Us Heughliots are great at tickling your funny bone. We know. You have told us. We are also good at making you think. We know. We have offended you.
Today, we are going to maybe make you think about those who have left this world a little earlier than you wanted them to.
4 years ago today. I received an unexpected message. Brig, my Original Outlander partner in crime, died. She…just…was….gone.
I hadn’t spoken to her for a long time. Regret. Guilt. Both set in. So…I go through my very own mental stones. The stones of my heart. To the moments we shared.
This is where I smile.
Brig & I.
Discovering Outlander together. Devouring the books. Brig called me laughing one night saying “I can’t believe what I did, I told Tom I was sick, put the book under my sweater (it probably had flowers on it…I loved her sweaters) and went to bed to read.” This was SO funny because really, you never met a more pragmatic woman…as Brig. She was GERMAN. Very German. She taught me so much about life.
We would go for coffee at the local Timmie’s in Pembroke, Ont. This is when they had a smoking FishBowl built in. We would smoke & drink coffee after coffee. Don’t judge eh? The ventilation was awesome I tell ya! *cough* This was a looooooong time ago!
We talked Jamie. We talked Claire. We talked the diabolical mind that was Diana Gabaldon & what it would be like to meet her one day. (The day I finally did. I thought of Brig…and she was gone.) Brig was so enamored with Jamie & she was the first of us to bring up the chance of a movie. The more discussion we had on the subject…we came to the conclusion. A movie would NEVER do. They would have to make a TV series out of this but boy would what we knew of TV have to change. Brig said boobs on TV would happen. Men pay for porn why not people paying for TV? She was a smart woman. Telling the future and shit. She was a witchy woman. Her hubby called ME Dragon Lady but his own wife – she was the scary one! Another reason I loved her so much. She was always thinking out of the box with me. She never called me crazy when I did it. O.k. She DID call me crazy but ran right along with me! Ok…she walked, we didn’t like running…it made us breath heavy – could have been all the smoking back then. The things you you do when your young…*shake my head*
When we talked about Jamie, we were pretty singular in our thinking. There was NO ONE that could play the part. O.K. There was but we hadn’t met him yet. 1st- He had to be a theatrically trained actor. HAD to. No one else could possible catch those nuances. No one. 2nd- He had to be a Scot. Not to be able to do the accent but to be able to get to the heart of Jamie. C’mon, you know it as well as we do, an Englishman or an American could NOT capture the heart of who Jamie is…get that connection. Nope…can’t ever convince me. Jamie is not just a character. Brig used to say Jamie IS the Highlands so if he comes to life only a Scot can dig into that. It always made sense to me. 3rd- He couldn’t be a big star. Why? Because people had to be able to see him become Jamie. Not see whatever other roles he had played over shadow this one.
You know what else I think of when I think of Brig? Besides the fact that this woman passed away before ever seeing the EXACT version of her Jamie come to life?
She never got the chance to complain about it. She never got the chance to whine about inconsistencies in the show or pick it apart. Lily of the valley or Claire’s squished boobs – you know why? Because she passed away before her dream of seeing it become a reality came about. Not that she would have because she likely would have felt extraordinarily grateful for being alive to see the pictures come to fruition in front of her. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the fact that we have the right to complain, the ability to see nuances or just because we can…we forget…to be happy or grateful for what we have…that WE CAN – and to simply live in the light of that.
I hadn’t spoken to Brig for a couple of years before she died. I moved away from the place we lived, life got busy…you know. Life goes on. Until it doesn’t. And then we wish we could go back.
I know for a fact, if Brig didn’t die. Outlander, the TV show, would have been the thing that brought us back together…and that makes me so so sad. Every time I hear the opening credits, every time & I do mean everytime, I see Sam Heughan as Jamie…I think of Brig, I say to myself “Are you SEEING this?” I know she would go into “SQEEEE times 3” mode. Believe me, Brig was NOT the SQEEE kinda gal but for this…she would be shocking everyone in her life. We would be back on the phone laughing; like the years we didn’t talk, never happened. We would be sharing our memories like we WILLED these moments to happen. She would have adored Caitriona Balfe. Strong women were her kryptonite. It was the one thing she strove for – to be sure her daughter was a strong woman, independent. Brig knew her parents loved her, and she loved them. Physical love however wasn’t a strong presence in her upbringing. She promised herself, her little girl wasn’t going to grow up like that. She was going to be hugged, loved & shown she was the most important person in this world & could do anything she wanted. I have seen that girl grow into a woman…and now a mother of a little girl that Brig didn’t get to hold.
Outlander would have brought me and Brig back to all of these things. We would be doing our form of Fangirling all over again. But we aren’t…because she’s not and it breaks my squeeing heart.
Brig wherever you are, it’s happening. I hope you can see it. I hope you can read over Diana’s shoulder to see what I can’t. I hope you can watch the filming, where I can’t.
You have a beautiful grand-daughter …
staring up at you. I hope she will grow up knowing her Glamma was one of the original Outlander Fangirls.
I hope you have a peaceful heavenly birthday. Blow out those candles Brig, you know…like the good old days.
SL Heughliot @Large
Before you ASSume that our time in our fishbowl is what caused Brigs death – it’s not, not even close.
BE KIND! Few things piss me off more than people saying someone “asked” to die because of behaviours or risks they take in life. It is THEIR life…THEIR risks. We all do take risks but it doesn’t mean we want to die. To hell with this foolishness that people deserve death because they took the skihill beyond their capabilities, or they became addicted to something, or they loved to hard, or they were sick…to hell with that. SO THERE.