Shared by John Schimandle on February 27, 2019

From my brother, Bill Schimandle

I was a friend of Wendy. I met her at Dr. Kosh's office, I think while I was trying to hold down my youngest son Justin for an injection. Randy, the office phlebotomist, had already broken off one needle in his butt, and Wendy as I recall came in to help. We struck up a conversation, which led to a discussion of her love of water-skiing, and we made a date for her to come up to Lake Clementine with my wife and kids to go skiing. We kept the date and it was a memorable weekend, full of fun and laughter. She talked about how she had broken up with her boyfriend and he left with his truck, and now she had a boat (Tickled Pink) but no vehicle to pull it. Well, I thought, this was just perfect, as my brother John had a tow vehicle but no boat, and was arguably a much better skier than I was. So eventually, I set up a blind date for Wendy and John to come out skiing, and they formed a bond which lasted many, many years. 

We all shared those years, years of kids growing up, of camping and skiing, of holiday seasons and family vacations. I did not see her as much after the illness and divorce from John, but we kept in touch and saw each other as we passed through towns on our way to other places.

When I heard the news of her death, I was shocked at the suddenness of it. She had not shared her sickness since the original diagnosis, and I had just received a sweet Christmas card from her indicating she had met someone new and was looking forward to coming up to Reno and riding the ATV's out at my ranch. She gave no indication that she was unwell, so I was caught very much by surprise at the news. I spent the afternoon crying because I was shocked to the core. When you lose someone that has been so close, it is almost unreal that you will never hear them again, never hug them again, and never share anything with them again. And also, it is a reminder of our mortality; that each of us is on a journey that will end in eternity. I was selfish in my thoughts; in that I did not want her journey to end for my sake. But having had a bit of time to reflect, I am privileged to have known her, to have spent so much time with her, and to have laughed and loved life together with her. The world will be a bit grayer and dimmer without her in it, and I will forever miss her. I was a friend of Wendy.

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