Each day, if we venture out of our homes, we meet a lot of people. Some of those people end up just as passersby while others stay in our lives and hearts forever. They can be friends, family, acquaintances, co-workers, business owners, school teachers and more. Then there are those special ones. You know the kind….they are few and far between however they are the ones who leave a big mark on your heart. This past week, one of those special people left us and now that mark on our hearts will become a hole for many.

In 1988, Martha and Perry Curtis purchased the popular Shiver’s Bar-B-Q when Perry, a produce broker, heard about the sale. The two rolled up their sleeves and jumped into it and as their children grew, so did their business. Daughter Cindy and son, Brent worked the business as teens and now Cindy and her husband, Michael Campbell, are running the business full time.

It is with a hole in my heart that I have to say that after a short but courageous battle with that word I detest, Cancer, Martha Curtis passed away this week.

Martha was the face of Shiver’s and this was truly where she shined. In life outside of the business, Martha was a very private person and loved tending to her animals which consisted of peacocks, raccoons, cats and dogs. Her one outgoing moment was when she was on an episode on Animal Planet years ago with her fifty raccoons. Martha rescued animals and her daughter Cindy stated, “My mom always picked the ones that no one else wanted. Her dog was returned three times and that’s the one she chose.” She continued, “She was always out for the underdog.”

At Shiver’s, Martha could be seen walking up and down the long row of picnic tables greeting the customers. In today’s day and age, she thought nothing of walking up behind a customer and caringly resting her arm on their shoulder and asking them how everything was. For regular customers, Martha would remember who was who in the family and would always ask how so and so was doing.

Children seemed to gravitate to Martha and her to them. Our first grandchild, Alex, thought the sun rose and set on Martha. He has been eating at Shiver’s since he was born (their rib bones are wonderful teethers) and the first thing he would do is give Martha a great big hug. Martha would caringly ask how school and soccer was and what was new. Martha would always have a special treat…anywhere from banana pudding to chocolate brownies whenever Alex finished his meal. As his sisters, cousins, friends, etc. came along, they became the object of Martha’s affection as well, but nothing could compare to the relationship Alex had with Martha.

When Alex heard that Martha was sick, the first thing he did was make her a card which we gave to her son-in-law for her. This week, Alex’s mom is trying to figure out how she is going to tell him that his good friend, Martha, went to heaven. This wonderful woman will be Alex’s first time dealing with death and I know she made a mark on his young heart. Alex is a very caring, sensitive eight-year-old and I also know there will be tears shed for Martha as I shed mine.

There are those people in life who you don’t have to see every day but when you do, they add that little kick to your life. Martha was that person….that person who touched our hearts and now……we have a hole where we tuck away the warm feelings, memories and goodness that she shared with us and will hold onto forever.

She will be missed…………

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