Beverly Bigelow was one of my closest friends for more than twenty years. We met while working for Kissel Mortgage Co. She was one of the department supervisors while I was an accounting clerk. We remained friends through the years despite job changes and geographic moves.
One thing we had in common was that we were both single mothers struggling to raise our children with minimal finances. We dealt with public school issues, neither of us satisfied with the treatment our children received by the schools. We each chose different solutions but refused to settle for the education of our children.
The biggest difference between us is our personalities. Bev was quiet and soft-spoken and didn’t get into long discussions. I was the loud, long-winded one of the two of us. But Bev never complained and never tired of listening. She understood that people need to be heard. I always appreciated that about her. I was really hurting back then and few people who I knew wanted to hear the details but Bev understood.
Something not everyone knew about Bev was that she was more than a skilled computer programmer. Bev was a talented artist. I remember something she did once that truly amazed me. Bev drew a wall sized mural on her bedroom wall in her home of The Jetsons. That space age family looked as if they would jump off the wall and spring into action at any moment. I’ve only known one other person who was that artistically talented and I envied them both. Personally, I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler.
I began writing a few years ago and Bev always encouraged me in that. She even let me stay with her once so I could attend a writers’ conference when I couldn’t afford the hotel cost. A couple of years ago I finished my first book and decided to self publish it. I knew what I wanted for the cover art and I knew who I wanted to create that art, my friend Bev. I was so thrilled when she agreed to do it. We sat down together and I described what I wanted. The finished product was wonderful, even better than I had envisioned.
Beverly Bigelow was also a wonderful mother. She successfully raised three girls. I remember Heather as a teenager, just a little older than my son Chris. Both were going through their rebellious stage but both had reasons to rebel. And, both grew out of that rebellion and became successful in life. Heather finished high school and eventually went to college and got a degree in business and has a good job and is raising her three children who I know dearly loved their Grandma. Heather’s oldest son JT has worked tirelessly to help Bev maintain and take care of her big old house and the younger two children showered Bev with love whenever I saw them. Her daughter Brooke has become a successful business owner with her own bakery and her children also loved their Grandma dearly. Her youngest daughter Megan lived with Bev and worked right along side her to maintain their home. They took care of one another. Bev was truly blessed with her children and grandchildren.
All in all Bev Bigelow was a great friend, a wonderful mother, a skilled computer programmer and a talented artist. I count myself blessed to have called her friend.