My Cousin the Movie Star
To see her you would think, wow she is pretty....what a smile (and she was always smiling). You would say, she is tall and statuesque and pretty enough to be a movie star, and she really was. Small parts but with famous people...in A Time to Kill and Worrydolls.... She was a news anchor in real life. She met heads of state, presidents, modeled for Bob Mackie, knew Casey Kasem, even the mayor of Mississippi posted a story of how sad he was to have lost Sherri so suddenly. She started the Mississippi Ark for animal rescue. She married a man 20 some years older than her and loved his kids like they were her own. She had taste and style and confidence, so she opened a decor/gift store and called it Persnikity in Madison MS. It was a total success and she sold it about 5 years later for millions more than she had invested, and they kept her on as a consultant. She told me she had to sell because her heart couldn't take all the go,go, go stress. How could one person so do much in her 55 years. I was blessed to be her cousin, to remember her as the little tag along baby cousin that wanted to do what ever I did. We played Barbies, had our own store in the garage,saved empty food boxes, made our own money and shopped(one being the clerk and one being the buyer). She was 2 the first time I ever saw her get mad. Our grandma, my mom and I were there to visit one night and it was Sherri Lynn's bed time. Aunt Mildred started getting her into her footy sleepers and Sherri wasn't ready to be shuffled off to bed and miss the company. She threw herself back on the floor and wasn't having any of my aunt's trying to zip her into her sleepers, but she did and won and picked Sherri up and took her down the hall kicking and crying, but she stayed in her crib and went to sleep. Another time when she was 5, she saw us from the window pull in to visit and came running up their stairs from the rec-room, slipped and smashed her face(teeth) into the metal top strip of the last step of carpet. When we walked in all we saw was Sherri covered with a mouth full of blood, no front tooth, crying her heart out and and wanting to still play. Instead my aunt put the tooth that had flown out of her mouth in a cup of milk and off they went to the dentist. They replanted the tooth and her smile was saved. She loved butter cookies. She loved being on swim team and excelled. We drove fast in her brother Jimmy's brand new 1966 black corvette, we sped across the Lake of the Ozarks in his speed boat, holding on for dear life. We went with our mother's to the French Riviera, stayed in Nice at the Negressco Hotel, swam in the Mediterranean Ocean. I watched her learn to drive at 16 even though I was petrified to do the same until I was 21. She was the first family member I told that I had gotten married(on the sly). All my family are dead now, there is no one to tell these stories to, and my kids have heard bits but as kids are, they have their own lives to live and remember, so here I am putting some of them down here, just because I wish I could tell someone who knew her.
I cannot begin to express how dead I feel inside that she no longer walks this same planet as I do. I am/was 4 years older, she gave so much, still had so much to do and give. I am blank as to knowing why....why her and not me?
Sherri Lynn Tate Hilton....my beautiful, strong, confident, creative, smart cousin...take care of Aunt Mildred, Uncle Woody, my mom, my brother, our grandparents, aunts, uncles...give them all hugs until I get there. Thank you for making my life brighter.
Death has come to visit me again. It has been a constant companion of mine since I was 5. It seems to remember to visit me every 2 years since then. Now at this age in my late 50's I have barely anyone left in my close family, I make no friends anymore, because Death never wants to share me very long with them.
Silly enough the other day I mentioned how my only brother had died 2 years ago, and how much I miss him.....the statement "2 years ago" never rang loud in my head, or set a red light off...I just didn't realize what I had said, until last night, when I was told that my cousin, the one I was raised with because we were the 2 youngest in the family, had died in her sleep, Nov 7/8. She was the closest thing I ever had to what having a sister was. But she was like a comet. She lit up a room, smiled the brightest smile, was a perfect daughter, married a much older man and never had children, but made his life wonderfully happy. She was a news anchor for NBC, she had bit parts in the movie "A Time To Kill" and had just done a bit part in a movie to come out called "Worrydolls"...she worked in the Treasury Dept. of the state of Mississippi, she had opened and run a store called Persnickity in MS. Everything she did, she loved and did well. Even dog rescues. But the other night, she went to sleep and just didn't wake up. She was the same age as when my mother died, 55. She flashed through life and burnt out quick as a wink. My first thought was to tell people in my family about her passing, but I have no one left. They are all gone now. There is such a hole in my heart, a feeling of numb nothingness. I have no one to relate old stories to, no one to ask..."hey who was it that did.....?" Nothing. Sherri died as we all wish to do, just go to sleep and not wake up, but it is so hard to handle when that person saying it wasn't that old and did so much. I knew she had a bad heart...she did too, so maybe that is why she crammed so much into the time she did have. A lesson to be learned and remembered, but now I know when Death comes again in a couple of years there aren't many to choose from here.
Thank you Sherri for being my cousin, and for all the memories we had.
