Today I mourn the loss of my only sister-in-law, Sherri Hilton. Only in her early 50s, this comes as a complete shock to the entire family. Her husband, Ken, is Bob’s only brother.
I know there will be amazing stories told at her funeral. How she was the Director of Communications working with the Governor of Mississippi, and spokeswoman for the State Office of the Treasury before that.
But long before she was famous for her government work, she was famous for being a gorgeous model, a popular TV news anchor, and for starting up the incredible multi-million-dollar home accent store, Persnickety: Home Accents with an Attitude in Madison, Mississippi. (She won the equivalent of an Oscar at a national awards ceremony for the best store of its kind.) Everything Sherri touched turned to gold. People will undoubtedly remember her incredible homes, her tasteful decorating, her incredible parties, and her endless hours volunteering for the community, especially for animals. Sherri was the go-to gal for anyone and everyone—relentlessly reliable, creative, and filled with energy.
But I will remember a sister-in-law who was also my friend. A woman who laughed easily and heartily, who shared countless asides with me, a woman who fed baby deer with a bottle, and wiped their butts when they lost their mamas. A woman who took on snakes, llamas, and whatever else wound up on her property. A woman whose five dogs were the loves of her life, after her devotion to her husband, Ken. A woman who loved her family dearly, and lost her own parents far too young. A woman who has been the caregiver for her husband after a near-fatal accident almost two years ago, and whose unending courage is an example to us all.
Sherri was blessed, and she was beautiful. But what I will remember is the Sherri inside that gorgeous package. That one was most beautiful of all. And every person who knew her was greatly blessed.