By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal
Sometimes, we must do things we never thought we would. Most certainly, that includes experiencing the death of a close friend’s child who’s pretty much grown up with your own.
This week, we celebrate the life of Mary Gardiner Tims, the daughter of my pal Pamela, sister to Clark and daughter to Otis.
MG was a vivacious, talented, flamboyant young woman who so often showed great kindness to the many people she came into contact with. She especially enjoyed affectionate play with Grandpup Bonnie, whom she dubbed her “god-dog.”
A nearly life-long actor, she felt things more deeply than most and rarely attempted to mask any of her energetic emotion.
Being around MG was like being caught up in a mighty river. Nothing was dull about this young woman.
Throughout her Tupelo growing up, she was front and center with local theatrical productions. Sometimes she was the star, at other times in more technical roles.
As a teenager, she was busy with high school activities and that constant come-and-go with friends. Pamela’s house was a veritable Grand Central Station, when it came to places for young folks to gather.
When it came time for college, she always had Ole Miss in her heart. Rooming her freshman year with my engineer-brain daughter had its challenges, but they came out of it, grew up and remained close friends eternally.
MG also went through some of life’s tough moments, like many of her age-peers.
Her parents divorced and their split-family atmospherics had its challenges for a long time.
MG also felt a chasmic loss when the love of her life courageously admitted he was gay. They stayed close friends, but we’ve always known it would be hard, if not impossible, for her to replace that bond.
Bless her, she may be best-known around the region’s restaurants for her dairy allergy, which often brought new challenges to even the most creative of chefs. Her dear mother became an expert at reading food-labels to avoid anything that could cause MG difficulties.
Through it all, as she struggled to find her life’s goals, she still brought a lot of sunshine to her family and others.
But the unexpected happens, even in the world of a young person arriving at adulthood’s door.
Just as she headed back to complete her college degree, existing health problems became so complicated that even our region’s finest medical care couldn’t save her.
This past weekend, as MG’s health declined, a regular group of women, myself included, held vigil especially with her mother and sister. “The Watchers,” I dubbed us.
We held onto hope that she would point her cute little nose into the wind and take flight.
So many kind people came by to express their concerns. Dozens of MG’s friends were among them, several from great distances to give her encouragement and then to say goodbye. The shared memories brought a lot of joy, where little existed.
MG liked my columns and I wish this one were about the stupidity of an ex-FoodTV personality. Instead, this one’s for you, kid.
I join the sea of folks who loved Mary Gardiner and know this world will not be the same without her.
PATSY R. BRUMFIELD writes a Thursday column. Contact her at (662) 678-1596 or firstname.lastname@example.org.