Remembering A Life Well Lived

By Lori Ross | June 16th, 2014

BOOMER publisher Lori Ross remembers the life of her older sister, her No. 1 hero.

It’s been a long time ago and feels like it – 40 years ago, on June 17, 1974 – that I lost one of my favorite people. She was my childhood No. 1 hero, my older sister, Mary. She was 33. I was 19.


Mary lit up a room with her outgoing personality and laugh. The most obvious thing I loved about her was the fun I had just being with her. She enjoyed life through all her struggles. We went to a church carnival together just a week before her end. We had the best time.

We were a quieter family after her passing. She was the life of the party, after all, so there was a void without that person’s presence.

It was more than that, though.

Mary had my admiration for how she conducted her life.

She knew she wouldn’t live a long life, having terminal situations that should have taken her years earlier. She had so much suffering and discomfort, yet she wasn’t a complainer. She hid her illness from any not in her inner circle. I believe it was because she didn’t want to be pitied or have people feel uncomfortable about her situation. At her funeral, I remember a lady who told me how guilty she felt because she was always telling Mary about her own problems, never having a clue about what problems Mary had been dealing with all along.

She did the best with what she got in life. I think it was her method of staying “up.” She was never a victim. And she had every reason to be.


I can’t summarize all she taught me through her life, but my biggest “aha” moments came after her death.

The first lesson happened over time. I learned how resilient people are. Hers was my first permanent, significant loss. It was painful, and at first I felt I’d never get past that pain. Yet life does go on. In time, Mary resided in my heart and my family – and I healed. It taught me that whatever challenge I faced, that this time, too, shall pass.

The second was a belief that I would reconnect with her again. Trees cycle through birthing and dying each year, and that seems normal because we’ve experienced it. At her passing, my experience combined with emotion brought conviction that there is purpose behind the human capacity of love and interconnection, and that in a more mysterious cycle, we will reconnect again.

God be with you, Mary Schneble DeWeese. Until we meet again.

You’ll Be In My Heart


Come stop your crying

It will be all right

Just take my hand

Hold it tight

I will protect you

From all around you

I will be here

Don’t you cry

For one so small,

You seem so strong

My arms will hold you,

Keep you safe and warm

This bond between us

Can’t be broken

I will be here

Don’t you cry

‘Cause you’ll be in my heart

Yes, you’ll be in my heart

From this day on

Now and forever more

You’ll be in my heart

No matter what they say

You’ll be here in my heart, always …

Just look over your shoulder

Just look over your shoulder

Just look over your shoulder

I’ll be there always 

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