Debbie Rintel is a minor character in the Meshalutian Trilogy novella Cursed is the Ground, part of The Gerosha Chronicles of Dozerfleet Comics. She is the wife of Earl Rintel, and mother of Jared and Alison Rintel.
Debbie Hannella married Earl Rintel in an earlier time when things in the world appeared to be looking up for both of them. They had their first child, Ally, not long after their marriage. However, Debbie's health began to fade. She developed a heart condition some time after giving birth to her second child: Jared. Her condition only got worse with time. At the age of 43, the 5’6” and 162-pound Debbie passed away from heart failure in a Denver hospital.
Debbie had always been a kind-hearted stay-at-home mom. The only thing she was ever really concerned over was Alison’s choice in friends. As Debbie’s heart grew weaker, her ability to steer her daughter straight weakened with it. Jared was the ever-innocent angel in the house, the total opposite of Ally in almost every way. And yet, he was often unhappy and mildly despairing. He would typically spend many a lonely day entertaining himself in his room. Debbie left a big impression on Jared.
Meshaluta’s curse was on the Rintel family, but Debbie knew of the curse only as a legend. She grows to feel helpless and unable to help her family as she gets sicker. Her feelings are only confirmed by her being trapped in the hospital. Her family’s true measure at that point depends on how well they can survive without her and without her moral insight reminders. She dies of heart failure in the hospital, convincing Earl to take the family religion more seriously and to do all in his power for the only surviving child—Jared, as well as the homeless Trisha that they befriend.
Little thought was put into Debbie as a character in her own right. Her basic purpose was to be more of a plot device than an actual character. She is the motivation for Earl to do what he does. Her absence from home due to her medical condition means that as Earl goes to work at the silver mine, the kids need to be watched. This situation ultimately drives the entire plot. One detail that was put into consideration with Debbie was that, in keeping with the tradition for other characters in Cursed is the Ground, she is a foil of her Louisiana counterpart: Eva. While Eva was the capable parent that could work and earn money while Rick was the sick and helpless one, the gender roles are reversed for the Colorado Rintels. She also has a problem with her heart, whereas Rick had a problem with his lungs.