the harder she brushed.  It took a long time, but she got the gravel out and painted me with Mercurochrome Antiseptic.  My dad painted the motorcycle and sold it. 

As mentioned before, Mom loved animals.  Boo, that English red-haired Spaniel, came to live with us on the farm and we bought a female Cocker Spaniel and raised several litters of puppies.  We had a German Shepherd, 2 Collie dogs, cats and kittens, rabbits, hamsters, ducks, chickens and two ponies over a 10- year period.  It was like having our own zoo – where the animals ran free, and the humans were caged in the house. 

Because of her 6th sense, my mom knew about everything that was going on in the family, it seemed before it even happened!  She knew my friends and I were experimenting with smoking cigarettes.  She invited all my friends over for lunch.  After lunch, she got a new pack of cigarettes and told us all to take on and light up.  She said, “Smoke all you want, but don’t leave the house.”  So, we did.  It was not long after my 3rd cigarette or so, with all the smoke, I was coughing, gasping for air and nauseated.  I do not know about my friends, but I gave up smoking that day. 

She was a great cook.  My dad had a garden and we always had fresh food from that.  She could make so many things in such different ways out of green beans, sweet corn, tomatoes, squash, watermelon, beets, and onions, that I never got tired of any of it.  She baked, too, mostly pies and cakes.  Mom had numerous cookbooks.  One of the had a picture of a young Betty Croker in an apron on the front.  She looked just like Mom but had blonde hair, as I remember.  We had several family holiday dinners in that little house and several Christmas mornings.  They were all very special and filled with love and great memories for me, because my mother always worked so hard to make it so. 

That first house I was brought up in was next to my grandfather’s house on the farm.  It was a small wood frame house with 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen, living room, den, a one-car garage and a patio.  I rode the bus to elementary school.  Often, I would bring friends home with me to stay overnight.  Anna Mae always welcomed them.  She would let us stay up late on weekends and play Elvis records.  It wasn’t long before lots of kids wanted to come home with me. 

1958 was a rough year for our family.  That summer we were visiting my grandparents, the Schramms, in Florida.  I was 5 years old, and I became very sick with tonsilitis.  They called it strep throat at the time, because of the bacterium that caused it.  My grandparents were spending their first year of retirement in their new mobile home.  I remember laying on the sofa, looking out the window.  Florida was another world from where I had grown up.  I wanted to go out and experience it.  Anna Mae was right there with me, 24/7, it seemed.  The closest I got to getting out was when she would open the back door and let me toss out peanuts to the squirrels.  Our doctor was treating me with medicine, but I was not getting better.  Soon, I developed a high fever and became extremely ill.  Mom kept putting cold compresses on me and changed my pajamas constantly.  I was referred to a surgeon in a small-town hospital nearby.  He had me undergo surgery immediately and took out the tonsils.  Within a few days, it was all over.  I didn’t realize the seriousness of it all but she was very worried and, would later tell me that I was a “very sick little boy”. 

It was that Christmas in 1958, that my mother decided she wanted to hang some holly branches.  My grandparents lived on world famous Dora Canal that connected several lakes in the area, known as the “Chain of Lakes”.  Holly bushes grew along the shoreline of the Canal.  Dora Canal went through some of the densest undergrowth, Cyprus trees, and a wildlife area known to Centra Florida.  Some of the Tarzan movies of the 1930s and 40s were filmed along this 3.5 mile river, which was actually a natural waterway.  The wildlife consisted of alligators, great blue herons, snakes, anhingas (water turkey), turtles, a variety of bugs and other exotic creatures. 

A few days before Christmas, while I was recuperating, her dad took Mom down to the canal and pulled the boat close to the shore, up into the holly bushes.  Anna Mae began cutting some of the branches, she reached a little too far and fell in the canal!  That close to shore, the water only came up to her waist and she got back into the boat quickly.  That year, we had holly hanging everywhere!

Later on, into my early teens, I would have chicken pox, German measles, and a host of other childhood maladies and mt mom was always there with chicken soup.  She was young and energetic.  She washed clothes, cleaned the house, fed all the animals, me, and my dad, too.  She was very seldom sick herself. 

Anna Mae always loved to be on the lake, in the boat.  By early 1959, when I had completely recovered from the tonsilitis, I remember we were on Lake Cellars, near Ocala.  My grandfather had let his little girl drive the boat.  Within a matter of minutes, the sun went behind some clouds, the wind kicked up, and a torrential thunderstorm began; not unlike what is common on the sea of Galilee in Israel.  Waves were splashing into the boat with such a force that Mom could no longer control the boat.  Granddad grabbed me and threw a raincoat over me.  My grandmother, Almeada, was with us that day, she was up in the bow of the boat and was getting the worst of the storm.  As the boat rode over the waves and nosed into the troughs, she would hit with huge splashes coming in over the bow.  Grandpa guided the boat into the boat ramp and, as the storm died down, we were able to load the boat and get home. 

