SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – Nearly 2,000 South Dakotas have lost their lives to COVID-19.
“No one is preparing you to be an adult orphan,” said Mary Schmidt.
Mary Schmidt of Huron had never expected to lose both parents so soon after. But that’s what happened when they both had COVID-19.
Schmidt’s mother, Mary Ann Fransen, died on December 17, and her father followed on January 6.
“He wasn’t happy without mom, then. We have long suspected that if she died first, he would soon follow. I didn’t know it would only be twenty days, but he did, ”Schmidt said.
Schmidt’s parents had lived with her since 2015.
“Their health started to decline in 2014 and then in 2015 we knew they just couldn’t be home alone anymore. I was working from home and mom didn’t want to go to assisted living, so they came to Huron to live with me and my family, ”Schmidt said.
Life without them has been a difficult adjustment.
“It was very difficult and having them in my house for five years, it’s very quiet here. So we’re trying to figure out what our new normal is, ”Schmidt said.
A new normal she hadn’t expected.