To Barbara, With Love


Click either photo for Barbara’s tribute video.  (Change the tab from 720p to 360p for easier download.) Her family chose “Jackson” as her opening song because of her passionate love affair with her husband, Warren.  They did get married in a fever.  As you can see, Barbara was/is the beautiful sister. All four of us girls worked in the same restaurant, but not at the same time. Even though I waitressed almost 20 years after Barbara, people would always say, “Is Barbara your sister? She’s SO beautiful.”

I’m typing this from a motel room in Spearfish, SD, en route to the funeral of my sister, Barbara, in Missoula, MT.  She passed away on Thursday, May 16, 10 p.m.  My husband and I were packing the car for a trip to Spearfish for a family graduation and the wedding of a friend, when we received the news that she would not likely survive the week.  Over the years, her health had deteriorated to the point where we knew it would be only a matter of time.  The news allowed me to pack a few more clothes and today I’m ten hours closer to a new 20 hour destination. As usual, God’s timing was perfect.

As the youngest child of nine (eleven, if you count my siblings lost to miscarriage), I selfishly felt that I was given less than favorable odds of not having to watch my siblings leave earth — one-at-a-time. I’ve thought how much it will stink to be the last one standing — to struggle through life alone. Barbara is already the fourth (or sixth) to go.  I feel happy for Barbara and strangely peaceful.  After all, there are 101 Reasons to Celebrate.  This world isn’t the last stop of the journey.  It’s merely a training ground for the next adventure.

Lucky for the world, Barbara’s greatest accomplishments were the Barbarachildren, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren she left behind.  They are a living testament to her compassion, humor,  idiosyncrasies, curiosity, generosity, faith, hope, and love.  In light of that, I realize she hasn’t really left any of us alone.  The best of her remains — and will to the end of time.  We just need to appreciate what/who we have.

I’d better expand that Reasons to Celebrate list.

Thanks, Sis!  I love you!  See you tomorrow, in the faces of your progeny.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *