Dirge for Our Dear Brother “Ronnie” Hilton

By: Dr. Jacquelyn Simmons

Scripture: I’ve fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Hence forth, there is laid up for me, a crown of righteousness which the Lord the righteous judge shall give me at the day: and not for me only, but to all them also that love his appearing (2 Timothy 4:7-8).

Dear Brother, early Sunday morning, June 4, 2017, I awoke to find our sister, “Dena”, sitting by my bed with lowered head. After gathering my wits, I fearfully said, Ronnie? Her reply was a nod in agreement. Strangely enough, but not for God, family members in a distant city were preparing a birthday party on that same date for my two year old great-great granddaughter. I will always remember the day our mother told me and “Dena” to go meet the train on which our daddy worked in order for him to purchase us some shoes. She cautioned us against telling him of your birth because he would rush home instead. So, “Dena” and I waited until we were exiting the stores door and told him. We finally convinced him of our ability to keep the secret for that length of time and afterwards had difficulty keeping up with him because he almost out ran the bus on which we were to ride home. I think he was mostly excited to finally have a son after our mother had previously birthed three daughters.

I’ll also remember the day you wore the little hooded brown coat and pants I had purchased for you with funds I had earned while working after school and on weekends. You looked like a little brown teddy bear to me with only your beautiful eyes exposed which always seemed to register your true feelings about matters. After we were informed of your illness, I went into a tailspin which included prayer, prayers, and more prayers. Our baby sister, Julia (Registered Nurse), tried to warn us of its severity and kept softly saying, it doesn’t look good y’all. We believed her but kept hoping that for once, she was wrong. It’s obvious that as usual, she was correct. Because we all belong to God, he chose to carry you home for his purposes. However, his decision to do so is quite devastating to us.

You truly will be missed during our annual family reunion held here in Monroe each Thanksgiving Day at the home of our sister, “Dena” and husband, John. I hope that before your demise you came to grips with the fact that you did not sing “Precious Lord” at the church as requested and repeatedly promised to sing it on your return. Don’t worry, I sing it often here at home in remembrance of you. I feel that the scripture used as the text for this message describes you perfectly. You and wife, Jackie, worked tirelessly to distribute food to the needy in your church community and in other communities as well. Well brother, even though I was not present during the time you stepped into eternity, nor because of physical reasons able to attend your Home going services, I am praying that I will meet you on the other side of the Jordan River one day. I’ve been told that is the greatest reunion ever planned.
Love and miss you.

Your oldest sister, Tena
P.S. I brush my teeth daily! (Smile) See you in the morning, brother.