This was supposed to be “the year” for Tina Rieman.
Two big things were on her calendar involving each of her two children.
In May, her daughter, Emily Litten and husband Ross, were due to have a baby. It would be Tina’s first grandchild.
Then in July, the Ottawa mom’s son, Zach, would be taking a bride in Michigan. It was going to a big wedding — Tina’s husband, Richard, is from a family of 14; and Zach’s fiance, Sophie Bruck, was also from a large family. It had the makings of a great time — a legendary “Putnam County style wedding” going on the road to that state up north.
But enter the nasty word — coronavirus.
First it knocked Tina out of her job at Westwood Barbers in Lima, where she cuts hair.
No big deal, she told herself. Her first grandchild was on the way and there was also the wedding.
But the virus was just getting started.
Baby Oliver arrived on May 4 at 7 pounds and 14 ounces, but with him came a quarantine — no holding, hugging or rocking him from grandma was allowed.
“I was really looking forward to, you know, the first grandchild and there were no visitors allowed at St. Rita’s, period. So besides not only being able to hold him, we weren’t even allowed to even see him,” Tina said.
Emily admitted it was hard not to have Mom there to share the experience, “but we all knew it was best for the baby.”
Eventually Tina and Richard could see baby Oliver through a glass window. With the quarantine set for six weeks, however, they still have yet to hold him.
“I’m just counting down one week at a time,” Tina said. “It’s hard for me as a mother not being able to directly help my daughter with her baby. I’m finding ways though without actually being there … making meals, doing laundry, things like that.”
The virus monster wasn’t finished with the Rieman family, however.
About two weeks ago, with COVID-19 still out of control in Michigan, Zach and Sophie decided to delay their wedding a year. “With all the restrictions on people gathering, they thought it was best to delay. The vendors were good about canceling,” Tina said.
One thing Tina won’t do is complain about her family’s misfortune.
“I had my own hair done the other day and the lady I go to lost her mother in a nursing home. So many people are suffering and going through more than we are,” she said.
“Our family has been blessed. We have a healthy baby, a new grandchild, a new generation starting in our family. And our son? He’s found a fantastic new love.
“So in its own way, this year has been a blast.”
ROSES AND THORNS: The rose garden welcomes a teacher who had her students running to success.
Rose: To Pat Willoughby, the physical education teacher at St. Charles School in Lima who is retiring after 45 years. She trained St. Charles runners for all 36 years of the Positive Addiction 5K. To honor her dedication, faculty and former students are gathering at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the school to walk the route one last time with her.
Rose: To Angie Herzog, who always wears a smile and has been selected as this year’s Jefferson Award winner to represent the region in the national awards dinner in Washington D.C.
Rose: To the nearly 1,000 people who turned out last week in Fort Jennings to help with the search of a missing five-year-old boy.
Rose: To Teresa Maag of Leipsic, Jerry Hoersten of Delphos, and Don Hanf of Findlay. Each had their idea illustrated in the nationally syndicated comic strip “Pluggers.”
Rose: To William “Bill” King, who has been involved with veterans for about 40 years and says he “hopes to continue as long as I can.” The president of the Allen County Veterans Service Commission gave a Memorial Day address that was spot on.
Thorn: To state Rep. Jon Cross of Kenton, who texted he was “6-foot-4, 290 pounds and won’t be pushed around” after a legislative stance he took was questioned by another, much older lawmaker.
Thorn: To the Ohio State athletic department, which is doing away with the traditional paper football ticket and replacing it with mobile phone ticket.
PARTING SHOT: Anger is like steam; it can build up and eventually explode.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.