Tonight I received some sad news about someone I have great love and admiration for as a human being. Her name is Barbara. I met her as my former landlord, but to just call her that is an injustice to the true friendship we developed. Anyone who knew Barbara and I together knew that we’d end up talking for over an hour easily! And most times I went up to let her know I watered the lawn already. Those simple run up the stairs turned into talks about politics, family, religion, the law of attraction, or dogs! It got to the point that I’d avoid running up the stairs if I knew I had someone where to be. It wasn’t easy to just “relay info” because it always turned into more meaningful conversations. Barbara and I had our sticking points as most people do. The most famous was when I first moved in and she came marching down the stairs accusing my friends and I of smoking pot. I informed her that I don’t smoke pot, not my thing and as quickly as she accused, she came right back down to make a heartfelt sincere apology. That was Barbara. She’d impulsively act, and always sincerely retract. At times, it got to me but you learn about people. And when you learn you find love bridges the gaps because we’re all on this journey together. The conversations Barbara and I had kept us outside swatting at the mosquitoes that would dive bomb us at the sun set, and we’d take it inside. That is how much we enjoyed our talks. Those talks are in my heart. I find her life fascinating. And from her experiences, views and outlooks I have learned and gained insight. I have grown from knowing Barbara.
The greatest of Barbara is in her strength to care for her family. The reason I moved out was because she needed to convert the upstairs into a home for her daughter who had a stroke in her late teens which left her paralyzed and in a wheelchair. Barbara has dedicated her life to taking care of her daughter. And despite this challenge her daughter was able to have a child, a home and a husband. But the marriage didn’t work out and so she moved in upstairs at Barbara’s house and Barbara took the downstairs, which was where I lived.
For the three and a half years I lived there I watched Barbara work long hours, come home, and go to her daughter’s house to help with things. Day in and day out this has been Barbara’s routines. She would take her daughter and her daughter’s son on vacation, to shows, you name it. She gave her life to her.
Her dedication has been an inspiration of love. I have learned a lot from her strength. And tonight, I received an e-mail from Barbara informing me she has a new battle. She has been diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. A very brief description of the disease is that something is attacking her nerves and destroying them at the neuron level. The disease is progressive, has no cure, and the time line is very unique to each patient, so it is impossible to know how fast or slow the progression will be, or exactly which symptoms she will have when, but I do know it appears to be happening fast. She now needs to walk with the assistance of a walker, and is being fitted for an electric wheelchair. Her symptoms started in January and 5 months later she can’t walk on her own.
I know Barbara she is a tough lady. She was in the military, widowed, has an adult daughter she takes care of, and now she has her own battle. If I could explain to you the remarkable life this woman has had and the stories she has shared with me, you might know why this has hit me hard, but I assure you she will handle this with grace and from it she will grow leaps and bounds.
The blessing in all of this is that the disease will not affect her mentally. She will still be the same Barbara inside, thankfully. I share this in hopes that you might know a little bit about Barbara and from this keep her in your thoughts and prayers.
This will be a challenge for her and her family. I plan on stopping by there tomorrow night and offering any help I can since I will be 10 minutes down the road, but for anyone reading this could you take on minute right now and pray form strength and guidance for Barbara and her family, it would mean a lot.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and opening your hearts and mind to someone who has given so much, it is her time to now receive the same love and dedication.
Many blessings of love, light, and serenity to you, Barbara. I love you and you are in my heart. God bless.
More info about ALS: http://www.alsa.org/about-als/what-is-als.html