Jill Bailey Heckman
In the year 2000, God gave me one of the greatest gifts in my life………another sister. Even though we lived over 600 miles away from each other, we developed a connection and bond that will forever remain close to my heart.
Jill was larger than life itself. The number of people she touched in her life was abundant and reached all walks of life. Even though she was a star athlete in softball at Park Hill and KU, it was her warmth and love that attracted others to her. She was a beautiful woman but her love for others was the reason why she was one of the top 3 Kindest Kansas Citians in 2017.
Jill’s priority were her children, Josie, Katie and Trey. If you were ever in her house, her walls and table were filled with pictures of her children. Her sayings to her children……HUG, HUG, KISS, KISS and LOVE YOU MORE are words I use today to her children, my own and others. Even though she just finished a round of rough chemo, she still would make it to their full days of multiple softball games. We would talk on the phone about each other’s children and whatever was going on in their lives and she never judged or offered advice……simply just love, understanding and support. One of the last text messages we exchanged was about her stepdaughter and my niece Amy. She wanted God to get Amy to where she needs to be. Well, God did and I know Jill is smiling ear to ear with pride over Amy’s success in life.
To say I miss her is an understatement. I miss her silly emojis she would send me… her telling me she is singing to God by her side and how awful He thought her voice was… the time she came home from the hospital and she stayed awake all night long talking because of the steroid medicine she was on… her goofy laugh… her faith in God and her ability to make others feel better even when she wasn’t. Her love and compassion will be forever etched in my heart. She wasn’t dealt a fair hand in life but you would never know that because her love for life and for others was the only thing that mattered to her.
My sister, my friend, my hero, my strength, my continued faith in God……that is Jill. I will always love you more.
Jill’s Sister In Law – Kathleen Winegardner