The other day I was recalling a funny story about Hilary to her best friend Clara. Hils was dropping me off at my middle school in Dana Point and decided to drive by the harbor on the way just for fun. She was always making boring things-- like trudging to school-- fun! Along we go by the boats and docks and all of the sudden she slams on the brakes and jumps out of the car and starts barking like a seal at the top of her lungs. I slowly get out and ask her what she’s doing. “I’m barking at that seal!” she yells and points. So I stare at the water then back at her and state in the monotone voice of a half-awake middle schooler: “That’s a rock.” She grows wide eyed and blinks. “Oh my GOSH! Get back in the car!” Needless to say it made my year and I loved teasing her about it for years to come.
Hilary was the biggest animal lover of all time and Clara reminded me the other day of the cormorant who attacked her while she was swimming laps far out in the ocean. The wild sea bird locked onto her delicate, but strong swimmer's hand like it was the best catch of the day. She grabbed the ravenous bird with her free hand and looked him straight in the eye and sternly spoke into his face: “Bad bird! Bad, bad, BAAAAADDDD bird!” And away he went.
There are millions of stories of Hilary that could be told and each one just brings the biggest smiles to our faces followed by tears of longing and appreciation. There was simply no one like her and she is sorely missed. Our comfort is that she is Home with Jesus and N and her beloved girl Flora-- finally free of years of pain and sorrow.
Since she hated all her pics of recent years and would likely rain down fire from heaven on anything published of her after 1980, I figure I’m safe posting a photo she LOVED of her beloved girl Wally-- Flora, Dewey, BooBear, Oogie, Scoobie etc. They were so connected and Wally went home only weeks before her Mom. True soul mates.
What a greeting she had two years ago on this very day: all her dogs lined up for the walk of a lifetime, her friends and family running up to welcome her Home, her beloved son outrunning them all to show his Mom around, and her Savior delighted to extend His hand to His good and faithful servant.
As we reflect on Hilary today and everyday, we are filled with awe and joy that the LORD could create such a special human being. There are not enough words to describe the blessing of Hilary and I know we all have precious memories and stories tucked in our hearts. She was SO full of life that her words, voice and presence sometimes still feel so near. It’s hard to believe she’s not in the other room and going to walk in and ask what we’re having for dinner.
If you want more stories and old school pics see last year’s one year post here.
In the meantime, we take this day to cry and rejoice in the most beautiful woman of God EVER!
HILARY PARNELL MARIE BURDICK DAGGETT
November 3, 1945-September 9, 2016
Beloved wife, mother, friend and lover of Jesus