May 5, 2015

Nancy Bloxham passed away on Saturday, May 2nd. Nancy was my husband Ken’s older (by 16 years) sister. Nancy played a big role in raising Mr. Ken – as much or more than his parents. Kenny always called her his “Nanny” but I just called her “N.” N led a fairly simple life and one of her favorite things was to come and visit us for a few days. We’d always get a kick out of introducing her to some new food she’d never heard of. She was never much of a cook herself so she just loved watching me prep and cook. You would have thought I was a 3-star Michelin chef given the interest she showed. She would even follow me around taking pictures while I cooked. That used to annoy me but I got used to it and now I would love nothing more than to have her follow me around taking pictures. What I loved most about N was her pure, unconditional love for her little brother. She always accepted him just the way he was and she was so incredibly supportive of us – even when others weren’t. She just loved being around us and I am so very glad to have had her in our lives.

I found out about Nancy’s passing on Sunday evening when I called Kenny. Nancy was diagnosed with liver cancer a little over a year ago and was told she had three months at the time. But she did pretty well for a while. The last time I saw her in late 2014 she looked pretty good and she could still hug just as good as ever. She had not been doing well lately so the news was not a surprise. Still, the news hit me hard. Not only because she was gone but because I could not hold and comfort my husband. And right after Kenny broke the news to me, they announced a special count and I had to hang up and go back to my cube. I can’t remember the last time I felt so alone and helpless – if ever. I knew one of the hardest things about prison would be missing out on important events but I was just not prepared for this. Kenny and I just have to do the best we can.

I’ll miss you N and the birthday cards you sent me every year. I’ll miss making you laugh so hard you snorted. You were my best audience! Thanks for loving me and loving us. It was the greatest gift you could have given us!

David Applegate


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