Stolen laptop holds precious memories

May 16, 2008 3:23:42 PM PDT
Ajax Auto Glass in Southwest Philadelphia is kept busy replacing busted car windows. In one case, the culprit broke into Nakia Beverly-Brown's Sonata while she was at the Francis Funeral Home on 52nd & Whitby, making arrangements to bury her mom. "I was there for 5 minutes and someone broke into my window and my book bag with my laptop was gone," she said.

Nakia's mother, Doris Beverly, died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 52, two days before Mother's Day. In this digital age, Nakia's silver Dell Inspiron laptop held all but a few pictures she has of her mom.

"My mother was supposed to come up for Mothers Day weekend," Nakia recalled. "We were supposed to sing a duet in church and go to breakfast or brunch and everything."

31-year-old Nakia recently moved from West Philadelphia to upstate New York. She learned her mother died when, unable to reach her by phone, she sent church members to check on her. The grieving only child immediately left her law firm receptionist job and drove home with her husband to lay her mom to rest. She's still in a fog.

"I normally would never leave my backpack in the back seat... But I just... You know i'm not thinking right."

At this point, Nakia doesn't care if the laptop is returned. She hopes to get her hands on the hard drive. As well as the photos, it's holding music and a power point video presentation about her mom she planned to play at her mother's memorial service this Saturday.

Beverly-Brown said, "We sang in the praise and worship team together. We did duets. We worked together, and with teaching people harmonies and everything."

Nakia and her mom were best friends. They were gospel singing partners who called themselves "blessing buddies." When her mom recently recorded her first original song, Nakia sang backup.

When Nakia's husband assured her they'd get a new laptop after the break in, she responded from a spiritual place her mom has nurtured since birth.

"What she said was, 'no,' " he recalled. " 'I'm going to pray for a miracle, and we're going to get it back.' After that I said nothing else. I don't think anything else needed to be said."