Those first 9 years of my life were a great time!  Sadly, from my standpoint, on December 4, 1961, it all came crashing down.  My mother filed for divorce from my dad, and we moved in town, to Wilmington, to live in the basement of the home of my grandma and grandpa Schramm.  I didn’t understand it all, but she had her reasons.  My dad was no angel (I wasn’t either, as I recall), but he loved me, and he and Mom remained friends for my sake.  Life was about to change again. 

It was that Christmas that I finally learned that Santa Calus was not real.  The basement stairs were right behind my bed.  On Christmas Eve, I didn’t sleep much.  Not because I was waiting for Santa, but because people kept running up and down the stairs in the middle of the night.  I listened to all the chatter upstairs and what I had suspected, was now confirmed.  That was the last Christmas Eve for all the nighttime activity and setting out of cookies and milk. 

Ana Mae got a job at a local drug store as a cashier and a cosmetic department manager.  I began 5th grade year, just a few blocks away at Smith Place Elementary, where Mom had gone to school as a child.  That year, my school was doing a dramatic play about Abraham Lincoln.  I was chosen for the part of the President.  For several weeks, we would sit on the bed in the basement and go over my lines.  Mom became Abraham Lincoln to me.  She had beautiful black hair, but for the first time, as I listened to her read my part, I wondered how she could look with a black beard and stove pipe hat?  This went on every evening.  As I read my part, she would read everyone else’s.  We soon had a few dress rehearsals at school.  I cannot remember ever going through the thing without messing up some of my lines.  Mom, my grandparents, and my dad were there for opening night.  I don’t really remember much of the play now.  I was nervous.  When it was over, here came my mom smiling and hugging me, saying I did everything perfect.  That was the first time I had ever heard the word perfect (and the last, come to think of it) and it was all due to my mother, Mrs. Lincoln. 

On December 26, 1963, Anna Mae married my stepfather, Exley E. Wical.  There were married in a Methodist church in Florida, and I was the ring bearer.  It was a new beginning for Anna Mae.  Mr. Wical was a kind, generous man and it was obvious he loved my mom and he loved me, too, as if I was his own.  Yet, Anna Mae remained friends with Bob, my dad knowing how much I loved him and needed him.  Exley accepted this and Bob was allowed to come and go from our house, anytime, to see me.  For me, it was like having two fathers that both loved me and desired to provide a happy childhood for me.  Mom was the glue to what many could call an awkward situation, but she made the arrangement work.  My father and stepfather both respected her and loved me and I honestly cannot remember a time when there was any significant discord in this arrangement.  But I was a stupid 10-year-old kid and did not even know what discord was in those days. 

On New Year’s Eve in 1963, just a few days after their wedding, the three of us went out on the railroad trussell that went over the Dora Canal, where the canal entered Lake Dora.  Anna Mae and Exley would help me shoot off bottle rockets over the lake.  She knew I liked to do that.  We never thought about the snakes or falling into the lake.  As I think back now, it was really a stupid thing to walk that railroad track over the water, in the dark of midnight, with only a few lights to mark the canal entrance for boat traffic. 

In 1964, Anna Mae and Mr. Wical (Ex, as he became known to me), began building their dream home at 266 N. Spring Street in Wilmington.  From 64 – 71, I went to 5th grade at Smith Place Elementary to high school graduation in 1971.  Anna Mae became the quintessential, Leave it to Beaver, housewife.  Like June Cleaver, she ran “the show”.  And, “the show” was like that movie in 1963, “It’s a mad, mad, mad, world.”  As I look back on those years, I wonder how she did it.  I certainly did not make it easy for her and the stories I could tell, I think are better left untold.  Three different families and my high school friends, Ex’s business associates, and a French Poodle, who couldn’t speak a lick of French. 

Every morning, before school, I got oatmeal, eggs and bacon or sausage, grapefruit, toast and oj.  Ex taught at Wilmington High School, and by this time, his father was living with us.  We all ate breakfast at the same time.  After school, Mom was always at home and had supper ready by 6:30pm, and we all sat and ate together. 

During the spring and summer, I played baseball, and she was at most of my games, along with her dad, Dr. Schramm, who had been the coach of a semi-pro team, and my father, Bob, who had been a pitcher in the minor leagues.  Baseball was always a big thing in our family.  In 1964, my dad and I flew to New York to see the St. Louis Cardinals play the New York Yankees in the World Series.  Mom never hesitated to let me go.  She knew my dad and I had a strong bond and loved baseball.  We had a great time.  Later in life, my dad would become a Scout for the Cardinals.  His favorite player played for St. Louis; his name was Stan Musial.  My dad wanted to name me Stanley when I was born, but Mom would have none of that.  I was named after my grandfathers, Alfred (her dad) and Matthew (Bob’s dad). 

