It’s that magical time of year where the fairies who hate sleep rob us of an hour. Once I get over the gravity of this situation, I rejoice in the longer evening light. Sorry mothers trying to get your kids to bed early… I will try to rejoice in private.
I would be remiss if I didn’t pay tribute to the extended family members who have made their final heavenly journey over the last few weeks. First, an uncle, Scott Nickell a week or two back. Although, I didn’t spend near enough time getting to know him on this Earth, I do remember what a teddy bear of a man he was and how he always made me feel welcome and at home when I was in his presence. That is not an easy thing to do when you have a socially-awkward chic with a stick up her rumpus… but he was so good at that. His family and friends have been temporarily separated from a great man. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with them that they are able to find peace and comfort during this difficult time of waiting to see him once again… but the next time will be on the other side of the veil and with a lot tastier chocolate!
The second loss was just this morning, a sweet cousin, Brenda Hillman Sewell. A strong, fighter of a woman who battled and beat cancer three times before her big heart gave out. There is one shared story I have always remembered. When I was a kid, couldn’t have been more than 5 or 6, during my rebellious years of lying to police officers about stranger danger and getting into brawls with 50-pound turkeys, a 20-something Brenda and her brother Kevin were charged with watching my sister and I for a day. I don’t remember the circumstances as to why they had to watch us, but I do remember the day. They went out of their way to plan fun activities, shuttling us around in an oversized Crown Victoria from the 70s (or at least one that looked as big as that boat was in the 70s). One of our stops was to McDonald’s drive-through for an ice cream cone. My sister and I were giddy like the wind at the prospect of getting an ice cream cone at the Mickey-Ds. We didn’t get out much on account of the fact I was grounded so often… you know… for lying to police officers and the like. Ice cream cone in hand, that boat of a car pulled out onto the busy Main Street and we jetted on down the road to our next fun-cation.
On her side of the car, Lindsay had her window rolled down and was busy sticking her hand out the window pretending she could fly. This was in the 80s long before there were booster seats and required seatbelt usage… you know… back in the days where no one cared if you slammed your head into the dashboard during an abrupt stop. Concussions for everyone! I was jealous of Lindsay’s rolled-down-window, so went about trying to roll down my side. Turns out, the window roller on my side was either nonexistent or it was existent and I was too stupid to tell the difference between the window roller downer and the car door opener, so I chose the car door opener and swung my door wide open. I then, of course, freaked out… did not attempt to close the door, but instead curled up into a ball on the floor while Kevin and Brenda were freaking out in the front seat trying to figure a way to pull over on a busy street to close the door so that they didn’t kill me on their watch. Brenda was understandably shaken and I got a talking to… but then I remember her taking me in her arms as tears streamed down my cheeks and making me feel safe. This was before she was a mother… and I knew then she’d make a great one.
Big hugs and prayers and thoughts and love to you, Hillman and Sewell families and all of the many friends and relations that were touched just by knowing Brenda. God only takes the best ones way too soon. I can imagine the reunion she was able to have with her sweet mother was a glorious day for the both of them.