Thank you Brenda

By Melissa Robinson

This week The Henry County Times lost a writer, Henry County lost a friend, and the world lost a beautiful soul.

Brenda Nail DeLauder left this world on February 26 after a brave battle with cancer. Her obituary gives a brief postcard view into a life well-lived, into a woman who loved and was loved by many, detailing career highlights and church activities, but it was through her many written columns that she allowed the world to know her … as a daughter, a wife, a friend, a lover of nature and creatures great and small, and most importantly, as a child of God.

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Brenda first began writing for The Times in 2004 with a Religion page column and later added Opinion page columns. In addition to those she wrote a little series called “Letters from Home” in which she gave true accounts of her real life growing up in Henry County through fictional characters. But it was through her columns that Brenda let her readers in.

She wrote with such description and imagery, that you didn’t have to be sitting on her porch drinking morning coffee with her, because her words let you smell and taste the coffee, with the morning air filling your senses. You didn’t have to put your hands in the dirt she was turning over in her garden, because her anecdotes took you where you could feel the cold dirt under the layers of warm topsoil falling between your fingers. You didn’t have to miss a sunset, because Brenda watched it for you and then wrote in glorious detail about the bursts of orange, gold and pink filling the sky before the sun set for the day. She didn’t have to preach at you, but you received her soulful message loud and clear as she brought you full circle from her memories and experiences to her true motivation - to share her steadfast faith.

Brenda was a true writer, writing for the love of the art to share an important message. She made you feel like you were along for the ride with her. She took you to places you never knew, but wanted to go back to when she was through. She used humor and humility and authenticity to share her world with her readers, and to help bring them closer to God. To help us understand that this, whatever we call it, is bigger than ourselves.

So thank you Brenda Nail DeLauder. Thank you for so many joyful years of bringing readers into your world … for letting us walk the pasture with you and your beloved dog Bear; for inviting us on to your front porch to take in the fresh spring breeze while watching the birds; for letting us kneel beside you while you dig up the earth on the farm taking in the rich aroma of soil; and for opening your heart to your readers in order to share your deep, faithful journey with God. No platitudes, no pretense ... Just you … beautiful, thoughtful and genuine.

Brenda said it best when she wrote:

“God blessed me with a soft heart for critters, a listening ear for others, and eyes which love to take in glorious sights created by God…”

He certainly did. Thank you for sharing those blessings with us Brenda.