Sometime in the early afternoon on Thursday, December 14, 2006, I received a phone call from a nephew. I was on my other home line, and my cell kept ringing like crazy - over and over and over - so I just knew it was something important. When he sadly told me that my Niece, Barbara Allen had died, it was a total shock! HOW? WHY? WHERE? I didn't even know she had been sick.
After excusing my other caller, the agony began. I was able to reach her two sisters, and tried my best to comfort them. It was harder on them. Hours of phone calls ensued, explaining and/or leaving messages, getting return calls on two different lines.
Yesterday morning I joined my two nieces at the Funeral Home, trying to support them as best as I could. Because of various complications, choices and decisions had to be discussed privately, so we adjourned to a place nearby to get a bite to eat, and talk freely.
Several hours had to be spent before we could return to the home and go through the identification process, for cremation. The kind Lady, Donna, at GONCE'S was most understanding and helpful. She had suggested earlier that we bring back some type of favorite blanket, or covering, for this ordeal.
By coincidence, in the trunk of my car, I had an almost ancient, but very colorful homemade crocheted patch quilt, formed painstakingly, and lovingly, many years ago, by my own Mother. It was about to be repaired by another niece, because my dog Heather had exercised her teeth on it, years ago.
The Girls liked the idea, so that's what we used. Barbara's ashes are now blended tenderly with her Grandmother's quilt. No one could go to Heaven in better Finery!
As the "Oldest Surviving Family Fart" I have been honored to be the 'Patriarch' now. So, this Monday evening, at the WAKE, I shall read this dedication aloud to those in attendance.
Some may not appreciate the attempted humor within, but someone much wiser than I once wrote:
"Never lose your sense of humor!"
LIFE! DEATH! PARADISE! THE CYCLE IS COMPLETED!
ODE TO BARBARA ANN
UNK TOM – 12/15/06
Old Buddies never die – they just go to Heaven!
And her time just came - at Fifty-Seven.
Yes, my Family and Friends, Barb had a tough road to Hoe,
But, guess what, she hoed it – Toe-To-Toe!
She stretched things, to make ends Meet,
With a Divilish smile - she was always Sweet.
We had many a laugh, and tilted a Brew or Two.
And Dirty Jokes, she told a Few!
We’d talk for hours, and Reminisce,
And always parted with a Bear Hug n’ a Kiss.
Tales of other Loved ones oft’ were Told,
And things we did - when once Young n’ Bold!
Barb was born, back in Forty-Nine,
Dellie and Charlie were both doin’ Fine,
She was the First-Born of their Line,
Later, came Patricia Marie - also Sublime!
They both growed up in Olde Baltimore,
Good little Fillies, cute to the Core!
Sisters who loved and took care of each Other,
Later, came Dan, from a different Father, Lewis - nevertheless, a Brudder!
Along came Father Three, Fella name of Ed,
Who Lovingly took Ole Dellie Abed!
Result of this - another Filly, or Colleen,
They named the Lil Darlin’ – Gloria Jean!
Three Lasses n’ a Lad, the Family now Complete,
Hootin’ n’ Hollerin’ – what sounds - oh so Sweet!
Oh, they had their Ups n’ Downs - Smiles n’ Frowns,
Now, Barb’s the Fourth in HEAVEN – all Sportin’ Crowns!
Barb took after her Mother, and loved to Dance,
And had similar troubles finding True Romance.
She was a terrific artist, and painted things Swell,
Smiling, and glowing - specially when for Momma Adele!
Time flew, as she grew, into a beautiful young Lady,
Not unlike the gal of song, “Sweet Rosie O’Grady.”
She was an Alumni of Dear Old Southern High,
N’ pretty good at the “Square Root of Pi!”
Barb was pretty Sharp, never no Dummy,
N’ could kick your Arse at Gin Rummy!
Yeah – Readin’, Writin’ n’ Rithmatic,
She did it all, pretty Damned Quick!
Yep, a quick Study, cute and quick like a Bunny,
And a “Shit-Eatin’ Grin” that flowed like Honey!
Barb had many an adventure, as Time n’ Years flew quickly by,
And moved from here to there, some places quite Sunny.
She had a true Passion for Nature, and Critters,
Takin’ in Strays, an’ bein’ their Momma,
She nursed and fed them, even some Litters!
Employing some Poetic License here, to end with a Comma!
Cats n’ Kittens n’ Dogs n’ Puppies, n’ Birds of a Feather,
She took ‘em ALL in - out of the Weather!
I often thought she shoulda been a Nurse,
Good at Medical Technology – to me, a Curse!
To name all her Critters would be such a Chore,
I’ll just skip to the Last, n’ not be a Bore.
He’s a Cute, Frisky Lil Black Dog, name of “Buddy”
Ya gotta love him - even if his feet are Muddy!
Felicia and Matt have graciously taken him in,
Remember now - that ‘Piddlin’s’ no Sin!
Things new and strange - he’s forlorn - it Befuddles,
You can always change his name - to “Puddles!”
In closing now, I didn’t quite know how.
Then it hit me – pow – Pow – POW!
At Graduations, they say it’s a Commencement – a New Beginning!
SHE IS NOT LOST – SHE IS WINNING!
So, join me, Celebrate the Life of Barbara Ann - Just as we did with her Brother, Dan!
It’s alright to Cry - shed a Tear in your Beer!
But, Raise your Glasses on High –
‘cause my Buddy Barb is HERE!
LOVE ALWAYS - UNK
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|Reviewed by Regis Auffray
|A most loving tribute, Tom. My deepest sympathy to you and to your family. Blessings,
|Reviewed by Jackie (Micke) Jinks
|Such kind love for you to pen this worthy tribute, Tom. My regrets that you had this loss, but oh! the remembrances! Thanks for sharing this celebration of Barbara Ann's life...
Christmas Blessings to you...
|Reviewed by Leland Waldrip
|A life reviewed in such a loving way can only be the highest tribute.
Condolences on your loss, Tom.
|Reviewed by m j hollingshead
|i am sorry for your loss, it is so hard to say goodbye to our family, and doubly so at holiday time. i agree, remember the joy, humor and laughter of her life|
|Reviewed by Chantilly Lace (Reader)
|So sorry tom,stay well and safe....Hugss|
|Reviewed by Kimmy Van Kooten
|May God be with you all during this time of loss...
Barbara Ann has a wonderful uncle to write such a fantastic tribute of her life...I am sure there is so much more but she sounds like she was a so down to earth and a special gem who was needed up with Him! Humor does have a way of healing and reviving a saddened soul...I wouldn't mind if someone read this sort of eulogy muse at my wake!
Go for it! Blessings unto you, know you will all be in my prayers~
Love and Peace~
|Reviewed by Elizabeth Taylor (Reader)
|Nicely done, Tom.
A celebration of her life. Nothing more beautiful or more meaningful. She'd be proud of you.
My condolences, dear heart.
|Reviewed by xxxxxxx cccccc
|What a full, entertaining and heartfelt tribute. A joy to read.|