Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sherry's Birthday

Sherry--Christmas 1953

Today is my sister in law, Sherry's birthday. She is 58. It is also the day of her husband Scott's visitation and tomorrow is his funeral. Sherry is such an incredible woman. I have learned so much from her in the 30 years I have known her. She was a single mother of 2 when I married Sweetheart. She owned her own "women's only" gym, and I worked for her for a while. We became very close. She fell in love and married a man whom she called "the love of her life". His name was Chris. He swept her off to Idaho to a log cabin in the middle of the wilderness. She loved her life there with her 2 children and Chris. After a few years they moved to Colorado. Sherry began a deep relationship with God during her time on the mountain. It is the same mountain she lives on now. Chris had a double wide modular home brought up to their 46 acres and they raised Sherry's 2 children, 2 more children they had together, an adopted daughter followed, and I can not begin to count the teenagers they fostered up on that mountain. I loved any trip Sherry, Chris and all the kids made back to Illinois. Sherry is 10 years older than me, and is the closest thing to a mentor I have had in regards to my relationship with God. She also showed me how to quilt...that was a story!!! Anyway, we saw them at least every other year and wrote long letters to each other. After 17 years of marriage, her and Chris were still more in love than any two newlyweds you would ever run across. They took a trip with another couple who owned a piper plane. It would be a second honeymoon. The 4 took the plane to a remote area in Canada and had the most glorious week imaginable. On that trip, Chris wrote a beautiful poem for Sherry called "Spirit". It spoke of the two of them being so connected that even when one died, their spirits would stay connected. Even death could not separate them. As that little 4 seater piper plane took off to come back home, it crashed into a forest of evergreen trees. Chris died.

Sherry's first 2 children were grown by then, but the younger 3 were still children. Pre-teens. Also, 3 or 4 teen foster children. Scott was there, a friend, when a friend was needed. He was friends with Sherry and Chris through the foster care association. Eventually they fell in love and married. Scott was understanding of Chris' memory in Sherry's heart. He had not been married before. He was a very kind and loving man, who spent the next 12 years taking care of and raising Chris's his own family. Scott had adopted a son already, who Sherry took as her own also. A very blended family. They had stopped taking foster children by this point.

Scott built them a house just above the modular home Chris built. Chris's house still stands, his son and son's wife live there now.

They decided to adopt another baby and 6 years ago they added a newborn boy to their family, which by now already had grandchildren. A few years later, another baby came along through adoption, and they were complete. Now all the children are grown except the two youngest that share Scott's surname, are home.

Sweetheart, Kyle and I took a trip out to see them in the summer of 2000. They moved into the new home while we were there.
Here is Sherry and her baby brother (Sweetheart) in her sewing room...a huge loft.

Sherry and me in her sewing room.

The 46 acre backyard is incredible.
They were very happy in that double wide module, but the new home was a gift of love, just as the first home was.
Scott loved Sherry very much. He was 12 years younger than her, but Sherry is so young looking, and acting that you would never have known it. She loosened him up a little bit, that is for sure!!! She would ask him "How much do you love me?" and he would say "42". That was a private code for infinity based off a Mel Brooks movie he loved.

Scott spent his last hours with his family. He was very peaceful...joking around and smiling alot. He prayed a blessing over each of his children, and grandchildren...all the children that came from Sherry. They were ALL there in the room with him. He told them, "I am going to set up a lamp post. It will be the brightest one there...when you come to heaven look for it. I will be waiting." He spent time one on one with each child and his closest friends. His joy had come back. As soon as Sherry told him he was going to die soon, the depression he had been feeling for months lifted and he came back to himself. He apologized that she would need to deal with arrangements on her birthday and told her to try not to. His family flew in and due to their schedule it could not be avoided. There were some wonderful, intimate, beautiful moments that Sherry shared with me. One of the most touching was after Scott passed away. Sherry picked up her cell phone and the number 42 had been punched in and was on the screen. He must have done it while she was not looking. That would be just like Scott.

(A healthy Scott napping in the shade during a family reunion 7 years ago.)

I can not tell her "Happy Birthday". That would seem inappropriate at this time. I will say, "I Love You". She knows you are praying and thinking of her and she appreciates it. God Bless you Sherry.


Su Bee said...

What a beautiful tribute, Bren. I hope she gets to read your thoughts. Clearly you are the sisters God meant for you to be.

Milah said...

This was a beautiful tribute to a special family. I'm praying for you all and I send my condolences.

Brenda said...

Such a lovely love story. She sounds like an incredible woman and he sounds like an incredible man.

Mrs. C said...

What a lovely tribute to your sister-in-love! Praying for her during this very difficult time.

Julie said...

A beautiful picture you painted, my friend. Remembering you and your family in my prayers!

Angela said...

Praying for everyone. This post made me cry happy and sad tears.

Solstitches said...

What a very moving story.
Sherry is a remarkable woman.
My thoughts and prayers are with your family at this very sad time.

NeeCee said...

What an incredible story about an incredible lady! Prayers being sent up for her now.