Photo by Marj Frew
(Grandpa Lloyd and Grandma Carolyn Schneider are surrounded by their daughter, Mrs. Gail Winter, and her second grade students at Martin Grade School. The students became honorary grandkids throughout the school year by sending letters and cards as Lloyd recovered from a tractor accident.)
By Marj Frew
“Hi kids!” As Mrs. Winter’s second grade class returned to their room last Wednesday afternoon, they were surprised by a special visitor waiting for them.
Their looks of puzzlement turned to excitement when they recognized the familiar cowboy hat that they had seen during the school year in the photos shared by their teacher of her dad, Lloyd Schneider.
The class has been writing to Grandpa Lloyd and his wife, Carolyn, or Grandma, since the beginning of the school year, when he was involved in a tractor accident on their ranch near Cody, Nebraska. After many months of rehabilitation and therapy, Grandpa Lloyd, and Grandma, walked down the hallway at the grade school to visit their new grandkids.
The letters and cards sent to him by the class were an inspiration during his recovery of many broken bones after the accident. He spent many days in the hospital in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, and is still in therapy for improving his walking skills.
“Those letters really helped me feel better,” Lloyd told the class, as they gathered close. “They were so special, that I knew I needed to get to Martin to meet my new grandkids before school ended.”
“It was so fun to read those little notes you wrote me,” he explained. “We were so impressed with your handwriting! I showed my cards and letters to every new nurse or doctor who came to my room.”
As the class listened to his stories, they had many good questions.
“How many bones did you break?”
“I broke 11 ribs, my shoulder, some of my back bones, and neck bones. Twenty-seven, altogether.”
“How old are you?”
“I am 82 now. I was two weeks away from being 82 when the accident happened.”
“Did you ride in a helicopter?”
“I did, but I didn’t remember it!”
“Do you still have the flowers we made for you?”
“I do! They are at our house somewhere.”
One observant student remarked, “Your bones must have healed fast!”
The Schneiders spent the remainder of their time with the class having special snacks, reader’s theater, singing, and math card games.
And hugs. Lots and lots of hugs!