In 67, Exley, Anna Mae and I went to the World’s Fair in Montreal, Canada, and stopped off at Niagara Falls.  This was the first time I’d ever been out of the United States, and it was kind of like a delayed honeymoon for them.  Mom turned 41 that year, I was 14, and Ex was 54 years old. 

During my high school years, 1967-1971, Anna Mae, Ex and I would spend the two-week Christmas break in Florida, at my grandparent’s retirement home.  Grandpa Schramm was a great outdoorsman.  He really enjoyed hunting and fishing.  He had taught me how to shoot a gun when I was a little boy.  During those two week breaks over the years, we would fish just about every lake in Central Florida. 

On Christmas Day, each year, we usually went to Daytona Beach, as temperatures were in the mid-70s.  You could still drive your car right on the beach in those days.  My mother loved to look for seashells.  We always came home with several shells, a few start fish, and a lot of Daytona Beach sand in the car – no charge for any of that back then. 

Anna Mae was always socially active.  The Travares, Florida Lions Club held BINGO every Saturday.  For several years, Anna Mae would cook the meals for the lunch break.  The crowd averaged about 80 people, as I recall.  She did this for about 5 years, from 2003-2008.  I would help her.  She planned the meals, bought the food, and we went in at 8am to cook the meal in the kitchen of the Lion’s Club.  Anna Mae was Travares Lion’s Club President in 2005, at the age of 78.  The club supported the Southeastern Guide Dogs for the Blind/Deaf Training Facility in Palmetto, FL.  She arranged programs for the Lion’s monthly meetings for the training facility to bring the puppies and demonstrate their skills.  She also made sure that the Club had a float in the 4th of July parade through downtown Travares, FL. 

From 1971, upon graduating from high school until 2000, I was gone from home, at college, then in the military, and then in private employment in Miami and Orlando.  During vacation time and military leaves, I would catch up with them in Ohio or Florida (they had built their own retirement home there in 1985). 

In 1986, I was stationed on the island of Guam in the South Pacific.  That is the only time, I recall, when Anna Mae was ever sick.  The found a large tumor in her uterus and she was in an Orlando hospital, she called me the night before surgery to tell me about it.  The surgery went well, and the tumor was benign.  Mom was up ad around in a few days and never returned to the hospital again, until February 2020, for a week with an irregular heartbeat, and in July 2021, when she fell at home.  Her mother, Almeda, lived to be 98 and died in 1994, in her sleep.  They both outlived their husbands, their relatives and most of their friends.  Both were amazingly tough women of faith who worked hard and very seldom let anything get them down for any length of time. 

In 2000, Ex died at The Christ Hospital, at the age of 87.  I was working in Orlando at the time, and after the funeral, Anna Mae and I went back to Florida.  My dad, Bob Fife, moved to Florida and was living close by.  In September 2002, Bob died in Florida at the age of 77.  After his funeral, in Ohio, we again went back to Florida.  From 2002 to the summer of 2009, Anna Mae and I lived in Florida, fulltime.  All of her friends and activities were in Florida and my job was there.  During those years, we had a property manager for all of the Ohio properties. 

We attended First Baptist Church, Travares, all the years we were in Florida.  It was in late 2005 that I retired from my job and Ana Mae became President of the Lions Club in 2007.  By 2009, problems began to show up in the rental properties.  We came home that summer, as the properties needed a lot of repairs.  We had to get rid of our property manager.  We went back to Florida in October of that year; we never lived full-time in Florida after that.  Each year, we returned to Ohio for the summer to manage the properties.  From the summer of 2009 – 2020, we both worked very hard.  We had 8 rental properties in Wilmington and the one home, in Florida. 

From mid-April to mid-October, I would work on repairing the properties.  Mom would keep the books and prepare the taxes.  We had two dogs, and in late October, we would all go to Florida, where I would work on that property for 6 moths and help Anna Mae cook meals on Saturdays at the Lions Club.  I took Anna Mae to all her social functions in Orlando, at the church, and to her doctor appointments.  I took the dogs to the numerous dog trails in the area and to the vet. 

Anna Mae liked to go to Golden Corral or Olive Garden frequently, for lunch.  We ate out a lot during those years; church supper Wednesdays before church, social clubs Anna Mae had participated in for years in Florida were always having annual formal dinners.  I sat through a number of those things. 

