Timeless October/November 2021 - Page 15

ON THE COVER
“… It ’ s just really strange . We have always been together on weekends and holidays and all that . But it ’ s strange how we were brought together under these circumstances , in this way . She lost her mom and I thought I needed to be there for her . But in the long run , I think I am the one that needed her .”
Rachel Thrash
“ There was never any question – we went immediately ,” Thrash recalled . “ She needed us , so we knew we wanted to be there for her .”
Then in October , Rachel Thrash ’ s husband – and Nevaeh ’ s great-grandfather – passed away suddenly after experiencing an accident . Thrash suddenly was trying to navigate life without her husband of almost 36 years .
“ When she came to live with us , I never would have imagined that four weeks later , I would lose my husband ,” she said . “ It ’ s just really strange . We have always been together on weekends and holidays and all that . But it ’ s strange how we were brought together under these circumstances , in this way . She lost her mom and I thought I needed to be there for her . But in the long run , I think I am the one that needed her .”
Nevaeh definitely keeps Thrash , who runs an in-home daycare , moving . The seventh grader plays basketball , volleyball and softball at Clarkdale .
“ We are always doing something ,” Thrash said , laughing on a Sunday , as she was preparing to go grocery shopping and then to take Nevaeh to open gym time for volleyball .
Nevaeh also is interested in working out and healthy eating , pushing Thrash to get healthier , too .
“ I like to eat hamburgers and fries , but she tells me we don ’ t need to eat that ,” Thrash said , laughing . “ She wants me eating grilled chicken and vegetables and fruit . Those aren ’ t things I ’ ve ever eaten much , but I ’ m doing it for her .”
The two started walking together – slowly at first . They have now built up to walking 5 miles comfortably . As they walk , they spend time talking – or just being quiet together .
“ It ’ s turned into quality time for us ,” Thrash said . “ And it ’ s good for me because it ’ s healthier for me . I knew I needed to do something to become healthier and she is helping me to do it .” Thrash said she has been wowed by Nevaeh ’ s resilience and grit .
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“ I have learned a lot from her ,” she said . “ She has taught me a lot of patience . She has all the patience in the world , but I will get frustrated with things . She also is very kind-hearted . She understands other people . With my kids , I would get frustrated and tell them what we were going to do – wouldn ’ t really take the time to be patient and listen . But now , I think I take Nevaeh ’ s approach – she is more cool , calm and collected and so that works .”
When they aren ’ t at an athletic practice or game , the two can often be found at home , painting or baking . Sometimes , being in the room together working on their own art projects in silence can be a healing experience , Thrash said . Nevaeh ’ s cat , Marshmallow , also is a comfort .
Thrash said she misses her husband terribly and struggles mightily with her loss .
“ Sometimes I do feel tempted to just sit down – to quit ,” she said . “ But she keeps me going . She motivates me to take care of myself and to keep going . I am really thankful for that .”
Thrash said that sometimes , friends and acquaintances ask her why she does so much for a child that she was only related to through marriage .
“ People ask that all the time ,” she said . “ And after Austin died , I wanted to know if that would affect me being able to keep her . Some people assumed that when he passed , I wouldn ’ t keep her anymore , but it never occurred to me not to keep her . I always knew it was what I wanted to do .” Nevaeh said she is thankful for Thrash , too . “ She is caring and fun and loving – she is sweet ,” Nevaeh said . She said that while times have been tough , she feels hopeful about the future . “ Things are going pretty well ,” she said . “ I took up a bunch of hobbies and made a bunch of new friends – including friends who have had a loss . I have painting and baking and sports . We go to games , we have a bunch of cats . It ’ s pretty good .” T
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