Friday, November 14, 2008

Our Aunt Barb

Aunt Barb -- September 2005

This is a bit of a tribute to our sweet Aunt Barb who passed away 1 year ago today, very suddenly. Kenny and I miss her so much and know that she is one of those special angels watching over us. We feel like she has taken special care of us this last year, in delivering Charlie to us safely and then again, being with Kenny as he got through surgery after surgery and dealt with the healing process. There have been many times in the last few months I have said a silent "thank you" to Aunt Barb for getting us through another day. When she passed away, Kenny and I asked ourselves alot, "why Aunt Barb?" and that became clear to me in this last year, that our family needed a SPECIAL angel watching over us and Aunt Barb was just that.

She was one of those people that weren't just your aunt, but she was your friend too. She was in the Packard Club with us and that means that we travelled with her alot and we spent a good deal of time with her. Kenny has literally seen all parts of the country with her and made amazing memories with her.

Today, we remember some of the wonderful things and memories about Aunt Barb with the hope that some day, we can tell Charlie all of these great things about his GREAT Aunt.

**She was my short Friedrich family member and could understand what it was like to have a husband that towered over you.

**She always made me feel so welcome with the Friedrichs from day one.

**In the last few years of her life, she lost much of her vision. She never really let it get to her and she learned to live with it so well. Many times, while out at Packard functions, someone had to help her along to see things in the stores, or keep up with the group. At times, she would get left behind and someone would turn around to look for her and there she would be on Gary's arm...he never forgot her. That memory always makes Kenny and I smile.

**She loved this salad dressing that she could only get in Perrysburg and each year that we went there in May, she would go to the grocery store across the street to "stock up" on it and get a few jars of it to use over the next year.

**The last year we were in Perrysburg, she and Megan and I took a walk across the street to find a new CD player for her to listen to her books on CD. We took our time walking and then wandering through the store looking at all kinds of things and then helping her find the perfect CD player...something simple that would do the job -- She never wanted fancy things, a lesson we all could learn from.

**Before Kenny and I got married, she and Kenny's mom used to sit with me and joke that it wasn't too late for me to get out of this crazy family. They actually told me to run! She had a great sense of humor.

**She made beautiful baby blankets. And the wonderful part about that is that her daughter Lauren has continued that tradition and made Charlie a beautiful, soft baby blanket.

**The last time Kenny and I saw her was at our niece's baptism, a few weeks before she passed away. She surprised us by bringing a homemade pumpkin pie, which I'm so happy that I had a slice of that day. Always so good!! And that's another tradition that Lauren has continued --- making yummy pumpkin pies!

**Kenny remembers having wonderful homemade pizza at Aunt Barb's house as a young kid. He said it was fantastic...I wish I could have had some. She was a wonderful cook! There was never a bad meal served at that house.

**She loved babies. She really bonded with our nieces, especially Anna, and we can only hope that she looks down on Charlie often to see what a sweet kid he is. He's missing out on some great love from his Great Aunt Barb. We hope that he has a little part of her in him.

**She was funny...and always could sit and have fun with Kenny. The last time we saw her, I remember watching her and Kenny sitting on the couch together quietly picking on the family and laughing together.

**Kenny remembers mixing up her name with Uncle Jim's. So, he would call her Uncle Barb and him Aunt Jim. Sometimes he still says it that way! But again, they always found it funny!

**She never bragged about things that she did for others. Kenny and I were surprised to learn how much she served others, during the amazing talks that were given at her funeral. We knew that she was active in their church, but never to the extent that we heard that day. A model for many of us to follow.

**She was just one of those quiet, sweet people that made people smile, did nice things for others and didn't expect things in return.

Thank you Aunt Barb, our special angel, for taking care of our family this year! We love and miss you so much!

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