These were the great years for both of us.  My amazing mother told me what to do and we did it!  Amazing how well that worked!  By 2016, I began to see Mom slowing down a bit.  I ignored it at first, not wanting to admit it to myself.  She would ask me the same thing over, several times a day.  She no longer had an interest in attending Lion’s Club meetings, as she had so enjoyed them.  She could no longer do all the paperwork and taxes for the rental business, which she had done for Exley for 40 years.  Her doctor would tell me that she was not remembering things, so I began doing the record keeping and preparing the tax information.  We continued to go back and forth between Ohio and Florida, every six months, for the next three years.  IT was harder for her to make the trip, but she always wanted to have a change of scenery every 6 months.  Mom never complained the winters in Florida and the summers in Ohio. 

The summer of 2019 was one of much work for me.  Three properties had become vacant by May, all at the same time.  That had never happened before.  So, I went to work 6 days a week, 8-10 hours a day.  Anna Mae was requiring more care at home.  I was getting less sleep, as she would need help in the middle of the night.  By the first of September, all three properties were filled.  However, I was getting very tired and was trying to rest.  By mid-September of that year, I just collapsed and was exhausted.  Many of the members of the Community Christian Church and our neighbors helped both Anna Mae and me get through that period.  It took me 3 months at home, and a week’s stay as an inpatient in the hospital, to recover from that. 

By January 2020, Anna Mae and I decided to go back to Florida.  She needed dentures and a hearing aid.  Her doctors were in Florida.  I was not 100% but felt good enough to drive down; I needed a change of scenery myself. 

In February of 2020, I took Mom in for her regular physical exam and the doctor found that she had an irregular heartbeat, called A-Fib.  It was not an uncommon thing to occur in the elderly population and she had not noticed a problem.  Her doctor admitted her to the Orlando hospital that same day.  She was there for one week, they stabilized her heartbeat, and she came home.  She was doing great at home, in Florida, in just a few days and had home health care for a month.  During these three months, I went to work on our Florida house.  I knew it would have to be sold very soon, so I did whatever I could to prepare for that day.  We came back to Ohio in mid-March 2020.  Covid-19 was breaking out everywhere and we decided we would deal with that in Ohio, rather than Florida. 

I never really fully had recovered from the fatigue I experienced the year before, and it returned.  I was beginning to ignore Anna Mae.  I did not get her out as much as I should have.  I was not helping her get around the house as I should have.  On July 7, 2021, I had put her to bed about 7pm.  I was extremely tired and had to go to bed.  At about 11:30pm, she got up to go to the bathroom and I did not hear her.  She did this every evening about that time, she had a walker and was able to do this on her own.  On returning to her bedroom, instead of going straight down the hall, she got confused, turned right, and went down 5 flights of stairs, landing on her neck.  She fractured 3 cervical vertebrae, her left cheek bone, nose, left wrist, and one right rib.  Mom was unconscious when I got to her, which was about 15 seconds after coming out of a dead sleep.  She was bleeding profusely from her nose with bruises over most of her head and shoulders. 

Remember now, this was a 94-year-old woman with dementia.  I did not think she would survive the night with such trauma.  As we waited from the paramedics and she laid there on the floor, she looked like she had just one 3 rounds with George Foreman…and lost!  In a few minutes, she came to and asked me what happened.  I tried, several times, over the next few months, to explain it to her, but I don’t think she ever really understood.  She was flown to Miami Valley Hospital at 2:30am that morning and was in their trauma unit for 2.5 weeks.  It was after the hospital stay that she was transferred to Quaker Heights Rehab facility in Waynesville. 

Mother do so much every day to maintain a family.  Cleaning, washing, cooking, cab service, emergency medical directing, financial coordinating, raising children, raising a husband, and on and on it goes.  It can often seem like a thankless job and there are no retirement benefits.  In fact, there is no retirement.  Work seems to continue until the day God calls them home.  They are a very powerful force for the successful accomplishment of all God intended the family to be.  The husband is the head of the family, but it is often the Godly wife and mother who is the brains of the operation.  Any husband who does not seriously consider the wisdom of a Godly wife and mother is smart… for her price is far above rubies, the Bible says.  She has a God-given, maternally driven, love-empowered desire to make sure her family thrives for the Glory of God. 

This is the type of woman Anna Mae (Schramm, Fife, Wical) was to her family.  The greatest accomplishment of motherhood is raising her children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; instructing, guiding, exemplifying and providing a home environment that reveals the beauty and love of Jesus Christ.  The value of a home like that is beyond comprehension for the joy and well-being of everyone involved.  Children that reverence the authority of God in their lives and honors him in all they do will be the fruit-bearing result of this type of Mother.  That type of fruit will not die or rot but shall bring forth eternal richness that reveals the Glory of God wherever it is sown.  We give you praise Jehovah-God for mothers with backbone, stamina, determination and love for you, O God who give their lives to inculcate these values and character in their children when this world is a counterculture of agnosticism, blasphemy and irreverence for authority. 

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Sabina Cemetery
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Sabina, OH 45169

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