I loved my time with Brenda. I know it was hard for her to accept help at first and she felt that she was imposing on us… but I always told her that I was the one that felt blessed… blessed to be with her and get to know her better. Blessed to help her. Blessed that being with her always put life back into perspective. Blessed to be part of the many women that love Brenda and Tom and their family… While I don’t always understand God’s plan, I hold tight in my faith that there is one and that it will make sense one day. I do know I have learned more about love and will miss most watching Tom and Brenda on their walks through the neighborhood. I believe this is God’s gift for all of us around them to learn from and pattern our lives after.
When I first started to come to Brenda’s, I cried a lot. It felt awkward and unfair to talk about anything light hearted. But that was not what she wanted, she was happiest when we just visited as friends and wanted to hear about life outside of her world. When her son, Matt spoke about the secrets that Brenda knew at her funeral, I smiled. She knew so many of mine, I could tell her anything and she would just smile. Yes. I did most of the talking and I know she liked to hear the details of my life, no matter how seemingly unimportant they were. We could only be sad for so long and then we talked and laughed and Brenda would smile. She remembered everything and would ask me the following week how things were… always keeping me in her prayers.
I loved pampering her and getting out a very warm, wet washcloth to lay on her face. The warmth felt good to her and then I would scrub her face a bit here and there as needed and put lotion on her. It was her day spa moment and she loved it. She looked radiant and I always told her that Tuesdays must be Tom’s favorite day of the week because he got to come home to a radiantly beautiful Brenda. She loved having her hands and arms lifted in the air and rubbed with lotion. I liked how she would roll her eyeballs once in a while and I knew what she was thinking and we would smile together.
Brenda loved treats. I would sneak her treats even after we were told to limit her food. I would ask if she wanted a chocolate covered nut or raisin and her eyes would light up with excitement. What is life without a treat from time to time? I don’t think I was the only one that did this though.
She liked to surprise her family with meaningful gifts at Christmas. One year we did Christmas ornaments, another time, pillows with Tom and Brenda’s handprints. I loved shopping for Tom when Brenda wanted to surprise him with a gift. We framed pictures of their family through the years and it was lovely to see them on the walls… to me it felt like they were surrounded by love. They still are and will always be surrounded by the memories, spirit and love of Brenda. We all will be and that brings me joy.