"There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature." Jane Austen. Northanger Abbey
No, it is not my nature, and it was not Barbara's nature.
Funny how friendships begin: ours began in 1975. Don & Barbara had their house on the market for sale. I was showing clients a house in the area and we saw the sign in front of their property. I did not have an appointment but my clients wanted to see it so I went to the door and knocked. (This was WAY before having cell phones.) Don came to the door and the answer was, "We're in the kitchen in the middle of canning beans, but if you can overlook the mess come on in."
I apparently made an impression on them, even though my clients did not purchase their house, and Don later called me and wanted me to list a 2 1/2 acre lot they owned.
Thus began a friendship that remains unto this day. By July, 1976, after Mickey & I opened our own small JJ Realty Don obtained his license and worked part-time for us.
In 1984 we moved to Albuquerque. There were a few telephone calls and on Marc's 16th birthday, in August,1985, Don, Barbara, daughter Sabrina, and son Victor, were there. This trip for them also included a ride in our hot-air balloon, Suzy Blue. Although we had to sort of "trick" Barb to get in...but she loved it!!!!
This friendship endured with our move to NM and back to Tulsa, their moves to Houston, and then Springfield, Mo, and back to Tulsa. We visited them in Houston and we visited them several time in Springfield.
In 2000 we took a trip to Canada: us in our 5th wheel and them in their motorhome. It was great. We would travel a ways together, then we'd part for a few days, or a week, and then we'd hook up together again. Our time with them covered August & September.
The highlight of that trip was Nova Scotia.Here they are at our most northern point, Meat Cove on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.
All of the trip was fantastic but the highlight was at Pictou, Birthplace of New Scotland, where we "stumbled" on the launching of the exact replica of the Ship Hector that had brought those first Scotts to North America on September 15, 1773.
I had been told, before we left on this trip, to be sure to see a Tattoo: a Scottish production of bagpipes, dancers and marching bands, etc. This event was part of the celebration but it was raining literally cats & dogs. We didn't care!! We sat under our umbrella's and enjoyed every second of this fantastic, one of a kind show. Our clothes were literally so soaked we had to wring them out when we got back to our campers that night.
This picture was taken at Ron & Doty's, some other friends that bought our Dodge 1 Ton Truck after we parked the RV in 2005. I choose this picture of Mickey & Barb because they had a running game of picking on each other. They both loved it!!!
This picture was taken as the 8 of us: Don & Barb, Jack & Mary, Ron & Doty, Mickey & I were celebrating Don's 72nd birthday September, 2010. The reason this picture is so significant is we had just learned the evening before, September 29th, that our beloved daughter, Suzette, had lung cancer. This group of friends were the first to be told that night. Believe me, they were with us every step of the way during that 7 month battle and at Suzette's memorial.
Got these out of order. This is at Ron's big 70th birthday bash in 2008. Don & Barb, like Mickey & I, were always together so I don't have many single pictures of just Barb.
September, 2011 when my forever friend from New Mexico, Joan & her husband Jim, visited us. We took them out for steaks and invited Don & Barb to join us. They had met Joan while on that visit to NM in 1985.
This is an earlier picture of them in their Owasso home before they moved to Houston. They loved each other dearly and were always smiling.
Last picture I choose was this one from that trip to Canada. Not even sure where we were but we were touring an old town with replica's. This one is so perfect because besides being a wonderful wife, mom, grandma, sister, and friend, Barbara was a teacher for some 32 years. She was named Teacher of the Year before her retirement when they made their move to Houston.
This one is so perfect for us because Barbara is chiding Mickey and I am acting out.
What I have shown here is all the fun times but Don & Barbara were those friends we shared EVERYTHING with and together. We've had a lot of laughs but we've also shed tears together and all our joys and problems. We all love the Lord and a lot of the things we did together were Church programs and singings. One thing I am so grateful for is after Mickey & I quit traveling and resettled in Coweta the 4 of us would hold hands and pray together before we would leave each time we were together.
The last time we saw Barb was on Friday night, July 19th, when the 4 of us celebrated Ron's 75th birthday at their motorhome clubhouse in Flint Ridge. Mary was not with us because she had prior plans. After the party we also met their son Victor for a few brief minutes to make a delivery from Don to him. We were sitting in Don's car and Victor was standing outside the window and open doors talking and visiting with us. Just as we were to leave Barbara said, "I'm getting out to give you a hug. I can't be this close and not hug you." She did!!!!
On Wednesday evening, July 25th, at 8:30 we came in from church to a message on our recorder: "Hi this is Don. I'm at St. Francis. Barbara had a stroke about 6:30 and they brought her here by ambulance. I have not seen her since." Mickey & I took one look at each other and said, "We've going". We did, and were there with Don, Sabrina and her husband Chon just as they got the horrible news that Barbara could not survive. We remained until her sister and brother-in-law, and Sabrina's childhood friend of 40 years arrived. We waited for Barbara to be moved from emergency to her room. We said our final "good-bye's" and I KNOW she heard us. Mickey told her to tell Suzette hi because she was going to get to see her before we got to. I told her what a wonderful friend she had been. We left at midnight.
When Mickey, Marc & I arrived at the hospital the next day around 12:30 we were told by a nurse. Barbara meet her LORD & SAVIOR that morning around 10:45.
Mickey & son Marc were honored to serve as Pall Bearers at the beautiful service, attended by MANY family members and friends, Saturday, July 27th.
It's not "good-bye" Barb, it's "see ya soon"!
Now it's not 8 of us, but only 6, because Mary/we lost our beloved Jack just one year prior, July 21, 2012.
Friends - one of God's most precious gifts.