I have lived a fairly long life, and have made many, many mistakes. But where I am now is a place I really never saw myself being, but I love it. I had to let someone have most of what we had achieved, that was of a monetary value,...gave most all of it to him so I could leave. I have possesions that are of sentimental worth, but the house, business, cars, furniture, etc...all were given to him & his mother. Decades were spent by both of us, trying to find some sort of "good" life. I don't think either one of us was really happy, at least I know I wasn't. I tried though, to tell myself it was good, tried to really believe it, but it wasn't real. That's ok though now. I don't remember much of it, it seems to fade more and more with time. It's only been a few years now but I don't think of it much anymore, like a switch got turned off. I am happy with my life, and all those in it. I enjoy my kids, and their kids, and am making new, happy memories. I have made so many new and good friends too, done things I only wondered about years ago, and am looking forward, always forward, never back. Sometimes the fading seems strange. How can 30 years seem to have not exsisted very much? Little blips once in a while, but never staying very long. It is ok though. Really ok, and I wish him the same too.
It has been one year today. A long, terribly lonely year without my brother. I miss him more than I could express in any words known. He is gone. Sometimes I think that is wrong. He could never be gone, not Storm, never Storm. He lived through almost drowning in Bear Creek in a flash flood. He lived through some of the worst battles of Viet Nam. He lived through being shot at as a Mohave Sheriff....and ended up shooting the shooter.
He was the one constant in my life. He had always been there. ALWAYS. Things were going to be ok somehow, because he was always there to tell me that. He was never Not my brother. Even when we were mad at each other, we talked. He checked in on me, wondered about me....concerned, he just loved me. He was honest to a fault sometimes. Said what he thought, even though it hurt me. But that was my brother. I never doubted that he loved me....the one man in my life that I knew loved me without conditions, but then we were blood. Son and daughter of the same mother and father. Same as same....same DNA, same genes. Connected without any words, just knowing I love him and he loved me forever. And now he is gone. My half is gone. I am in this alone now.
I realize he is fine. He is happy, laughing, well and healthy....in a wonderful place. I am just being selfish. It is me that hurts now, and how I wish I could hear him, talk to him, listen to all his stories again, even some about me when I was little that I didn't even know.
He was a wonderful brother. A father and husband too, who miss him dearly. We are all better off for having had him in our lives. That is why it is so hard to let him go, but I guess he had to.
This year would be the hardest, and now it is over. The years will start moving faster now, the hurt will soften but the missing piece of my heart will never grow back, and that's ok.
Thank you Storm for being a brother to me. I will miss and love you forever.
To act on impulse, not look back...leading you into familiar territory, yet still unknown. A new found connection, one to just enjoy, but if others knew, oh what hell there would be to pay on both sides.
A secret no one would have imagined, or many would want yet there it is....literally lying in wait.
Another Mother's Day has come and gone...the 32nd one from my mother dying 3 days before I was to celebrate my first one as a mother....Kind of put the brakes on it being a happy day for me for a long time. Until my own children told me I wasn't allowing them to make my day happy..That was never my intent, so I try to enjoy it for them...but the dark scar still lays deep. I wished so many times I would have had a mother's advise or input...even a place to go to think. But life took that safe harbor away just as I was starting out . I was on my own...trying to learn and do on the fly...not a good way to deal with life. I had a father that threw me away when I was 4...the only girl out of 4 kids. I mattered little to him. So I was set up to fail, and I did and did.
I am trying to learn from all this, so as it didn't happen only for a bad reason but to bring forth a solid, strong person from the flames of abandonment and worthlessness.
Each day is a struggle to move forward, but I try hard to.
Now it is after a second marriage that ended. He does not think I tried, but I tried hard, tried patience, tried to get him to talk, explain but I was just shut out. It brought back all the worthlessness and abandonment issues I had. I shut down, pulled inward..I couldn't deal with being thrown away again, he screamed at me that I was a waste...so I protected what little of me I had left...and left. My brother helped me get the divorce, but I have to pay every penny back to him...and now my brother tells me he has 4 months to live, but that the debt will not be forgiven...i owe his family he says...ok.
I gave everything to the ex...all the physical stuff...home, tractor, cars, trailer, furniture, electronics, Webber, land, business...on and on...and I asked for sentimental junk and alimony instead, thinking that was fair.
Of course he does not see it as such, and has never given me the monthly money that would help so much in my struggling life. I support our youngest son trying to help him through college...I pay his insurance, living, and was trying to save for him for the London Olympics he is going to. But then a daughter can't make her monthly house payment, 4 months in a row...so I pay that too...There is nothing left for me. But do I get help...no. I should have demanded that everything be sold and split 50 50...after all it was over 22 years of marriage...but I didn't want to add to his turmoil,....nobody cares about mine. But I didn't stand up for myself when I should have...Lesson Learned....Happy Mother's Day.
Previous PostsMy Cousin the Movie Star, posted November 10th, 2014
Death, Death, and more Death, posted November 9th, 2014
The Past Fades, posted April 10th, 2014, 1 comment
One Year, posted August 21st, 2013
The Secret, posted January 28th, 2013, 1 comment
My Life, posted May 14th, 2012, 2 comments
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