One evening in 1954 Billie Sicard resigned from life. No official announcement was made and no papers were signed. But still, she resigned. For all practical purposes, Billie decided to live no longer. Her spirit died in 1954; her body died in 1979.

On that evening in 1954, Billie's only reason to live left her. Her twelve-year-old son, George, died of a brain tumor. Little George's death left Billy prisoned inside a vacuum. She had been thirty-four when she had borne him. After her husband left, little George became her life. When he died, his death became hers.

She was well-to-do. Billie had lived on exclusive Sunset Island in Miami since 1937. After her death, the house went at an auctioned price of $226,000. Yet all this was immaterial to Billie. Her life had been her child.

They say that after George died in a New York City hospital, the body was brought to her home for a wake. After displaying the body for a day in the home of Mrs. Sicard, the funeral director came to remove it. She refused to let him. For several days she mourned behind locked doors before she gave the body up.

It had been nothing for Billie to go on a shopping spree and spend $100. on toys for George. In 1979 when her body was found, so were the toys, exactly as her son had left them. Nothing was packed, nothing moved. For twenty-five years Billie had roamed in a house full of toys with a heart full of memories. When the house was sold after her death, little George's Cub Scout uniform was still hanging in the downstairs coat closet. On the wall was a child's sketch of a choo-choo train drawn in red crayon. She had never washed it off. His Mickey Mouse slippers sat in the corner of his bedroom. In the garage sat a 1941 Packard, a gift she had given to little George on his tenth birthday.

When Billie resigned from life, she became a social recluse. Her yard became a jungle. Her home became a source of ghost stories and old wives' tales. She overate. She withdrew. She didn't care.

Billie resigned.

Her life stands as a quiet legacy to us all. Man must have something larger than death ... or death takes man.


* On The Anvil by Max Lucado

Oct 2018
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