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Column: Remembering my friend, Nancy Brewer
Harris Blackwood
Harris Blackwood

I met Nancy Brewer when her husband, Bimbo, and I were working together on an afternoon radio show on WDUN. I was the operator of the control board and Bimbo was the host. We had never met, and he walked in one afternoon and we shortly became lifelong friends. 

We also found that we could talk to one another without saying a word. We just looked at each other and could start a fictional story.

One day, Bimbo told me that Nancy was blind. A medical treatment rendered her sightless and Bimbo would call her during breaks in the show to make sure she was all right.

Before she lost her sight, Nancy and Bimbo were the first couple to be married in the sanctuary at First Baptist Church. Years later, they attended another church before coming back to First Baptist. She told me that she was glad to be back because she had a mental image of the large auditorium and it was comforting to her.

As her sight went away, she taught herself to cook and do other household chores that you would think of as being done by only a sighted person.

A few years later, she had a baby girl, who would later give her two grandsons. Except for feeling their faces, she had never seen her offspring. 

That changed last Wednesday when the Lord called her to heaven.

She ironically died on the same day that Bimbo died six years ago. She had never seen her daughter or grandsons, but I must believe she saw them that night.

She was good natured about her visual challenge. I remember coming back to her seat after a performance of the Living Christmas Tree. She told me that she couldn’t see the tree, but she could see the colors. She loved it.

I think the past six years had been tough on her. Bimbo was her eyes and guide. 

I sat a few rows behind them one Sunday at church. If something was happening in the room, Bimbo had a way of whispering to her while making little noise. I enjoyed watching how they communicated.

When Bimbo died, I got a phone call at my office in Atlanta. I don’t think I’ve ever made that trip as quickly as I did that afternoon. I arrived at the hospital to find out he had died.

A few minutes later, Nancy arrived with her sister. I walked her in. “How’s he doing?” she asked me. “We’ll find out back here,” I replied.

She grabbed my forearm and I don’t know if she felt something or perhaps my voice sounded different, but she turned toward me and said, “He’s dead, isn’t he?” I didn’t lie. I just said, “Yes.” I think this was just an example of how God changes our sensory feelings when we lose another one.

Nancy had some health problems after Bimbo died, but I think losing him contributed to her passing. They were always a couple and you didn’t think of one without the other.

I don’t know if you just suddenly go to sleep and wake up in a body that no longer is plagued by health problems. Or it might be that Jesus meets you at the pearly gates and says, “Look out there, that’s Bimbo.” Suddenly, you can see again.

I don’t how you see things from heaven, but I believe that Nancy has seen her children here and her family up there. It’s a beautiful picture in my mind.


Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns publish weekly.