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.

Traditions at Christmas
Next up: Soylent Green