Coming and Going

“The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”  Psalm 121:8   

In this earthly life, we celebrate the comings and mourn the goings.  Birth and death are a constant reality for us humans.  We know babies are born every day and people die every day, but when that reality crashes into our ordinary lives, both the joy of new birth and the sadness of loss is magnified.

My sister-in-law, Barbie, passed from this life to the next on Friday, Nov. 29.

I remember her coming into my life when I was about 12.  My brother Dan brought her home to meet the family in the summer and they were married in December.  In between the introduction and the wedding, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She was so sick by Christmas, that she wasn’t able to attend the wedding.  The newlyweds offered to move in and help take care of mom and keep the household running.  As a young bride, Barbie stepped into a horribly difficult family crisis.  My world was shaking, our family was reeling, and in the midst of turmoil, Barbie brought light and peace to my dark and scary world.   Barbie loved helping people.

I remember her coming to Eau Claire the day our youngest child was born.  An early morning call was made and she arrived at the hospital to be with our older kids as they waited for their sibling to arrive.  As Jake was making his entrance into the world, Barbie brought Katie and Sam into the delivery room to witness the miracle.  Barbie loved miracles.

I remember her coming to every bridal shower, every baby shower, every confirmation, every graduation.  Family gatherings were a priority no matter when or where they took place.  This past August, we had our first family reunion.  We played games, we had a talent show, we ate and visited and held babies.  Barbie was in charge of desserts.   She brought pies and cupcakes and bars and cookies and cheesecakes.  Barbie loved to celebrate.

I’ll remember her going as a lesson in how to do it well.

She helped us cope,

she prayed for a miracle,

and she celebrated every day.

Love You Barbie.


14 thoughts on “Coming and Going

  1. How lucky you were to have such a wonderful person in your life. I’m sure she will be missed, but has certainly left a lot of love and memories for you to cherish.

  2. *HS* As I read this sensing God’s Presence. Dinah- Barbie shared and taught you and was a beautiful example for you and your family. You in turn have been a inspiration to me and so many others. Thank you Barbie for all you did for my friend Dinah.

  3. Hugs, prayers, and even some tears for you and your family right now, Dinah! What a great tribute to Barb! Wish you and I could have another “pillow talk” right now. Thanks for sharing from the heart . . .that’s what I’ve always loved about you!

  4. It hurts to, physically, lose someone so dear to our hearts and I grieve with you. It is also such a blessing for the wonderful legacy she left for you and for those who knew and loved her. I am sure she loved you as much as you loved her. How could she help it…your are loveable.

  5. You write lovely thoughts in such a nice tribute to your sister-in-law. I’m sure she passed immersed in family love and joy carrying her into heaven. You are an inspiration to others and an example of what it means to be a faithful woman.

  6. When I read this the other day, I didn’t realize that I knew her. It wasn’t until today when I read Anna’s post (and she referred to her as Barb) that I figured it out. Barb was my counselor in the Blue Jay cabin at Camp Lucerne in 1991. That was one of my favorite years. She was so wise, caring, and full of fun, and she always made a point to reconnect with me in other years. I am sorry for your loss and am grieving along with you and your family today.

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