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This Christmas, In Memoriam: My Friend, Barbara.

My Mother-in-Law, Barbara, died at the end of May, this year.

This will be, at least for me, the first Christmas without her in 15 years. So, in her memory, I just wanted to post a little something personal about a remarkable woman, whom I came to love very much.

Barbara was the spunkiest of Italian ladies. Short in height, nails always done up, head held high whenever she walked. She had a rather sardonic wit about her, but, she always had a way of making it seem to be in the dearest of terms. She was also a rabid liberal, which made for some interesting, and funny, conversations.

She especially enjoyed the "simple" things: Sitting peacefully outside in "her spot", watching the birds flit between my feeders and the woods, always admiring the warm spring breeze passing through the honeysuckle and cedar.

She was also a chain smoker. I mean in the truest sense of the phrase. If ever there were invented a cigarette that would smoke for infinity, she would most assuredly have bought two of them. Ultimately, it was this vice that led to her death.

About a year after her husband died, my wife had asked if I would be willing to let Barbara move in with us. After some debate, I relented. We converted our garage to a self-sufficient room for her, as she never wanted to be a daily burden on us in any way. And I have to admit, she never was. She loved the room, the view of our backyard, the way the sun shined sharply into her space. I am so glad that we were able to give this to her and have her with us.

We learned Barbara had lung cancer at the beginning of this past May. She knew for almost a year. She had just gone through years of taking care of her ailing husband, so she did not seek treatment for herself, not wanting to become the same burden on us.

Two weeks after we found out she had cancer, she died.

She passed in her own way, how she wanted, and where she wanted. I am so very grateful for that.

I, thankfully, have not yet lost a parent, and hope that it will be a very long time before I do. With Barbara, I did not just lose a wonderful Mother-in-Law, but also a great friend.

Merry Christmas, Barbara.

We love and miss you.

Let this thread be a memorial to all those people we've lost and loved, and who will be in our thoughts and prayers this Christmas. Please feel free to include your own loved ones.


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Comments (7)

Thank you for sharing that ... (Below threshold)

Thank you for sharing that touching post. In memoriam for me would be my best freind James. He passed away today. He was surrounded by freinds and family who loved him very much. His passing was not sudden, but expected. We loved James very much and are glad he has finally slipped the surly bonds of earth. I'll miss him dearly.

My kid sister, who passed a... (Below threshold)

My kid sister, who passed away January 2nd of this year. I miss her. ww

My father-in-law Roy Jennin... (Below threshold)

My father-in-law Roy Jennings left us on December 2nd at the age of 83. A decorated WWII veteran. Tomorrow morning we'll be opening gifts he had already purchased for us which will be a little tough, but he's together again with his beloved wife Helen who passed away in 2006.

Thanks for opportunity to post this.

Barbara, the holidays won't... (Below threshold)
Pat Miller:

Barbara, the holidays won't be the same without you. You always made me laugh and were a sweet lady. Thank you for writing this, Shawn. I'd like to remember my father John, who died 27 years ago on Christmas night, my mother Marjorie, who followed him two years later, and my two sisters, Susan and Mary. They all left this world too soon and I miss them.

I have two parents to remem... (Below threshold)
Bill George:

I have two parents to remember this Christmas.
I lost my mother in February, and I miss the Swiss colony cheese she sent us every year without fail.
In November, I lost my friend, and father in law.
I miss them both.


I lost both of my parents t... (Below threshold)
Ralph Rotten:

I lost both of my parents this year. My Father, also a decorated WWII hero, and my dear Mother who never met a stranger. They live on in my wonderful memories of a blessed childhood and family life.

My prayers are with all of... (Below threshold)

My prayers are with all of you, and your friends/family.

They are very much loved and missed.
My mother-in-law and mom were beautiful people and are with them as well.

Thanks Shawn






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