On May 15, 2015, I lost my best friend . . . my husband, my confidant, my true love for nearly forty years.
Even after he stepped over the threshold into the heavenlies, I learned a few things about him I didn't know before. Close to 500 people came to the visitation and/or memorial service. Many of them told me stories of their connections with Barry. Over and over again I heard the words, "kind," "gentle," "a good man." What a legacy he left us all.
After everyone found their way home after the service, my sister stayed a few more days. She helped me clean bathrooms and floors, launder sheets and towels, and make up beds.
After Barb and I finished in "our" room, Barry's bedside stand caught my attention. I dropped to the floor to take a closer look. Stuffed into the bottom section and spilling onto the floor, I noticed a large print Bible, his guidebook for life. I found titles such as Composers on Music, A Gospel Primer for Christians, The Consolation of Philosophy, The Secret of Father Brown, Dialogues of Fenelon, Hearing God, and The Lazy Gardener. I also discovered a small book of Norman Rockwell prints, a 2011 anniversary card I had given him, a couple of textbooks he ordered to keep up with Elisabeth in English this past year, and a treasury of Curious George stories in Spanish.
I leaned my back against the bed to take it all in, then said to my sister, "This is the perfect snapshot of Barry's life. All these interests packed into one small space . . into one small life . . . that he lived out in a BIG way to touch many lives."
With intention, I left the "picture" just as you see it here. Somehow it represents the story of a man with an undeniable quest for learning. And the making of a man who shared his quest with whoever wanted to join him on the journey.
I have a feeling, I'll be learning a few more things about Barry as I sift through his piles of papers and file folders, the 3 x 5 cards from his pockets, and his library of books.
I love you, Barry. And miss you more than words can express.