Terri Bridges, 1970-2023.

While a few close friends have known about this, I held off from saying anything to a wider audience until her family had a chance to notify everyone they wanted to contact. With that accomplished, I can now share that my sister, Terri Bridges, passed away unexpectedly last week.

I’ve spent most of the time since that awful morning phone call from her husband, Scott, in a bit of a mental whirlwind. My first thoughts are of course for him and their daughter, Lindsey, an amazing young woman who’s just completed her sophomore year at college. They are a tremendously close family and knowing how devastating this is for them has helped me keep my own feelings in check. There are also all of Terri’s extended family members and friends, for whom this likewise is an enormous shock. My thoughts are with them, as well.

Unlike me, Terri chose to stay closer to home in Tampa after graduating high school. This ended up working out to her supreme benefit, as after a few tumultuous years she eventually crossed paths with Scott and her whole life changed for the better. To say he was a positive influence on her is a criminal understatement. He brought out the best aspects of her in so many ways — far more than I can easily articulate here — and I’d like to think she helped him open up and enjoy life a bit more than he might otherwise have done. Then Lindsey came along and the deal was sealed. This trio is a wonderful extension of both the Ward and Bridges clans. Later, Terri went back to school, got her degree, and took additional classes to learn things for the sheer fun of it. She took up cooking as something of a hobby-slash-obsession, and she even told me she planned to test all the recipes from the Jurassic World cookbook I helped write last year.

The two of us with Mom – Hawai’i, December 1970

Though I’d had a falling out with our father — a rift which only widened and worsened after our mother’s passing — Terri and I always had a solid relationship, and the older we both got the stronger that relationship became. When Michi and I had our kids, I’d call Terri for advice about this or that, and we’d end up chatting about silly things for a while. Our talks increased after our mother died, and again when our father passed. Still, we didn’t talk as much as we could have, and we definitely didn’t see as much of one another as we both wanted. The biggest obstacle always seemed to be the distance between us and the time needed for a trip we all could enjoy. After our mother passed, our families took a Disney cruise later that year, and we decided we wanted to do things of that sort again as time and other factors allowed.

That will always be my greatest regret. We would talk and make tentative plans about getting together, but something always got in the way as can happen when you have kids and things to do during the summer, or work and deadlines loomed, or the money you thought was allotted for that vacation was needed to take care of something around the house, or any of a hundred other things which at the time at least seemed important. Sooner or later, we’d get to it, right?

March 19, 2022: The last time Terri and I were together.

It’s simply not fair that someone as bright and happy as my sister left us far too soon. On the other hand, I know she missed our mother terribly and believed they’d one day be reunited. I’m not at all religious or spiritual, myself, but for their sakes I’d be okay if this was a real thing that happened.

Rest easy, Terri. We love you.

20 thoughts on “Terri Bridges, 1970-2023.

  1. I’m very sorry, Dayton. I hope she and your Mom are reunited, and that one day in the far, far future you will be as well – and the same for her husband and daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dayton, I spent the day hiking in the mountains where I spread my mom’s ashes. Today is the one year anniversary of her death. Been a brutal but cathartic day. You and your family are in my thoughts and have my sympathy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry for your loss! I can’t imagine losing a sibling, and I’m thinking of you and your family. She sounded like a wonderful person.


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